I had some large flat mushrooms that were a bit past their best and wouldn’t really be right if I’d cooked them whole. I also had a joint of beef that needed cooking, but was too good a cut to stew, so I thought about making a kind of pastry-less Beef Wellington.
The mushroom filling of a beef wellington is a mushroom duxelle, finely chopped mushrooms sautéed with garlic and onions/shallots. As these mushrooms wouldn’t be protected by the pastry crust I cut them in a larger dice than I would normally, so they wouldn’t dry out.
I had thought I’d just top the beef with the duxelle, but it provided a larger yield than I’d expected, so came the problem of how to stick mushrooms to the side of beef, and stopping them just falling through the trivet and drying out. I couldn’t not use the trivet, especially with a beef joint (see comments on my Garlicky Herby Lamb Shoulder for why I think it’s best to roast on a trivet/rack, but basically it’s so the meat cooks quickly and evenly), and I couldn’t just turn the meat over halfway through cooking (my usual method of roasting if I don’t have a trivet) as all the mushrooms would drop off. Anyway I decided to put a layer of tinfoil between the trivet and the meat, and brush the meat with mustard as a tasty glue! My improvisation was a success. Most of the mushrooms stayed put and the ones that didn’t were kept round the bottom of the meat and didn’t dry out. Not only did the mushrooms add flavour to the meat, but they also made a lovely accompaniment to a roast dinner.
Beef joint (any fairly lean roasting joint will do) – 3lb/1.5kg
Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
Butter – 1 teaspoon
Onions – 1 or 3-4 shallots (finely diced)
Garlic – 3 cloves (crushed)
Mushrooms – 10oz/300g (diced or very finely chopped if making beef wellington)
Seasoning – Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh parsley (if you have it)
Mustard – 1-2 teaspoons (I used Dijon because that’s what I had in, but any should be fine.)
Equipment: Frying pan, roasting tin with lid and trivet, tin foil, pastry brush.
- Heat the oil in the frying pan and fry the onion until soft and translucent.
- Add the butter and garlic and fry for a minute before adding the mushrooms.
- Cook the mushrooms slowly, until soft. Season well and leave to cool.
- Put a sheet of tinfoil over the trivet and place the beef on top and rush the top and sides of the beef with mustard.
- Press on the cooled mushroom mixture. Cover with lid.
- Cook in a preheated oven (190°/Fan 170°/Gas 5) for 20 minutes per lb/450g plus 20 minutes for medium rare (add an extra 5 minutes per lb/450g each for medium and well done). Remove the lid for the final 30 minutes of cooking.
- Rest for 10 minutes before carving. I found it easier to remove the mushrooms before carving. Great served with baked potatoes.