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Fillet of Beef in Puff Pastry with Madeira Sauce

Fillets in Puff Pastry
6 tablespoon s
unsalted butter
fillet steaks, each 6 ounces and 11/2 inches thick
shallots, minced
1 pound
mushrooms, finely chopped
4 tablespoon s
heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pound s
puff pastry
egg lightly beaten together with 1 tablespoon of water to form an egg wash
Watercress, for garnish
Madeira Sauce
1 cup
2 tablespoon s
minced shallots
1 teaspoon
minced thyme leaves
1 cup
veal stock or beef stock
2 tablespoon s
unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter and sauté the steaks in it for 30 seconds per side. Remove the steaks from the pan and set them aside to cool completely. 
  2. In the same skillet over high heat, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, add the shallots and mushrooms, and sauté until all the liquid given off by the mushrooms evaporates. Add the cream and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and continue sautéing until the mixture forms a thick puree, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl or plate to cool. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 450°F. 
  4. Divide the pastry into 6 equal portions. On a lightly floured board, roll out each portion to a rectangle about 6 by 12 inches and 1/4 inch thick. Place a steak on one side of each pastry rectangle, leaving enough room to fold over. 
  5. Divide the mushroom puree among the steaks, spreading it evenly on top. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash and then the pastry over the meat, molding the pastry to the steak's contours and sealing the edges by pressing down. With a knife, trim off excess pastry. Decoratively flute the edges with your fingertips or the tines of a fork. Brush more egg wash over the top of each pastry-enclosed steak. 
  6. Transfer the packages to a baking sheet or dish and bake them until the pastry is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. 
  7. Meanwhile, make the Madeira Sauce: In a saucepan, bring the Madeira, shallots, and thyme to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until only 1/3 cup remains. Add the stock; continue to reduce, over medium heat, until slightly thickened. Whisk in the butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  8. Place a pastry-enclosed steak on top of each heated serving plate and garnish with watercress. Spoon the sauce around it and serve immediately.
Average: 3.8 (37 votes)

About this Recipe

One of the most elegant, classic main courses for festive entertaining becomes so much easier thanks to the good-quality frozen puff pastry you can buy in supermarkets today. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions for thawing before use. For extra ease, make the Madeira Sauce ahead of time and keep it warm or reheat it before serving.

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