Morrisons supermarket recently contacted me and asked me to join their British beef challenge. A box of seasonal vegetables duly arrived and I set off to Morrisons for my beef.
I have to confess that I am not generally a Morrisons shopper, purely because there is not one within walking distance of my flat. My mother uses Morrisons on the occasions that she is near one, and is always very impressed with the shop, customer service and products.
A while back Morrisons launched their “market street” concept, stores within the store where shoppers could buy their bread from a baker, fish from a fishmonger and meat from a butcher. I was delighted to discover that all the fresh lamb, pork and beef sold in the 376 Morrisons stores nationwide is British sourced, so Morrisons shoppers do not have to scrutinise the label to choose British meat and support British farmers. In the Fuss Free kitchen we do not eat that much meat, but when we do we want it to be of great quality and taste and the meat I bought delivered on both.
I was really impressed with my Morrisons experience, although on a Saturday afternoon the store was crowded, busy staff were impeccably polite, helpful and knowledgable. Usually I find shopping in a different supermarket a fairly stressful experience as everything takes longer as I never know where anything is, helpful staff made it less of a chore.
The butcher was fantastic, helpful and knowledgable. He went to get a new piece of beef for me so I could get the size of fillet I wanted, and then when I told him I would get another piece for the freezer he offered to wrap it ready for freezing (the Morrisons meat is wrapped in thick paper, rather than plastic).
All in all a great experience. Prices are keen, I especially noticed how competitive the fruit and vegetables were, and their quality was excellent. The piece of beef fillet I bought was about £12 and was more than enough for both of us.
I wanted to create a traditional British dish with my beef, but also give it a Fuss Free kitchen twist, playing with the flavours and making it a bit lighter. I hit upon a modern Beef Wellington, but using filo pastry to make it lighter and added some Asian flavours of sesame, soy and cumin to the traditional mushroom duxelles. By swapping filo for the traditional shortcrust you are removing calorific butter and gaining a heap of crunch and texture.
I served this with a maple and cumin sweet potato and carrot mash and sautéed pak choi. Delicious, and definitely something to be repeated, the beef was delicious, and meltingly tender.
Recipe: Asian Inspired Filo Beef Wellington
300g / 12oz fillet of beef
For the mushroom duxelles
200g / 8oz mixed mushrooms – I used a mix of shiitake, chestnut and standard
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp ground cumin
Pinch ground chilli (optional)
1/2 star anise
2 tbs dark soy sauce
4 sheets filo pastry*
Preheat the oven to 220C / 425F/ GM7. Put the fillet into an oiled roasting dish and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 12 mins (rare) or 15 (medium) – timings will vary depending on the size and shape of your fillet. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Meanwhile finely chop the mushrooms and garlic (or pulse in the food processor). Sauté in the sesame oil in a frying pan with the spices. When the mushroom is reduced add the soy sauce and cook again for a few minutes. Season to taste and allow to cool.
The trick when working with filo pastry is to be swift, and not leave it uncovered as once it starts to dry out it becomes stiff and brittle. Place one sheet on a baking tray and spread out a layer of the mushrooms (discard the star anise) about the same shape and size of the beef. Place the beef on top of the mushrooms and wrap the filo around the meat. Place your filo parcel on to another sheet and repeat. Drape the last sheet of filo over your filo parcel and wrap so all the edges are underneath and you have a neat filo bundle.
Gently transfer to a baking tray and bake at 200C / 400 / GM6 for about 20 mins (rare) or 25 (medium). If the pastry starts to go too brown cover with a pice of foil towards the end of cooking.
When done slice and serve immediately, with the mash and pak choi sautéed in a little soy sauce.
* wrap leftovers well in cling film to freeze.
Recipe: Maple and Cumin Sweet Potato and Carrot Mash
1 large sweet potato
1 large carrot
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbs maple syrup
Salt & pepper to taste
Peel and chop the sweet potato and carrot into 1″ chunks. Place in a pan of water and bring to the boil, simmer for about 25 mins until soft.
Drain, add the cumin and maple syrup and mash until smooth.
I think that this would also be delicious with pumpkin or butternut squash either in place or in addition to either vegetable.
Thank you to Morrisons for asking me to take part in the challenge and providing the ingredients.