Lucie Loves… France // #Blogged | Learning how to cook boeuf en route at the Madame Gautier La Technique cookery school
I just adore France: the food, wine, language, fashion, and the culture… I could go on and on…
JMG and I like to cook-but don’t do it nearly as often as we should. We have a fairly small kitchen and a hectic lifestyle. Oh! And we love to eat out…
We decided to do something about it by spending a few hours at Madame Gautier’s place. We were invited by Three to celebrate the launch of Feel At Home in France and La Technique, as it is known, is the French cookery school in London where we would both learn how to make boeuf en croute, aka beef wellington.
To start with our teacher Adam, gave us a demonstration of how it should be done. Eager to get it right, all eyes were on him and questions were asked to ensure that we didn’t miss anything.
The dish can be made in advance (see recipe below) and would be a great French alternative to a classic British Sunday roast. It’s also an opportunity to show off to your friends, and it freezes well too.
We chopped, fried, stirred, baked and then devoured the finished dish. It was utterly delicious.
All in all, it was a very fun experience and we learnt a lot in such a small amount of time. We are definitely be keen to try more classes after enjoying this one so much.
It’s certainly got me excited about my birthday trip to Paris. I’m going in September with JMG, and will be sure to use Feel At Home, knowing that we will pay no extra costs for calls, messages or data used whilst we’re in France. We both have the Three Unlimited plan, so can blog, tweet and Instagramour experience to our heart’s delight whilst we’re away.
How to make beef wellington
500-600 g Beef Fillet steak
350g Ready to roll Puff Pastry
How to make mushroom duxelle
150g Mushrooms (any)
1 small onion – finely diced
2 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
How to make pancakes
4oz (115g) Flour
Half pint of milk
Pinch of salt
Pinch of mixed herbs
- Start by rubbing oil, salt and pepper onto the steak, then fry the fillet in a dry pan until it has caramelised and has a deep rich brown outside. Remove the steak from the pan and place to one side to allow to cool.
- In the same pan, fry the finely diced onion, thyme and garlic for 1-2 minutes until the onion has softened. Add the mustard and cook for a further couple of minutes.
- Remove the onion and garlic from the pan, add a little oil and turn the heat up before add in the mushrooms.
- Fry the mushrooms in small batches, so that they fry quickly and caramelise, rather than stewing and leaking all of their water into the pan. Once the mushrooms are cooked, introduce the onions back to the pan and mix together until even. Put all of the mix into a food processor and blend until smooth enough to spread. If you like, you can add a splash of cream to help.
- To make the pancakes, crack the two eggs into a jug with the milk, and whisk until combined. Add the herbs and salt to the flour.
- Slowly pour the milk and eggs on to the flour, whisking continuously until a smooth batter. Pass the mix through a sieve to remove any lumps.
- Fry 3-4 pancakes in the same frying pan again. This will ensure that all the flavour from the beef and mushrooms is kept, rather than going to waste
- Once all of the components have cooled, you can start to build the Wellington.
- Roll out the pastry, until it is roughly the thickness of a pound coin.
- Lay the pancakes out, so that there is enough surface area to fully coat the beef.
- Spread the mushroom duxelle over the pancakes before topping with the beef.
- Finally, roll the pancakes and pastry around the beef, before sealing the pastry at the bottom, and trimming away any excess pastry.
- When you are ready to cook, egg wash completely and place in the middle shelf of a pre-heated oven at 220C for 35-40 minutes.
- The longer it is cooked, the more well done the beef will be. For a medium cook, 35 minutes should be sufficient; however this does vary from oven to oven.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Madame Gautier: La Technique.
Read more about Feel At Home.
Photography © Lucie Kerley
Video by @jmgcreative