Baking/ Christmas/ Dinner Tonight/ Meat

Pistachio and Brie Turkey Wellington with Boysenberry Sauce

A few years ago, I tried my hand at making a classic Beef Wellington. It wasn’t a half-assed attempt either (believe-you-me). It was the first time I had ever attempted one and I went all out; beautiful (read: expensive) filet mignon, lashings of whole grain mustard, layers of salty prosciutto, duxelles and even a herbed crepe. I spent aaaages assembling this thing and I swear to God, if I were the sort of person who turns to the drink when stressed, I would have downed a whole bottle of something.

However, once wrapped up in puff pastry, baked to golden deliciousness and removed from the oven, all suddenly became perfect with the world. Seriously, I nailedit. The crust crisped up exactly as it should have and ultimately became the vessel for a package of medium-rare bliss.

Since then, I have become addicted to watching culinary hopefuls on Masterchef and Gordon Ramsay shows eff-up Beef Wellingtons on a regular basis. Call me Little Miss Schadenfreude if you will, but there is something satisfying about knowing that I produced a perfect rendition on my very first go.

So, why have I not made it since?

Well, in all honesty, the whole procedure is finicky like brain surgery, but in truth, it’s probably more time consuming than anything. To that end, there is nothing wrong with taking a few hours out of your Sunday to relax, pour some red wine and give this product of British culinary wizardry a crack.

So really, I have no excuse. And with Christmas only days away now, I thought why not make my next shot at a Wellington something a little more ‘festive’? I am always looking to try something new, and am always working out ways to feed my family without too much waste. Come Christmas time, a whole turkey for eight of us (two of whom are under the age of 7) is just overkill – even if you have 8 million ideas for leftovers.

So this is what I came to. Turkey Wellington. It makes for the perfect alternative to a whole roasted bird, and is, deadset, pretty much Christmas baked right into a beautiful puff pastry crust. It’s definitely a head-turner and is packed with fancy prosciutto and classic festive ingredients, like cranberries, pistachios and herbs.  

You guys, you need to get on this if you want to try something a little bit different for your Christmas feast this year. It swaps in succulent turkey breast for the beef, while a traditional ‘stuffing’ of spinach, breadcrumb, pistachios and cranberry is nestled around the outside in place of the duxelles, helping to seal in all those delicious juices. Add some creamy brie (for no other reason but because you can), and then bake the whole lot up in a golden puff pastry crust to ensure none of the wonderful flavours are lost. It’s dinner party perfect.

The result is moist, tender poultry and crispy, buttery pastry… much like a classic Beef Wellington but with waaaay more of a festive touch!

So without further ado, here are my tips for this one:

• Pat everything dry and ensure that it is completely cold before wrapping in the pastry. Go lax on this step and you will find that your pastry will be soggy, and also hard to handle when trying to prepare for cooking. You want it deliciously flaky, so believe me when I say this is a must!

• There is nothing wrong with store-bought puff pastry. I just go for generic frozen squares – they’ve never let me down, and there is no shame in using them! Just make sure it is defrosted properly before wrapping up all your hard work…. Cracks are bad!

• Speaking of frozen, this dish is perfectly safe to make ahead and then frozen (without baking), so that you can cook it later. Don’t spend Christmas Day fiddling with all the preparatory steps – do it a few days before, wrap it tightly in cling wrap, freeze, then pop it in the oven with no fuss just before your guests arrive.  The texture and taste will not change in the slightest, and you should only need to add about 20 minutes to the cooking time.

• Please do not, I repeat, do not pull your Wellington out of the oven until it is perfectly golden and slightly brown on the outside. This dish is designed for stunningly gorgeous presentation when you bring it to the table to carve, and I swear, if I see any pale pastry photos floating around Instagram this Christmas, it will be the end of me!

So that’s about it. The tender turkey breast is a nice foil against the flakiness of the golden pastry and when you include those extra, almost secret layers of deliciousness in the thinly sliced prosciutto and festive, thyme-infused stuffing, you know you are onto something good. And because the turkey tends to be a little understated when compared to its beef-version counterpart, it lends itself really well to pairings with sweeter ingredients – like boysenberry sauce.

This sauce is sweet without being too tart and is the perfect accompaniment to the turkey – given that here in North Queensland, fresh cranberries aren’t easily accessible. This sauce actually deserves it’s own write up, so that’s something I might work on soon – to talk about it here would tip the length of this post over the edge. Let’s just say it’s the perfect accompaniment – and if boysenberries aren’t available, raspberries, crimsonberries or blackberries will still serve you well.

