An easy, do-ahead, spectacular, and delicious way to serve beef. It's a less full-on version of "Boeuf en Croute" and is a big hit with family and my guests. Use flavourful mushrooms if you can - like criminis, portobellos or even porcinis or morels. For the wine, choose something rich you would actually drink, like a good Shiraz. Great served with asparagus.
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 (approx 185g each) beef fillet steaks
1 tablespoon butter
250g fresh mushrooms, minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red wine
4 squares of frozen puff pastry - approx 15cm each- thawed but still cold
1½ cups (375ml) red wine
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons milk
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Heat the olive oil in a heavy frypan over high heat until very hot. Sear the steak until well-browned on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan, and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. They must be cold.
In the same frypan over medium heat, melt the butter, and cook and stir the mushrooms, onion and garlic until the onions are tender and translucent and the mushrooms have given off their juice, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of red wine, scraping and dissolving any browned bits from the pan. Transfer the mushroom mix into a bowl, and chill in refrigerator for about 45 minutes.
Place 2 pieces of puff pastry on a work surface, and top each with a chilled steak. Spread half the mushroom mixture in a neat layer on top of the steak and top each with a piece of puff pastry. Fold and pinch the edges of the pastry together, sealing in the contents, (it may help to wet the edges a little) and trim to make a tidy parcel. Cut a small slit into the top of each parcel.
Pour 1 1/2 cups of red wine into a saucepan over medium heat, and simmer until the wine is reduce by half, about 15 minutes. Season wine sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, whisk the egg & milk together in a bowl, and brush the pasty parcels with the egg mixture for a browner crust, if desired. Return the parcels to the refrigerator to keep cold.
Preheat an oven to 230 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Place the puff pastry parcels onto the prepared baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven until the pastry is golden brown and crisp and the steak is done to your preference (for medium-rare, about 15 minutes). Serve each parcel with spoonfuls of wine sauce on top.
You can pause after step 2 as well as after step 3 to partially make the dish ahead, and finish up later.
You can get decorative if you choose - use the trimmings or extra pastry to cut leaves or make a little bow.