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leebu

Beef wellington: preparing the fillet

This may seem like a silly question but here goes:

I am going to cook a beef wellington for family in a couple of weeks and ordered my fillet last week and it came today. Problem is it's an uneven shape, nothing at all like either beef wellington I've seen in on cookery programmes or the pictures from t'internet, these all seem to be lovely, even yule log shaped things.
Most recipes I've found on the web are cursory at best and already assume the shape of the joint is even or don't mention it. One of Anthony Worral Thompson's books says that you need the "centre cut" or something like, but doesn't go into details.
Anyway, how do I go about getting that nice round fillet shape from my uneven and rather expensive cut of beef? Is there an easy way to do this?
Or do I just have to hack- I'm not much of a sculptor? Confused
sally_in_wales

Hmm, could you try the 'wrap it tight in clingfilm then chill it to set the shape' trick, or is it too uneven for that?
Pilsbury

Depending on how many you are preparing for, if its lots and you need the whole thing you can fold the thin end of the fillet up towards the middle to make it a similar shape all the way down.
if its for less people and you dont need it all then "the center cut" is basically the section in the middle of the fillet before it gets to thin.
To an extent you can pack the thinner bit up with a bit of extra pate and duxelle so long as when you cut it there is enough steak to make a happy portion.
RichardW

Deppending oh how well its been cut out (it sounds well cut actualy as the full fillet does start with a big head & thins out to the tail) i would cut the head & tail off if you only need a short fillet or tuck the tail under to increase the thickness of the thin end & trim the head end down to the same size if you need the lenght. Use the trimmings to make strog.

Justme
leebu

Not sure that cling film would do it... it's practically as wide as it is long and it tapers fairly suddenly, so there isn't much to "tuck". I think I'll just have to hack. I'm hoping to serve 6- the fillet is about 3lb (just over I think) which is what the recipe I've got suggested.
Cheers
Next time I'm just going to cook a chilli Mad
wellington womble

You could always do mini beof en croute - bascially the same thing in individual portions, so you can hack up your fillet into convinient sized bits, without anyone noticing. Delia does a recipe, but you could always follow her timings and your recipe if you prefer. I plan on doing rouhgly this on Saturday, with a couple of fillet tails - presumabley the bit left over when the centre cuts taken out.
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