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Monday 27 May 2019
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Winter warmers with Gordon

Beef Wellington Menu

Pan-fried scallops with caper, raisin and
olive vinaigrette

This is a slightly different version of one of my signature restaurant dishes. The vinaigrette – with green olives and a little balsamic vinegar added – is more of a thick and creamy dressing. If you have any leftover, save it to serve with steamed or roast fish. Needless to say, the scallops must be very fresh.

  1. Cook the potatoes in a pan of salted water for 12–15 minutes until just tender. Drain and leave until cool enough to handle, then peel away the skins and slice into 5mm thick rounds. Set aside.
  2. For the vinaigrette, put the capers, raisins, olives and water into a small pan and bring to a simmer. Immediately tip into a food processor and add the vinegar, olive oil and some seasoning. Whiz until smooth.
  3. When ready to serve, heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the sliced potatoes with some salt and pepper for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp. Remove and keep warm.
  4. Wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper, then heat a little more oil in it until very hot. Lightly season the scallops on both sides then sauté in the oil for about a minute on each side, until golden brown and slightly springy when pressed. Remove from the pan to a warm plate and rest for a minute.
  5. Meanwhile, toss the salad leaves with a little drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Pile a little mound in the centre of each serving plate. Surround with the pan-fried scallops and arrange the potato slices around them. Spoon over a little vinaigrette and serve immediately.

Serves 4

250g medium new potatoes, scrubbed sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2–3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
12 large king scallops, shelled and cleaned
70g mixed baby salad leaves squeeze of lemon juice
Caper, raisin and olive vinaigrette:
25g capers, rinsed and drained
25g raisins
25g green olives, pitted
100ml water
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington is always impressive, but my updated version is a real special occasion treat. I’ve retained the luxurious character of the dish and, for a festive touch, added cooked chestnuts to the mushroom duxelles – for a delicious twist on an old classic. This has to be one of my all-time favourite main courses.

  1. Trim the beef of any sinew and season well with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat, add the fillet and quickly sear the outside all over for about 5 minutes until evenly browned, turning as necessary. Transfer to a plate and while still hot, brush all over with mustard. Set aside to rest.
  2. For the duxelles, put the mushrooms, chestnuts and garlic in a food processor with a little salt and pepper and blend to a fine paste, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. Heat a dry large frying pan. Scrape the mushroom paste into the pan and add the thyme leaves. Cook over a high heat, stirring occasionally, to drive off the moisture and intensify the flavour. The duxelles must be sufficiently dry otherwise it will make the pastry soggy; the mixture should adhere easily. Spread out on a tray to cool.
  3. Place a large piece of cling film on a clean surface. Lay the Parma ham slices on top, overlapping them slightly, to form a rough rectangle large enough to envelop the beef fillet, making sure there are no gaps. Season the ham with a few twists of pepper then, with a palette knife, spread the duxelles on top, leaving a 2.5cm margin along the edges.
  4. Lay the beef fillet along the middle of the mushroom layer. Keeping a tight hold of the cling film from the outside edges, neatly roll the Parma ham and duxelles over the beef into a tight barrel shape. Twist the ends of the cling film to secure. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm up.
  5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle, the thickness of a £1 coin and brush with some of the eggwash. Unwrap the beef from the cling film and place it in the middle. Leaving a  large enough rectangle to wrap around the beef, trim off the excess pastry. Roll the pastry around the beef to envelop it and then press the edges to seal. Pinch the pastry at the ends to seal and trim off the excess. Wrap the log tightly in cling film and chill for 10 minutes, or overnight if you are preparing ahead.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Remove the cling film and brush the parcel all over with egg wash. Lightly score the pastry at 1cm intervals with the back of a small knife for a decorative effect, if you wish. Place on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt and bake for about 35 minutes; if the pastry appears to be browning too quickly, lower the setting slightly. Leave to rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes before cutting into thick slices to serve, with the accompaniments.

Serves 4–6

900g piece beef fillet of even thickness (from the centre cut)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
English mustard, to brush meat

Mushroom duxelles:

700g chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and stalks removed
handful of cooked chestnuts
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
2 thyme sprigs, leaves only

To assemble:

8 slices of Parma ham
500g ready-made all-butter puff pastry plain flour, to dust
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water (eggwash)

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