1 kg piece Scotch Beef PGI fillet middle cut, any sinew removed
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
4 slices Parma ham
170 g fine textured liver pâté such as Brussels (easy to spread)
500 g ready-made all butter puff pastry
Flour for pastry rolling
1 egg, beaten and passed through a sieve
FOR THE MUSHROOMS
2 tbsp unsalted butter
400 g mushrooms, very finely chopped (can be pulsed in a food processor, but not pulverised)
20 g dried porcini powder
1 tsp chopped thyme leaves
You will need a large sheet of non-stick baking parchment.
- In a broad-based pan sear the seasoned beef in the hot oil and butter, in 30 second bursts, turning as you go. You don’t want to cook the meat at this stage, just brown the outside.
- Set aside to cool then chill for an hour or so if time allows.
- Melt the unsalted butter in the pan and sauté the mushrooms with the thyme and porcini powder until the mushroom juices are all absorbed and they are a dry loose texture but concentrated flavour. Season lightly and allow to cool.
- Roll out the pastry on a large sheet of lightly floured baking parchment until as thick as a £1 coin and lay 4 sheets of Parma ham in the centre of the pastry to form a mat for the beef to prevent beef juices seeping into the pastry.
- Spread the pâté all over the chilled beef but not at the ends, then coat the pâté with the mushrooms patting them into place. Lift the covered beef carefully onto the paper.
- Brush the pastry edges with the beaten egg and with the help of the baking parchment (and a friend), snugly wrap the beef and seal a crest along the top of the ridge, pinching firmly into place. Do the same at the ends. Trim away the wobbly edges of the pastry and with sharp scissors, snip 1cm wide tabs all the way along the top. Brush the pastry leading up to the top of the cut tabs with egg then fold down alternate tabs to the left, and the ones remaining to the right, and press into place firmly. It should look a bit like a zip or a plait! Repeat with the ends.
- Brush the whole thing with the rest of the egg and chill again on the roasting tray to firm up the pastry for about 30 minutes
- Heat the oven to 210°C.
- With the tip of a very sharp knife, score the pastry from the ridge to the base on both sides of the parcel, taking care not to cut through, but make several little slits at the top of the pastry to let steam escape and, hopefully, prevent the pastry from splitting.
- Cook for 15 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C for a further 35 minutes for rare or 45 minutes for medium. If the pastry is browning too quickly cover loosely with a sheet of baking parchment.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting a thick slice for each person.
Serve with simple seasonal green vegetables.