Fillet of Beef 'En Croute'

Paul Merrett wraps tender beef fillet in pancakes, then encloses it in puff pastry and cooks it to tender perfection in this tasty main course
By Paul Merrett
Fillet of Beef 'En Croute'
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-5
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 4 hrs chilling
  • Effort: medium


  • 1-1.5 kg British beef fillet, trimmed of any sinew
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp English mustard
  • 1 egg yolk

For the pancakes

  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 600 ml milk

For the pastry

  • 500 g puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • pinch sugar

Tips and Suggestions

Giving times based on weight is a very unscientific approach and leaves too much to chance therefore I would strongly recommend every cook buys themselves a temperature probe which will take the risk out of roasting. In this case we would look for a core temperature of 35C.


1. For the steak: heat the olive oil in a pan and when hot seal the beef, turning the meat until brown on all sides - do this quickly so you don't start cooking the meat. This will give the meat a caramelised roasted flavour.

2. Set aside and allow the beef to cool to room temperature then place it in the fridge for 1 hour.

3. Remove the beef from the fridge and season with salt and pepper.

4. Combine the English mustard and egg yolk together to make a thick paste. Cover the beef with the mustard and egg mixture. Roll the fillet in cling film repeatedly until it forms a cylindrical shape and place in the fridge for 2 hours.

5. For the pancakes: place the flour in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the eggs, and gradually add the milk, whisking all the time to make a smooth batter. Pass through a sieve and allow to stand for an hour.

6. Heat a non-stick pancake pan or frying pan and add some of the mixture, coating the pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side until golden. Repeat with the remaining batter.

7. Trim and lay the pancakes to form a rectangle about 10cm longer either end of the beef and 15-20cm wider either side. Lay the beef in the middle and lift the pancakes over the beef to enclose completely in one neat single layer - this will absorb any escaping juices which would otherwise make the pastry soggy.

8. Roll the steak and pancakes into a cylindrical shape on clingfilm and leave in the fridge. Remove from the fridge, along with the cling film 4 hours before you cook the beef,

9. For the pastry: preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

10. Roll out the puff pastry dough about 4mm thick, again wider and longer than the beef. Wrap the pastry around the beef and seal it shut. Put it on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, with the seal at the bottom. Beat the egg yolk with the milk and sugar and brush over the dough to glaze.

11. Put the beef on the lined baking tray and cook in the oven for about 25 minutes.

12. Rest the beef for at least 10 minutes before serving with mixed vegetables.

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