These deliciously crispy little beauties may look flash, but they’re not hard to make at all – and the flavours will knock your socks off. I like to think of them as very fancy pies. They’re quicker and easier than their more expensive cousin, the Beef Wellington, and would you just look at them – imagine serving that up to a hungry crowd! This recipes uses lamb rump, which is a lovely tasty cut that’s now easily available all trimmed and ready to go from the supermarket. Now, there will be people that say they don’t like mushrooms and what else can they use instead. I say give the mushrooms a try (unless you’re allergic). Chop them up as finely as you can (pulse them in a food processor to a coarse crumb if you like) and you wont even register it’s mushroom by the time they’re cooked. It tastes AMAZING. Try it.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes plus resting time
Oil, for frying (rice bran or grape seed)
4 lamb rumps
50g butter (or 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil)
500g mushrooms, very finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped shallots (or onion)
4 cloves NZ garlic, crushed
2 stalks rosemary, leaves pulled off, very finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Zest of 1 lemon plus 1 tsp juice
1 400g block flaky puff pastry (or 4 sheets pre-rolled)
1 free-range egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk or cream
Preheat oven to 210c fan bake (220c conventional bake).
Bring the lamb rumps out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking. Trim the rumps of any fat (if the thick ‘cap’ of fat and skin is still on, it’s best to remove it – although most lamb rumps come pre-trimmed these days). Pat the lamb dry with paper towels and season with all over salt and pepper.
Heat butter in a pan over a medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms, shallots/onion, garlic rosemary and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes until everything is very soft and mushy. Stir through the mustard, lemon zest and juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat 1 tbsp rice bran or grape seed oil in a frying pan over a very high heat. When it’s very hot, add the lamb rumps two at a time, and brown on both sides – only about 30 seconds per side. Set aside on a wooden board and repeat with the other rumps. Cool slightly.
Roll out the pastry on a floured benchtop. Whether you’re rolling out a block or using pre-rolled sheets, you still need to roll the pastry out, as it needs to be about ¾ the thickness of a standard pre-rolled sheet, about 2-3 mm.
Divide the mushroom layer into 4 portions (one for each rump). Press half of one portion of the mushroom mixture in a layer on the top of one lamb rump. Gently place the lamb mushroom-side-down on a piece of pastry. Press the rest of the portion in a thin layer on top.
Brush the pastry edges with water, then fold up from the sides so the pastry overlaps by about 1cm at the top (brush both sides of the seam with water to seal). Trim the ends to about 2cm, then press crimp firmly with a finger all the way along the edges to seal.
Place the Wellington seam-side down on a baking tray lined with baking paper, and repeat with the remaining lamb.
Brush the Wellingtons all over with egg wash, then use a sharp knife to cut a couple of steam holes in the tops.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes for medium-rare (about 20 minutes for well done). Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
To serve, you can either serve the Wellingtons whole, in halves or thirds.
- A light eater could probably do with half a Wellington – while someone hungry (like my husband) could easily eat a whole one.
- If the pastry is too thick, it won’t cook properly by the time the lamb is ready.
- If you can find porcini powder at a specialty food store, I recommend adding ¾ teaspoon to the mushroom mixture – it adds an amazing depth of flavour.