I attempted to make Jamie Oliver’s Ground Beef Wellington the other night, a recipe in his Food Revolution cookbook. It’s basically ground beef mixed up with sautéed vegetables, wrapped in puff pastry and baked. As most of my kitchen hack jobs start out, I was missing something and improvised…
I didn’t have frozen puff pastry. I had Fillo dough. They are not the same thing.
Undeterred, I plowed forth with the recipe. I sautéed my onions, garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, potatoes and frozen peas along with some fresh rosemary. I mixed up a pound of Nature’s Harmony ground beef with the veggies and most of one beaten egg along with salt and pepper.
My Fillo dough had been thawing while I worked on the meat and veggies. I should probably say here that my experience using Fillo is limited. Pretty much limited to having eaten it a few
times. The frozen dough was purchased on a whim. Anyway, I start unraveling the dough and it’s a big old mess. It mostly held together but it tended to crack and shed tiny particles of Fillo. But I persevered and eventually had some sheets laid out flat.
Jamie’s recipe says to fold up all the meat mix in your two sheets of puff pastry. Well my Fillo wasn’t that big so I ended up making four Fillo burritos, lumping the beef mixture in the center, folding in the ends of the Fillo and rolling them up. It actually worked better than I thought it would. The tops of the British Burritos got brushed with the rest of the beaten egg and went into the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.
To my credit, the creations came out of the oven looking pretty nice. They didn’t burn, which is something I was concerned about with the super light and flaky Fillo. I cut them open and they looked acceptable on the inside, too. Bonus.
As far as taste goes…the filling was very good. The Fillo was flaky on the outside but it was suuuuper dry and kind of dried out your tongue as you ate. So I poured some of my marinara sauce on it that I canned over the summer. That did the trick, and made a hack job perfectly edible. Test subject Bill loved the filling and used some Worcestershire sauce to moisten up the whole package.
Next time I will not attempt to use Fillo instead of puff pastry. I think if I attempt this again I’ll make my pie crust dough like I use for chicken pot pie. I think that will be much tastier, and the addition of a simple gravy would also help this one out. One really nice thing about this recipe is that it is a good way to stretch out high quality (expensive) meat. While I’m not really concerned about that at the moment with my freezer as jam packed with deer as it is right now, this is a way that a family could really stretch the meat budget to be able to afford some delicious and nutritious grass-fed beef and have it be tasty too.