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Christmas cracker beef Wellington

It's decadent, rich and simply the ultimate Christmas feast dish.

Serving: 6
Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Difficulty: Medium


  • 5g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 750g beef fillet (of even width, about 8cm)
  • 100g shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 45g watercress
  • 20g Parmesan, grated
  • 30g panko breadcrumbs
  • Plain flour, for dusting
  • 375g pack ready-rolled lighter puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp poppy seeds


  1. Blitz the porcini mushrooms in a food processor to form a fine dust. Season, then stir in 1 tbsp olive oil; rub the paste all over the beef fillet.
  2. Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and sear the beef for 6-8 mins, turning often to make sure you colour it all over. Set aside to cool completely while you prepare the filling.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and cook the shallots and garlic over a medium heat for 3 mins. Add the watercress and stir until it wilts. Transfer to a food processor with the Parmesan and breadcrumbs; pulse until combined.
  4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 35 x 45cm, making sure it’s big enough to fully surround the beef. With the long side facing you, spread the watercress mixture across the middle third of the pastry, leaving a 3cm border at the long edges and 12cm at the short edges. Place the beef at the bottom of the watercress mix and brush the uncovered pastry with some of the beaten egg.
  5. Roll up the pastry with the beef inside, pressing where the pastry meets to seal it, then transfer to a lined baking tray, with the seal at the bottom. Pinch and twist the ends of the pastry to form a cracker shape, then brush all over with egg. Trim 1-2cm from the ends and reroll the offcuts; use a cutter to cut out the snowflake shapes and stick them onto the Wellington. Brush again with egg and sprinkle the poppy seeds over the centre. Chill for 30 mins.
  6. Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C, and put a large baking sheet in the oven to heat up.
  7. Place the beef Wellington tray on top of the pre-heated baking sheet, then bake for 15 mins. Reduce the oven temperature to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C and cook for another 20 mins for medium rare (or 25-30 mins for medium) until the pastry is puffed and golden. Leave to rest for 20 mins before slicing.

Recipe courtesy of Tesco Ireland. 


Have some spare time on your hands? Skip the store-bought pastry and throw your hand at making your own with this easy puff pastry guide.