Tips and Tricks On Turning Your Beef Into Wellington

Treat Your Beef With The Respect It Deserves.

A classic British recipe, named after the first Duke of Wellington, who triumphed over the famous War General, Napoleon Bonaparte. Although Arthur Wellesley, as he was known before he received his title, was not particularly interested in food (much to his chef’s despair) – the dish was created for him in his honour at some point during the 19th Century to celebrate his great victory over the French. 

free-range-whole-beef-fillet-335-pAlthough historical recipes may vary greatly, there is a uniformly traditional way of forming the dish – which is now deemed to be one of the Great British Classics. Adopted around the world as a culinary speciality, it may seem like a tricky meal to create, but with the right techniques (and the best Cornish ingredients!) you can easily whip up this show stopper and impress your friends at your next big dinner party.

Before you even consider whipping up your pastry, press that little rewind button and have a think about where you’re getting your meat from.

happy-cowsBeef Wellington, at it’s heart, is British Cuisine at it’s most indulgent and explosive. The marriage of rich gravy, Madeira and duxelles is one made in heaven, but it’s still possible to make a hash of it.

The first error that most would-be chefs make, is investing in an inferior piece of meat. Of course, you could head to your nearest TESCO, you can pick up a kilo of decent quality beef fillet. This would normally put you back around £30 and would give you enough meat to feed 6, (along with sides to serve it with). But the age old adage with beef tends to be true: ‘You get what you pay for’.

This dish is a celebration meal, something that elevates a normal dinner party to banquet status. What’s the point in presenting a gorgeously baked Wellington, that only disappoints the diner when they take a bite?

This is your chance to really push the boat out. A decent butcher that sources his meat locally will cost you more dollar, but will almost certainly raise your Wellington’s fame. Fork out £40-50 for your beef and it will virtually cook itself.

A good quality Wellington only needs a handful of techniques to achieve success.

beef-wellington_13514Although purists will insist that all pastry should be hand-made, you can buy the pre-made stuff. It takes off one worrying chore for you and will leave you with more time to get the important stuff right; namely the duxelles and the wrapping process.

Your duxelles is the finely chopped mixture of mushroom, breadcrumbs and herbs that lines your steak and protects it from the heat of the oven. Recipes vary, but I would always recommend Rosemary with Beef. Using a mixture of mushrooms (grab some dried Porcini if you can) will also lend your Wellington a greater depth of flavour. If you’re really looking to plumb the depths of decadence then you can grab some truffle oil from a high-end delicatessen, pushing the cost up, but the flavour through the stratosphere.

Once everything’s wrapped up and put in the oven, you can make a start on whatever sides you care to serve. A sharp, but sweet, red cabbage always goes well, just make sure that your Wellington remains the star of the show and you don’t try and overcrowd the plate. 

Respect you Beef: Make Wellington.


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Put Your Beef In The Oven

I’m a well travelled man. I think I know a lot of stuff that there is to know about a lot of things, I’m not often made to look the fool when I get into conversation and most of the time people learn something when I talk to them because I’m very knowledgeable about things. It is about things that I doth know a lot. But sometimes you get very surprised by a thing that you didn’t know and that happened very recently when I watched the above video and found out that Italians also have beef.


I know! It wasn’t so much that I thought that Italians didn’t have beef, it is more that I didn’t explicitly know that they did have beef so as you could imagine, I was pretty shocked and surprised by what had happened. It’s always surprising when your whole life is turned upside down by a new piece of information. That is, I’m sure you’ll agree. always surprising.

But there we go. And they cook it just like us! Personally, I prefer to cook my beef in the oven. ‘Oven every time’ I always say, if it makes sense in the context of the conversation I’m having. I cook a lot using my oven and though it was beautiful when it first got installed it gets pretty filthy, and I cook with such juicy juiciness that the juices can really jam the whole thing up (hence my current employment of an oven cleaning service, which my darling wife thinks is insane) but I say there’s a bright side to all of this…


I remember being an impoverished student type person in a house where no-one ever cleaned anything, the pots and pans ended up thick with cooking remnants. It meant that it was impossible to cook something tasteless. Impossible! And I reckon the same happens with my oven now. What do you reckon?

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Keeping The Cows Warm

Cows are just like humans with bigger heads and like us they want to keep warm! Cows hate the cold, they really really hate it they do. If you go up to a cold cow and try and have some fun with her you’ll find that she won’t be nearly as receptive to your approaches as normal, and sometimes will reject you all together with a stamp of her hoof and a flick of her tail!Emma-Moody-MAIN_1762693a

That’s an angry cow!

