Do you need some appetising ideas for what starter goes with beef wellington?
You’re in the best place!
Beef wellington is undeniably an exceptional dish, fit for a special celebration or even an alternative to turkey on Christmas day, so the starter you choose needs to be carefully considered.
Before we get stuck in, I should note that we’re going to follow a couple of basic principles here to ensure that your showstopper of a main course is given its well deserved opportunity to shine.
As beef wellington can be a heavy meal, rich with pastry and pate and a substantial chunk of fillet steak, it’s best to go for a fairly light starter so you aren’t ruining anyone’s appetite ahead of the main event.
We’re also going to avoid any starters that are particularly meaty. Your main well and truly has that covered, and any competition on that front would be OTT.
With those two points in mind, let’s get stuck in…
Some of the very best starters for beef wellington include:
These are all light, sophisticated, and are the perfect way to kick off your meal.
Read on to discover the best recipes and top tips for saving time and fuss…
The classic prawn cocktail enjoyed its heyday in the UK and US from the 1960s to 1980s, when it was the starter of choice for those liked to stay abreast of culinary trends and acquire a reputation for being able to throw an impressive dinner party.
It might not be the trendiest of desserts today, but it has a wonderful retro appeal and it’s light and fresh enough to be the perfect partner for beef wellington.
Best of all, it requires zero cooking, and it can be prepared in advance!
This prawn cocktail recipe is my tried and tested favourite, and it honours the old school tradition of how it should be made.
If you’d like, you can add a few contemporary twists such as chunks of avocado, diced mango, dill pickles, or hot sauce, but I personally much prefer to keep it simple. Choose the freshest, juiciest prawns that you can find, and give them space to shine.
No one will guess that this smoked mackerel pate recipe takes just 15 minutes to make!
You’ll take a pack of peppered smoked fillets, remove the skin, and whiz together with cream cheese, horseradish, capers, lemon juice and zest, and fresh herbs. This mixture can be made the day before and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your starter.
Serve on a small chunk of toasted sourdough bread, and sprinkle with more herbs, lemon, and cracked black pepper.
It makes for a delectable starter for beef wellington.
Goats cheese is always a safe bet for a starter, and it’s another classic choice for your wellington.
It’s readily available in supermarkets and delis, and takes very little preparation at home. It’s best at room temperature, so make sure you remember to remove it from the fridge around 30 minutes before you want to get things rolling.
Add a generous dollop of caramelised onion chutney to the plate, alongside some green leaves and chopped herbs.
Goats cheese can be rich, so keep your portion sizes small.
With a flaky texture and a deep smokey flavour, smoked salmon requires very little additions to make it into the perfect starter.
Take some blinis, smear on a little horseradish, squeeze over some lemon juice, and decorate with some sprigs of dill.
These little morsels of deliciousness can be enjoyed with a glass of champagne before you main meal, and it starts the party off with a touch of luxury and decadence.
When it comes to what starter goes with beef wellington, watercress soup ticks all the boxes.
It’s refreshing and light, cleanses the palate, and is elegant enough for a dinner party without trying to steal the limelight away from your meal.
This watercress soup recipe takes a bunch of the green stuff, some white wine, and some potatoes to fill it out. For an even lighter soup, you can replace half or all of the potatoes with courgette. You’ll get a thinner consistency, but it’ll be a more vibrant green colour.
I like to swerve any bread accompaniments so I’m not filling up with lots of carbohydrates, but some simple dinner rolls work well if you want to give everyone the choice. Be sure to add some salted butter to the table, as it’s absolutely wonderful for spreading and dipping.
Beef wellington calls for a light but refined starter, and the best options are prawn cocktail, smoked mackerel pate, goats cheese with caramelised onion chutney, smoked salmon with horseradish canapés, and watercress soup.
All of these choices are fuss free and can largely be prepared in advance, leaving you the time and space you need to focus on your main course.
Which of these do you think you’ll be making for your guests?
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