Beef Wellington with spinach & bacon

Beef Wellington with spinach & bacon

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(4 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 55 mins plus freezing and 1 hr chilling

A challenge

Serves 6
This comforting classic gets a smart makeover, thanks to a layer of spinach, pancetta and a red wine gravy

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal628
  • fat38g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs33g
  • sugars2g
  • fibre2g
  • protein36g
  • salt1.9g
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  • 700g-800g beef fillet, cut from the centre of the fillet so that it's all the same size
  • large knob of butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 500g spinach



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • 12 thin slices smoked pancetta or rindless streaky bacon



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 500g pack all-butter puff pastry
  • 2 egg yolks

For the gravy

  • knob of butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • thyme sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • glass of red wine
  • 1 beef stock cube


  1. Pat the beef fillet with kitchen paper to remove any blood, then season. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan until very hot, then sear and turn the fillet with tongs for 8-10 mins until it’s well browned on all sides – hold it up to sear both ends, too. Set the beef aside on a tray to catch any juices. Take the pan off the heat, but don’t clean it.

  2. Tip the spinach into a colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water to wilt it, then pour over cold water to cool it down. Squeeze the spinach as hard as you can to extract as much liquid as possible, then set aside. Lay a large sheet of cling film on your work surface. Overlap the pancetta or bacon on it in a row, then cover with another sheet of cling film. Use a rolling pin to roll it out to a thin layer. Remove the top sheet of cling film and scatter the spinach over the pancetta. Replace the cling film and roll again. Carefully peel away the top layer of cling film again, and sit the beef on top. Using the edge of the cling film, lift and roll the pancetta and spinach to encase the beef and roll everything into a tight sausage. For best results, place in the freezer for 30 mins to firm up – do not leave for longer or cooking times will be affected.

  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry to a rectangle a little larger than your Good Food magazine. Trim the edges to neaten, then lightly brush the pastry with egg yolk. Carefully unwrap the beef parcel and lay in the middle of the pastry. Fold the shorter edges over the beef, then roll the whole thing around the fillet to encase. For a really neat finish, get another clean sheet of cling film and roll the Wellington into a tight sausage again. Chill for at least 30 mins, or up to 1 day.

  4. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and put a lightly oiled baking tray in it. Unwrap the Wellington, brush with egg yolk, then use the back of a knife to score a neat criss-cross or checkerboard pattern all over it. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and transfer, sealed-side down, to the hot baking tray. Roast for 10 mins, then reduce the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and continue to cook for 25 mins for rare meat, 30 mins for medium rare, 35 mins for medium, and about 45 mins for well done, making sure the pastry doesn’t burn (cover it with foil if it starts to darken). Remove from the oven and immediately brush with more egg yolk. Leave to rest for 10 mins.

  5. To make the gravy, heat the butter in the beef pan. Fry the shallot, thyme and bay leaf, scraping the crispy bits off the pan with a wooden spoon. Scatter over the flour and brown, then add the red wine and boil to a purple paste. Add the beef stock cube and any juice from the resting beef, and simmer for 5 mins. Pass through a sieve into a pan and season to taste. Use a sharp knife to carve the Wellington into 6 thick slices and serve with the gravy on the side.

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Comments, questions and tips

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1st Jan, 2016
This was very impressive, for a New Year's Eve dinner. Using the bacon and spinach instead of usual mushroom wrap made it colourful and much more attractive. I discovered the packet of puff pastry was only 375g instead of 500g, but it worked very well thinner. My only problem was the gravy. Having made the pastry parcel up the night before I couldn't keep the frying pan hanging around and so washed it up. There wasn't enough juices to make a good flavoured gravy, but managed with wine and a gravy pot cube and I don't think it really mattered. Overall, very impressive dish. It worked well, didn't leak, and cost the earth!!!
30th Sep, 2014
This was delicious!! Made it slightly smaller as only feeding 4 people so just adjusted the cooking time slightly. Nice twist with the pancetta and spinach :)
8th Jan, 2014
I did this for some friends for a pre Christmas supper. It was fiddly (but straightforward) with all the rolling out in cling film but well worth the effort. I would certainly make this again.
29th Nov, 2014
Can i make individual beef wellingtons with this? anyone done so - any tips?? also - does the bacon cook enough?
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