“For me, beef Wellington is Christmas – the sight of it, the aroma, the taste.
My mother used to make her own version…it’s no small feat to make…Aside from the intoxicating scent it produced, it also freed up my mother since much of the hard work would be done by the time dinner rolled around.
It was, and still is, intensely satisfying.”
-Daniel Humm, Chef at Eleven Madison Park in New York, in The Financial Times
Beef Wellington is about a thousand times more delicious than turkey. Alright, as chef Daniel Humm comments, it’s no small feat to make…. but it is a small, albeit expensive, feat to get your local butcher to make it for you. Cooking our beef Wellington is simply a matter of preheating the oven to 200°C, and cooking for 40 minutes (the butcher recommends 50 minutes – but we find 40 minutes plus five minutes resting time is fine).
Bruce Anderson, the drinks correspondent of The Spectator magazine is another proponent of Beef Wellington for Christmas (“One radical conclusion won unanimous assent: no turkey. At best it is a banal and disappointing bird….not a serious repast”). What does he recommend to drink with it?
“Red wines were being assessed for the accompaniment, the choice seemingly falling between claret or Côte Rôtie (plus the obvious compromise: both). If it were Côte Rôtie it would come from Saint Cosme, whose seriously eccentric proprietors make superb wines.”
We serve our beef Wellington with Christmas, gold-star spangled, kalettes – which take just minutes and don’t require all the preparation time that Brussels sprouts do – and creamy, dreamy dry stone wall potatoes dauphinois – a dish which can be made before and reheated.
If, by some extraordinary chance, any beef Wellington remains, you can serve the following day as canapés. Slice it thinly and fold atop toast and creamed horseradish.
Our wonderful Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding comes through the post. We take off the lid, and it goes into the oven after the meat comes out, we turn the temperature down to 180°C and cook it for a quarter of an hour. It can be a little sickly sweet, so serve it tempered by crème fraîche. It needs nothing more, but if you have any candied orange peel to hand you could experiment with chopping finely and sprinkling over.
Pair your pud with Berry Bros & Rudd sherry cask blended scotch which smells deliciously of orange peel and marzipan and tastes of ginger and muscovado.
A very Happy Christmas!
“How beautiful on the mountains, are the feet of one who brings good news, who heralds peace, brings happiness, proclaims salvation…..”