This is a festive rework of the beef classic, and a really theatrical centrepiece that rings the changes in serving turkey. It may sound odd that there are crêpes in the recipe, but this is a trick to reduce the risk of the pastry going soggy. You can use cabbage leaves as an effective alternative if you don’t have time to make a couple of crêpes, or skip this part altogether if you are not too concerned. Duxelles is a classic finely chopped mushroom filling that complements meat beautifully, especially with the boozy, jammy cranberry layer.
Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 1 hour 25 mins
Properly free-range turkey breast
2 crêpes or two cabbage leaves (optional)
2 packs of ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg beaten for egg wash
For the thyme & cranberry filling:
1 jar of cranberry sauce
1 small onion, finely diced
A few sprigs of thyme, leaves only
1 tablespoon of port
1 dessertspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
For the duxelles:
250g chestnut mushrooms, finely diced
1 knob of butter
Salt and pepper
Heat a little butter over a moderate heat. When foaming, add the onions. Season and cook until golden. Add the port to the onions and allow to boil for a minute before stirring in the cranberry sauce. Once the cranberry sauce has melted add the thyme, vinegar and sugar. Cook gently until the sauce begins to thicken. Check the seasoning then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Place the turkey breast on a chopping board, remove and discard the string holding it together. Open the breast out, season the inside and fill with the cranberry sauce. Tie the breast back together with butcher’s string. Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Season the turkey breast all over and add to the hot oil. Colour the turkey breast all over then return to the chopping board. Allow the turkey to cool for a few minutes then again, remove the string.
To make the duxelles, heat a knob of butter in a heavy frying pan. Add the diced mushrooms and cook at a moderate heat, stirring regularly. Allow all the moisture to evaporate from the pan and then season the mushrooms and fry until they are golden brown. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Heat the oven to 180°C. On a floured surface lay out the two pieces of puff pastry so that they overlap by an inch. Pull the top sheet back and egg the pastry where the two overlap. Replace the top sheet of pastry and layer on top with the two crêpes or cabbage leaves, if using. Spoon a line of the mushroom duxelles lengthwise a third of the way down from the top of the pastry and place the turkey breast on top. Heap the remaining duxelles over and around the turkey. Tightly fold the crêpes over to parcel up the turkey. Egg wash around the edges of the pastry. Bring the bottom long edge of the pastry over to join the top edge and press down to seal. Press down the end edges to seal the parcel and crimp all round.
Decorate the top of the wellington with festive shapes made from leftover pastry and paint with egg wash all over. Place the wellington carefully in a roasting tin and cook in the oven for an hour and 25 minutes. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer which should read around 76°C. Serve with all your favourite festive trimmings.