Fillet Wellington: the story of a noble dish – Italian Cuisine

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An ancient and precious dish based on a delicate fillet cooked rare wrapped in a chest of shortcrust pastry and then served with fine ingredients such as foies gras, truffles, champignon mushrooms.




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The Duke's fillet
Arthur Wellesley, the heroic winner of the battle of Waterloo awarded with the prestigious title of Duke of Wellington, he did not have an easy character, as evidenced by many cooks in his service, fired because they were unable to satisfy his particular tastes. Until someone had an inspiration that met with unexpected success: he presented him with a captivating fillet wrapped in a golden cloak of puff pastry. The elements to satisfy the surly general were all there: fine meat, delicate champignon puree, a touch of Foie gras and of truffle. A truly sumptuous dish, which presented itself with the long and tapered shape typical of the whole fillet and a golden brown color: characteristics that made it similar to one boot. A casual reference to the boots worn by the general? Although there are no documents confirming it, the fact is that the dish has gone down in history as a Wellington-style fillet.

A dish for important occasions
Courses and appeals in the kitchen like all famous and somewhat elaborate recipes, this one too has had over the years periods of splendor and others of oblivion. For many reasons, not least the high cost of ingredients and the method long and complex. But recently the dish has returned to our tables, as the protagonist of important menus.

A new version of the recipe by Gordon Ramsey
Also thanks to the famous English chef Gordon Ramsay who brought it back into vogue with some little ones retouching, without however affecting its taste and refinement. No foie gras and truffles, as the original formula provided, slightly spicy mustard and a curious variant: some chestnuts additions to mushroom cream. Plus some chef's trick, like sprinkling with a little bit of coarse salt the dough to make it more crunchy. Attention to temperature and ai cooking times – the fillet inside must remain "al blood"- and a rest of at least ten minutes before arriving at the table: in this way the fibers of the meat are compacted and the aromas are concentrated in a sublime bouquet.

January 2022

Miriam Ferrari

Posted on 20/01/2022

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