FAB CHRISTMAS CENTERPIECE FOR 2-4 PEOPLE
This a great Christmas centrepiece if you don’t fancy cooking a whole bird and don’t want to deal with all that leftover meat the following day. It looks challenging, but it’s actually fairly straightforward once you get your head around the elements. The great thing about it is you can tailor-make it to your own tastes. For the one in the picture I used a Chestnut Brie that I found in my local farm shop, but you could try Cranberry Brie or Camembert, or you could leave out the cheese entirely.
Similarly, you don’t have to use the stuffing recipe below, but could substitute your favourite stuffing recipe or use shop-bought to save time. And the good news is, you can prep the whole Wellington ahead of time so that all you need to do on the big day is pop it in the oven.
RECIPE: TURKEY, BRIE & CRANBERRY WELLINGTON
MAKES: 1 WELLINGTON TO SERVE 4
- 1 x 32cm round SHORTCRUST PASTRY
- 1 x TURKEY FILLET, single piece ca. 420g
- BRIE, roughly 3-4 slices
- CRANBERRY SAUCE
- SALT & PEPPER
For the stuffing layer:
- 1 tbsp. OIL
- 1 tbsp. BUTTER
- 1 RED ONION, finely diced
- 2 GARLIC CLOVES, minced
- 4 rashers STREAKY BACON, snipped into small strips
- 140g BREAD, like ciabatta or olive bread, blitzed to crumbs
- 2 sprigs ROSEMARY, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. PARSLEY, finely chopped
- 1/2 LEMON, zest only
- 50g GRATED PARMESAN
- 1 EGG, beaten
- First make the stuffing: Add the OIL and BUTTER to a small frying pan over a medium heat. When the BUTTER is melted, add the STREAKY BACON and diced RED ONIONS, and cook slowly for about 10 minutes until soft and sticky. Add the minced GARLIC and cook for a further 5 minutes. Leave aside to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, add the BREADCRUMBS, ROSEMARY, PARSLEY, LEMON ZEST and GRATED PARMESAN, and season well. Give it a stir so than everything is evenly incorporated. Add the ONION-MIX and stir. Finally, add the BEATEN EGG. The easiest way now is to get your hands in and squish the mixture together. Leave aside.
- Take the TURKEY FILLET and trim off the ends so the piece is evenly sized. You don’t need to do this, but it does ensure a consistent cook and even portion sizing when it is sliced. Take a sharp knife and carefully slice it open like a book and season with SALT and PEPPER. Try not to cut through to the other side. Now fill it like a sandwich: spread CRANBERRY SAUCE on one side (use as much or as little as you like), top with a layer of BRIE and then close the fillet.
- Build the Wellington: Unroll the SHORTCRUST PASTRY (leave it on the baking paper). Take a third of the STUFFING and press on one half of the pastry round, shaping it so that it about the same shape and size as the turkey fillet. Top with the TURKEY FILLET. Press the remaining two thirds of STUFFING so it is completely wrapped.
- Fold the other half of PASTRY over the Wellington and press down around the fillet. Trim the excess pastry leaving an even 2cm border. Pinch-and-roll the pastry ends together like a Cornish pasty making sure there are no gaps to prevent any leakage during cooking. Use the offcuts to decorate the top of the Wellington.
- Preheat the oven to 180c and cook the Wellington in the centre of the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes until golden-topped. Tip: Turn the oven up to 200c for the last 15 minutes to get the extra colour.