Sardine Sunday (and Beef Wellington)

Today is a special day for the woofs (more so than the other six, at least) – they get sardines with their breakfast. Today I made it more so by adding some bacon too.

Beef Wellington

Additionally, I am making Beef Wellington in a modified way today. Rather than the traditional tenderloin and pastry approach, I’m using beef short ribs, having seen a great recipe online (

Some thoughts. Absolutely use fresh thyme. We have a thyme plant in the garden but I bought extra because I didn’t want to decimate the plant I enjoy watering daily.

Use shallots – don’t be tempted to substitute onions because the difference would be noticeable.

As much as I love my Instant Pot, it sucks for sauteing and if you have a good stainless steel pan, use that instead. It’s partly because you have no control over the temperature and because the pan insert is subject to hot spots and not very stable for holding a temperature. Use a steel pan… With a heat diffuser if you need one or better yet, a good one with a copper core.

Lastly, I bought good puff pastry (high butter content). As much as I’d love to make it myself, it’s not an area I am experienced in so better to use a quality alternative. High butter content – and not cheap. But again, better than a ruined pie.

The woofs also enjoyed the trimmed short ribs. I put the bones with cast-offs in a pan and simmered them for 20 minutes. Took the broth, threw in the lovely tissue around the bones (discarding the bones) and gave it to them once it cooled. Not a bad day for the beasts overall.

I’m writing this an hour before I assemble it. The short ribs are gloriously tender, the mushroom/shallot layer is subtle (deglazing the pan with armagnac instead of brandy) and the pate and prosciutto are raring to go.

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