Venison Wellington

For a truly splendid main course serve up Ross Burden's rich and flavourful pastry-wrapped venison, ideal for dinner parties
By Ross Burden
Venison Wellington
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 40 mins resting
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

main

  • 500 g venison fillets, 30cm long and 5cm thick
  • black pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 350 g mushrooms, (ideally wild or chestnut), finely chopped
  • 2 tsp thyme, leaves only
  • 100 ml madeira
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 70 ml double cream
  • 450 g puff pastry
  • 3 large, thin herb crêpes, (made using a pancake batter flavoured with chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, tarragon, chives and thyme)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • red wine sauce, to serve

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 240°C/gas 9.

2. Tie the lean venison fillet into a sausage shape. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Add the venison and sear in the hot oil on all sides.

4. Transfer the venison to a rack in a roasting tray. Roast in the oven, allowing 8 minutes for rare or 15 minutes for medium.

5. Remove the venison from the oven, set aside to rest for 30 minutes and untie.

6. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan. Gently fry the onion over a low heat for 5 minutes, until softened.

7. Add the mushrooms, thyme leaves and Madeira wine. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper.

8. Bring the mushroom mixture to the boil and add the garlic, mixing well. Reduce the heat to very low and cook gently, stirring now and then, until the mixture has dried out.

9. Stir in the cream, bring to the boil and cook briskly until thickened. Add any roasting juices from the venison.

10. Preheat the oven to 210°C/gas 7.

11. To assemble the Wellington roll out the puff pastry to a 50cm x 30cm rectangle, 4mm thick.

12. Cut out a 5cm x 5cm square from each corner.

13. Spread two-thirds of the mushroom mixture evenly over the centre of the rectangle.

14. Wrap the seared venison in the herb crepes and place on top of the mushroom mixture.

15. Fold over the pastry ends and brush with beaten egg. Roll the pastry lengthways over the venison, using the beaten egg to bind the pastry sides together.

16. Place the Wellington on a greased baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg and decorate with pastry trimmings, if desired.

17. Bake for 20 minutes. Once the pastry is golden test how the meat is cooking by inserting a skewer into the centre of the Wellington, leaving it for 15 seconds, then withdrawing it.

18. If the skewer is cold the meat is underdone, if warm the meat is rare and if hot the meat is well done.

19. Remove from the oven once cooked to your taste, set aside to rest for 10 minutes, slice and serve with a red wine sauce.

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