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Operation Jam Jar is all about getting back to basics in the kitchen.

Check out my efforts at cooking from scratch - cakes, soups, biscuits

Learn how to make things that you would normally buy at the supermarket - wraps, ice cream, pizza bases

Try to live a more 'country' lifestyle in the city - making your own jams or relish

Get the skills to enjoy cooking in a thrifty way, and have a bit of fun while you do it

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Minced Beef Wellington

I love 80’s inspired meals.  If I went to a party and saw cocktail onions and cubes of cheese on toothpicks I would be in heaven.  Chicken Kiev, Coq au Vin, Fondue – all the good stuff is from the 80’s (did I mention I was born in 1980?). 

While Beef Wellington would have been the height of cool when the boss was coming to dinner, it can get a bit expensive these days to use the recommended eye fillet.  It’s good old mince to the rescue!  Using mince brings the cost right down but you don’t compromise on the flavour.  As I’ve said, wrap anything in pastry and I will probably want to marry it, but this one really is gorgeous.

A perfect Sunday night dinner when it’s a bit wet and miserable outside. 

500g beef mince
5 mushrooms, thinly sliced and chopped up small
1 brown onion, thinly sliced and chopped up small
3 rashers bacon, rind removed, cut into 1cm cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 sheets of puff pastry
1 egg, in a cup, beaten
1 tbsp dried rosemary
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Heat some olive oil in a non-stick pan over med-high heat.  Add the garlic and onion and fry until translucent.  Add the mushrooms and cook a further 3 mins until it all comes together. 

Place the mince in a large bowl, then add the salt and pepper, half of the egg, and the rosemary.  Mix together with a wooden spoon until combined.  Divide into four pieces and form each into a round rissole shape.

Lay out the pastry sheets and place a quarter of the mushroom and onion mix in the centre of each sheet.  Place the meat and the bacon on top and wrap the pastry up into little parcels, using the rest of the egg to join the pastry together and glaze the tops*

Bake at 180°C for 45-60mins, or until puffed and golden.  Serve with your favourite vegetables.

* When we made this we didn’t have the recommended 4 sheets of pastry so had to make do with a more hodge-podge version with 2 sheets and some spare scraps of pastry covering the gaps.  Still delicious but not so photogenic!

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