Cows get very cold in the winter and you need to heat them if they are going to survive! So on farms across the land farmers are working to try to keep those cows nice and comfy warm. This can be a very expensive process. If you imagine how much you might spend on heating your home in the winter, and then take into consideration just how much bigger a cow is than a person, and then consider that a cow farmer probably has far more cows in his cow farm than you have people in your people farm (or ‘family’) and then consider that you can’t just tell a cow to put more layers on, you’re looking at a lot of heat needed for a lot of cows!


Here at St Ives Beef we recommend using some sort of wood pellet burning system. Wood pellets can be bought at a very cheap price or on some farms could potentially be made out of waste from other processes on the farm. Wood pellets are a waste material of many agricultural and wood production processes, some of which may take place on many of the cow farms up and down the country. Through using wood pellets you could heat your poor cows all winter at a snip of the expense that you may be paying now and could have been paying for many years. So why not get working on it now? Wood Pellets are the future for warm cows my friends, that’s a St Ives Beef guarantee!

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Cook Beef

Despite many complaints from many people a lot of us beef eaters like to cook our beef. ‘What?!’ people say ‘Cooking it! What the helling frick! Why the gosh would you cook all the good stuff out of the beef pile! I like my beef to still be walking around so that I can go and rip chunks out of it with my teeth’ and you have to be like ‘Alright! Don’t ruin another Sunday mum!’.


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MUMS RIGHT? I mean, what are they on about? We all love of our mums of course, of course we love our mums, of course we love them, our mums, you pretty much have to! You’re a bad person if you don’t love you’re mum. Because they’re your mum and they matter because they are, well, they’re your mum. What if the mum was cruel? Or what if, more likely, she never really loved you apart from as an extension to herself, as a thing that needed her and wanted her and validated her feeling and experiences by virtue of caring about them. What ever happens, are you allowed to just not love them?

Any way, beef. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to cook beef and I have very good reason ok so shut up and listen. I’ve just gone and got myself new kitchen, I started out with new appliances, quite an amazing oven, quite a beautiful kitchen sofa:


We picked up some great kitchen wall unit carcasses on the cheap to set us on the way for some fantastic kitchen units and cupboards and things. And now we are ready, oh we are ready, oh we are ready to cook beef! So the real question that I have is simple: what’s the best way to cook beef? I mean, what’s your favourite? Send your answers on some sort of internet post card.



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St La

Saint la of Cornwall, so the legend goes, travelled to the shore of her native Island with the plan to depart with many other saints to travel to England by way of Cornwall. Upon reaching the shore however she found the other saints had left her. Distraught, as she feared that she would be far too young to make such a perilous journey alone, she fell to her knees and began to pray. She pray’d as we all do in such a situation: she prayed hard. As she was praying she gazed into the water, into the water she now feared she would not be able to cross, and she saw a leaf floating in the water. In a moment of inquisitive brilliance, she poked it with a stick. That’s what counted for inquisitive brilliance those days: ‘What’s that? I’m going to poke it with a stick…’ Give that girl a saint hood! 


‘And Jesus said: “Blessed be the curious, those who wish to understand. To those I say: go forth, and poke things with sticks, poke everything with a stick. Poke, Poke, Poke away. Pokey, pokey, poke and poke. Oh look, a dead dog, come everyone let us go and poke it with a stick then”‘ 

The Bible

Upon poking the stick the wise St la said ‘oh look, it floats!’ Then she looked at the leaf, and watched as it started to grow. It grew bigger, and bigger, and then bigger again! It got so big that she could step out onto it and float across the sea. This was a gift from god! A message from god! A miricle from god! St la looked to the heavens and called ‘God!’ God smiled and looked down on St la ‘Yes La’ he bellowed ‘My pokey stick is wet!’ ‘hmmmm?’ ‘My pokey stick got wet and no ones here’ ‘Yes St la, but, ummmm, what about that leaf’ ‘yes the leaf of course!’ ‘Yes St la, the leaf!’ ‘God! Through the divine wisdom you have blessed me with I can tell you this: This leaf is different to the other ones!’ Eventually, realising that this wasn’t going to be as easy as he had hoped, God pushed St la on to the leaf boat, and she floated to Cornwall…


She came to Cornwall, arriving before the other saints, here she died on on her burial spot was built the church of St la, which makes the centre piece of our town: St Ives. We remember her today, as we remember her everyday: Here’s to you, St La.

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