I served up this dish with a big batch of simple but hardy duck fat potatoes and steamed greens – but really, paired with any of your favourite festive sides will still serve you a dish fabulous in both presentation and flavour.

I hope this twist on the classic bird on the big day helps make your Christmas feast a little merrier… ‘tis the season!

Pistachio and Brie Stuffed Turkey Wellington with Boysenberry Sauce

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...
By Nosh - An Eater's Manifesto Serves: 8-10
Prep Time: 45 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes + 15 minutes rest

The perfect alternative to a whole roasted bird, this head-turner and is packed with fancy prosciutto and classic festive ingredients; like cranberries, pistachios and herbs.

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg – 1.8kg turkey breast, skin-off
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 100g prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • ¼ wedge brie, sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • For the stuffing:
  • 120g baby spinach
  • ½ cup roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup sourdough breadcrumbs (see note)
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 egg
  • For the sauce
  • ½ cup boysenberries (see note)
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 3 tablespoons butter (divided into 1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 350F / 180C.

2

Place the turkey breast on plastic chopping board and cover with cling wrap or baking paper. Pound until it’s nice and flat (about 1.5 inches thick). Tightly roll the meat, trimming off the ends so it is uniform in girth from end to end. Season well with salt and pepper.

3

Arrange strips of prosciutto in a single layer across the turkey, slightly overlapping the edges. Wrap tightly in cling wrap and place in the refrigerator.

4

Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing by placing the spinach in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over the top and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water for a further minute. Remove excess liquid by squeezing tightly in small handfuls. Roughly chop and return to mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well. Add egg and combine well, allow to cool completely.

5

Remove the turkey from the fridge and discard the cling wrap. Lay the sliced brie across the top of the meat, followed by the stuffing. Pat the stuffing down so that in encases the meat evenly. Return to the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.

6

Lay out the pastry so that it forms a rectangle approximately 40cm x 35cm. Place the stuffing-wrapped turkey breast in the centre of the puff pastry. With a sharp knife, cut horizontal slits on a 45 degree angle, about 1 inch apart on the edge of each side of the pastry.

7

Fold over the ends and then carefully fold each slitted piece over the turkey and continue braiding until all the meat is completely covered. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg.

8

Place in the oven and cook until golden and an instant read thermometer inserted into the centre of the meat reads 165F / 75C, about 1 ¼ hours, brushing occasionally with egg wash. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minute while you prepare the sauce.

9

For the sauce, in a blender, combine the wine and boysenberries. Set aside.

10

Heat a saucepan or skillet over low heat and melt 1 tablespoon butter.

11

Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute before adding the balsamic vinegar. Stir and continue to heat until it reaches a syrupy consistency.

12

Pour in the boysenberry and wine mixture, bringing the heat up to high. Continue to head, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens.

13

Remove from heat and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes

14

Whisk in 2 tablespoons of chilled butter and thyme. Serve immediately with the carved turkey wellington.

Notes

1. I use sourdough breadcrumbs as I almost always have sourdough bread on hand. It is simply a matter of blitzing day-old bread in the blender. If you don’t wish to make your own breadcrumbs, store-bought Panko crumbs are fine to use instead. 2. Boysenberries can easily be swapped for any other berry, so feel free to use whatever is available. Raspberries, blackberries and even blueberries will all work perfectly in this dish – the method and other ingredients don’t change.

You Might Also Like

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Adrianne
    December 17, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    Wow, this looks amazing Jaimie, absolutely beautiful!! Well done. I bet it tasted delicious too and I agree that there is nothing wrong with store bought puff pastry x

    • Reply
      jaimie-nosh
      December 17, 2018 at 11:37 pm

      Thank you Adrianne! It’s really worth the effort, but yes, making my own pastry would have been a deal-breaker!

  • Reply
    Mark Archer
    December 18, 2018 at 2:35 am

    To eat this was like eating Christmas itself! Our boys kept calling it chicken and avoided the stuffing because it had green in it, but I didn’t see anything left on their plates by the end of dinner. If there’s anything better then meat wrapped in pastry, I am yet to find it!

    • Reply
      jaimie-nosh
      December 19, 2018 at 1:36 am

      I aim to please!

  • Reply
    Alexandra
    December 19, 2018 at 12:46 am

    This looks absolutely incredible! Your photos are just beautiful.
    Cannot wait to try!

    • Reply
      jaimie-nosh
      December 19, 2018 at 1:37 am

      Thank you Alexandra – I love taking photos of Christmassy food, it just sparkles! I hope you enjoy this one when you give it a go 🙂

    Leave a Reply