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Filet de Boeuf en CroûteWhole fillet of beef in puff pastry is a classic, if highly extravagant, French dish. For a special occasion, however, the time and expense involved are well worth while.


serves totaltime preptime chillingtime cookingtime
8 persons 3 hours
30 minutes
1 hour 1 hour 1 hour
30 minutes


{tab Ingredients}

  • 1.8 kilograms Beef Fillets
  • ½ clove Garlic (optional)
  • 25 grams Butter, unsalted
  • 50 grams Pâté de Foie Gras
  • ½ teaspoon Thyme, ground
  • 700 grams Puff Pastry, prepared
  • 1 medium Egg
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Cucumber Sauce:

  • ½ medium Cucumber
  • 50 ml Double Cream
  • 125 grams Yoghurt, plain
  • ½ teaspoon Ginger, ground
  • 3 teaspoons Lemon Juice
  • Salt

Mushroom Sauce:

  • 1 small Onion
  • 225 grams Mushrooms
  • 300 ml Chicken Stock
  • 25 grams Butter, unsalted
  • 1 dessertspoon Plain Flour
  • 150 ml Milk
  • Salt & Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Madeira Sherry (optional)
  • 1 medium Egg Yolk


  • Watercress

{tab Instructions}

  1. Trim any fat from the fillet, roll it into a neat shape, and tie it at intervals with fine string.
  2. Cut the garlic into slivers and insert them into the beef with the point of a sharp knife.
  3. Soften the butter under the grill and spread over the top of the fillet.
  4. Cook the meat for 10 minutes in a roasting tin on the centre shelf of an oven pre-heated to 210˚C.
  5. Remove the beef from the oven and leave to cool, remove the string.
  6. Roll out the prepared puff pastry, 3 mm thick, to an oblong 3 ½ times the width of the fillet, and its length plus 18 cm.
  7. Spread the pâté over the top of the fillet, place the meat, pâté-side down, in the centre of the pastry, and sprinkle with the thyme.
  8. Fold the pastry over and under the meat, brushing the seams with water and sealing them thoroughly.
  9. Turn the pastry over so that the join is underneath, prick the top with a fork and decorate with leaves cut from the pastry trimmings.
  10. Cover the pastry with a cloth and leave it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  11. Meanwhile, prepare the cumber and mushrooms sauces.
  12. For the cucumber sauce, coarsely grate the chilled cucumber.
  13. Just before serving, mix it with the cream,yoghurt, ginger and lemon juice.
  14. Season to taste with salt.
  15. To make the mushroom sauce, peel and finely chop the onion and the trimmed mushrooms.
  16. Put these ingredients in a sauce pan with the stock and bring to the boil.
  17. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for 30 minutes.
  18. Cool slightly, then liquidise the mixture.
  19. Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook the roux for 3 minutes, stirring continuously.
  20. Gradually blend in the milk, and bring the sauce to boiling point over low heat.
  21. Mix in the mushroom purée, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the Madeira.
  22. Simmer for a further 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  23. Stir in the beaten egg yolk just before serving.
  24. Beat the egg with the oil and brush it over the pastry to glaze it during cooking.
  25. Set the pastry roll on a wet baking tray, and bake in the centre of an oven pre-heated to 210˚C for 35 minutes.
  26. The pastry should then be golden brown, and the beef rosy-pink inside.
  27. Place the beef in its pastry on a bed of watercress and serve with broccoli spears au gratin and the cucumber and mushroom sauces in separate sauce boats.


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