Christmas Ideas. Part 2. Beef fillet in crust, speck & mushrooms
Very similar to the previous recipe but with beef fillet, speck and mushrooms. Everything is wrapped and cooked inside a "nest" of puff pastry. Speck is a type of lightly smoked and aged ham (prosciutto) rubbed/massaged with a mix of spices like juniper, bay leaves etc. This spiced cure gives speck a deeper taste that's more intense than prosciutto crudo. It's typically made in South Tyrol and gives a unique flavor especially when paired with mushrooms which with their intense aromas makes you feel a virtual journey into a mountain chalet. Enjoy!
Ingredients : 800 gr fillet of beef , 300 gr mushrooms, 2 carrots, 200 gr thinly sliced speck, 1 rectangular puff pastry, 1 yolk / 2 tbs milk , 50 gr butter, 2 cloves of garlic, oil, salt
Turn on the oven at 180 ° C / 356 °F
1.Massage the beef fillet with salt. Let it rest for 10 min.
2.In a pan heat 50 g of butter.
3. When it is melted and hot, brown the fillet on all sides for 10 – 15 min
4. Cut the carrot into small pieces. In a large pan heat the oil with the garlic. Add mushrooms and carrot and cook for 15 minutes until they are very dry and withered ( They must not have moisture. Humidity would damage the pastry)
5. Roll out the puff pastry (without removing its baking paper)
6.Cover the pastry with the speck
7.Cover completely with a generous layer of mushrooms
8.Position above the fillet steak
9.Close the dough around the meat by pulling up the baking paper.
10.Make the dough adhere (with your hands and a fork) well.
11.Transfer the fillet to the pan, brush with the yolk and milk mix.
12. With a knife cut the surface creating a grid. (Follow the photo gallery)
Bake for 45 min at 180 ° C Remove from the oven, let it rest for 15 – 20 minutes, cut it into slices.
Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes
Polenta: For this recipe has been used “instant” polenta Valsugana typical of northen Italy. Cooking takes only 8 min. As an alternative to polenta, the fillet can be served – and is delicious too – with mashed potatoes.
POLENTA. For 2 persons: 180 gr instant polenta, 900 ml water. Bring the water to boil. Add polenta and a pinch of salt. With a whisk mix costantly to prevent lumps formation. Cook on low heat for 8 min.
Serve hot with a fillet slice on top.
See the step by step gallery below
Ideas for Christmas. Part 1. Turkey leg in crust
This crusted turkey recipe also called “Wellington” is the ideal alternative to the usual Christmas roast. The wrapping of puff pastry is usual in Christmas recipes; symbolizes the swaddling clothes of the infant Jesus. In fact, it is very often used to prepare them right in the Christmas period.
Ingredients (for 2 persons):
1 turkey leg ~ boneless~ (800 gr) – 60 ml extra virgin olive oil – 300 ml white wine – 2 cloves of garlic – 2- 3 sage leaves – Salt 2 pinches
2 rolls of puff pastry
1 yolk + 2 tablespoons of milk
Method: Preheat the oven 180°C / 392° F
1. In a pan or in a large pot, heat the oil, add the garlic and the sage leaves.
2. Add the turkey leg. Brown it evenly on both sides for 10 min
3. Add the white wine and the salt.
Cover with a lid. Cook over low heat for 45 min
4. Check the cooking with a long skewer stick. When the turkey is ready, a clear/ transparent and diaphanous liquid will come out. (Pink liquid means it’s still raw in depth)
When it’s ready, remove it from the heat, let it cool completely and dry the meat well with kitchen paper
5. Coat the turkey (cold and dried) with the whole pastry
6. Pierce with a fork on both sides to prevent the pastry from swelling during cooking
7. Cut the second sheet into strips and form the classic grid for tarts. (Photo gallery below)
8. Coat the turkey with the pastry grid, sealing the edges tightly at the back side of the leg.
9. Brush the pastry with 1 beaten egg yolk together with 2 tablespoons of milk 10.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200 ° C for 20 – 25 min until the pastry is golden. Serve with roasted baby potatoes.
Recommended wine: In general, a medium-bodied red wine is the pergect choice, especially if you space between Barbera and Merlot, two different worlds but both perfectly matched to baked turkey.