Well it all almost went to pieces due to a surprise snowfall.
Let me explain. I meant to go & get the meat for the main course on Saturday, unfortunately things conspired to get in my way. No problem, the farm shop is open 10-4 on a Sunday, the only thing I need is the Beef (vital, after all the centre piece is a Beef Wellington). I have several recipes for Beef Wellington, the traditional ones require gallons of claret and heaps of Foie-gras. The more modern ones use a mushroom Duxelles. I prepared that & the puff pastry on the Saturday, thinking Sunday would be a quick dash out to get the beef, some work with our friends & then assemble & go.
Fortunately the snow didn't bring everything to a grinding halt & I was able to get out to the farm and get my fillet. The beef I buy is traceable from birth local meat (the cows are usually in the field opposite the shop) that is properly aged. I'm happy to eat this beef raw (and have in the form of carpaccio). However it made a 40 minute errand into a two hour expedition. Needless to say no work got done & I spent time in the Kitchen instead. The pastry was already made as was the duxelles, so the first job was to whip up some square pancakes. In a modern beef Wellington these stop the pastry going soggy by acting as a barrier to the beef juices. Traditionally you used short crust as the bottom pastry & puff on top. Once done (and there is something very odd about square pancakes) they get set aside to cool.
Whilst that was happening I whipped up the batter for dessert a traditional treacle sponge pudding, that was going to be steamed for a couple of hours. The recipe I was using was an all-in-one method, which was a bit of an arm ache since I don't have an electric mixer (mind you it burnt the calories the snowfall had prevented me burning so...). Here it is in the pudding basin.
As you can see I went with rare, rather than medium. The pastry grows & the meat shrinks, so you end up with a bit of extra pastry ends. I was really worried about this dish once it went in the oven, beef fillet is an expensive cut & I was scared it was going to get ruined, fortunately that didn't happen. Between the five of us we managed to eat the entire Wellington, not bad for a 750gr fillet, even the meat free bits of pastry from the end got eaten and one person actually had 3rds of this incredibly rich confection. I was holding back, because simmering away was the pan in which the treacle sponge was steaming.