We don’t watch much TV in our house but one thing we do love to watch is the US TV show, Hell’s Kitchen which is a reality show where about 20 budding chefs compete for a job working with Gordon Ramsay. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea I know but it’s one show that both kids like watching with us and the latest season which we’ve just finished watching on catch up has really inspired Master Frugal to get in the kitchen and cook.
One thing the chefs regularly serve is delicious looking beef wellington which always looks amazing but considering I’m trying to focus on reducing our food budget I don’t think it’s going to be appearing on our meal plan any time soon. I did have an idea for making a budget leftovers wellington after making our Puff Pastry Christmas tree in December and it worked out so well this week that I thought I’d share it with you today….
I love this recipe because it doesn’t matter what you have leftover for your leftovers wellington filling – you can use whatever you have in though to make yours. To make ours we used gammon, potato, stuffing and broccoli along with some red onion and some finely sliced leek that I had in the fridge.
I quickly fried the onions and leeks in a little olive oil as they everything else I was adding was already cooked and just needed heating up. When they were softened I added the leftovers along with a stock cube and some water and let that heat through.
Once everything was heated through and lots of the water had bubbled away, I poured over some of the leftover gravy from our Sunday Dinner and stirred the mixture until that had heated up too. At this point, I leave my mixture to cool a little bit as the next stage is much easier if the filling is cool – if it isn’t then rolling your pastry is quite difficult as the heat of the mixture almost melts the pastry.
I use ready rolled puff pastry for this just because I have a bit in the freezer from where Mr Frugal bought a stack of it reduced when he went shopping but I’m guessing shortcrust would be just as nice. If you have time you can make your own and roll it into a rectangle but I much prefer ready rolled as you can often get it cheap from the reduced section and it is so much easier and much less messy.
Start by laying your puff pastry rectangle on a piece of greaseproof paper the size of your baking tray and spoon your filling along the length of it on one side as in the first picture above.
Fold the ends over and then use your greaseproof paper to help you roll up your pastry so it looks like a giant sausage roll. As you roll, make sure that the ends that you’ve folded over stay tucked in so the leftovers are completely encased when you’re done.
When you’re fully rolled up use your greaseproof paper to help you turn the whole thing so that the seam of the pastry, as shown in the last picture above, is on the bottom of your wellington.
Then all you need to do is pop your leftovers wellington in the oven at 180 c for 15-20 minutes – I keep a close eye on mine after 15 minutes as it goes from golden brown (which it should be) to burnt in no time at all!
You can literally make this with anything – I’ve used leftover chicken with a white sauce which was amazing and I’m planning a mexican version with some spice mince for next week.
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