BEEF WELLINGTON

YES, this is a time consuming dish but I promise you, NOTHING tops Beef Wellington done this way! A real show stopper!!

When my family gathers, it is not only special because they are the people I love most in this world, but because they are all Food Aficionados! Professional chefs, professional food bloggers and all grew up cooking since they were little tots, as do their children, now, following suit.

I prepared this dish for Thanksgiving Eve, which is the meal I prepare for my immediate family (12), before we gather with the entire family on Thanksgiving. Not only was it an incredible hit with all, but now they all want the recipe (right here along with you), and are asking for this for their birthday dinners in the future. I have one non-meat eater, my daughter, and so I prepared the exact same procedure for her, except with a beautiful salmon filet. It was also divine! One last tip that turned out to be brilliant, an idea my chef son recommended for the children: cut end pieces of the tenderloin into nugget sizes, wrap small amounts of scrap puff pastry pieces around them with a piece of cheese tucked inside and bake on a tray so the kids will have individual bundles made just for children. They LOVED it!!

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It’s long and has several individual parts to prepare, but many can be done days in advance, so lets get this beauty on YOUR table! OH… let me first give credit where credit is due: I learned how to make this beautiful show stopper from Gordon Ramsay on Master Class. I now have a TV crush on him as well! (wink)

Here is how this is going to unfold:

  • Herb Crepes prepared in advance. The crepes not only impart flavor but they help to hold everything together before wrapping everything in the final puff pastry. Brilliant!
  • Mushroom pate. Totally better than any other pate, and my British hubby tells me in Britain Beef Wellington is made with duck or goose liver pate, wrapped in bacon and then pastry… yuk! For me, that is too many conflicting flavors.
  • Prosciutto strips
  • Puff Pastry with lots of egg yolk wash
  • Beef Tenderloin, of course.

Ingredients – Serves 4-6

Mushroom Pate

  • Mushrooms – 4 cups, finely chopped
  • Olive oil – 3 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Thyme leaves – 1 teaspoon

Preparation 

In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, place oil, mushrooms and seasoning. Cover until the mushrooms start to wilt, uncover and stir periodically until mushrooms have cooked and moisture has evaporated (about 10 minutes). Remove, cool, puree and set aside until ready to use.

Herb Crepes 

  • Eggs – 2 large
  • Flour – 1 cup
  • Milk – 1 cup to 1 3/4, enough to make a medium thin batter
  • Chives – 2 teaspoons, chopped fine
  • Thyme leaves – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – just a pinch
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Preparation 

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except spray). Whisk until well incorporated. Let it rest in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Lightly spray a 10-inch nonstick pan and place over low heat. Add 1/4- cup batter and swirl quickly so batter spreads. Let it cook for 30 seconds or until you see little bubbles beginning to form, gently flip over for a few more seconds and remove before edges begin to brown. Continue cooking until you have about 5 crepes. Place parchment paper between each layer and store in an airtight container or baggy in fridge until ready to assemble.

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Beef and Assembly 

  • Beef tenderloin – about 1 pound, center cut, room temp
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon, grapeseed, sunflower or any high heat tolerant oil
  • Dijon mustard – 1 tablespoon or enough to lightly brush on beef after it is seared
  • Prosciutto – 4 – 6 slices
  • Puff pastry – 1 9oz sheet (approximately) thawed
  • Egg yolks – 2, whisked and set aside to brush over pastry
  • Thyme sprigs – 2-3

Preparation – Preheat oven to 425 – Bring mushrooms and crepes to room temp

Season beef liberally with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat a cast iron pan (preferably) and add oil. Sear beef on all sides, 60 seconds per side. Remove beef and brush mustard on all sides while warm. Let it rest.

Take a damp cloth and wipe over the surface of a cutting board. Layer 3 pieces of plastic wrap, overlapping each other on the board. Lay several crepes on top of plastic, taking note to trim them the fit the width and circumference of the beef. I used a piece of string to check these measurements. Layer the prosciutto on top of the crepes, in long strips, top to bottom, overlapping the edges.

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Spread the mushroom pate across the prosciutto, taking care to leave the edges of the crepes free of filling.

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Set the beef on top of the pate, 1/3 up from the bottom.

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Using the plastic wrap to lift as you pull the crepe over the beef, roll the beef up completely, smoothing plastic and twisting the ends to form a tight package. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. (I did up to this step the day before, took the package out to sit room temp for 40 minutes before continuing. Also, I doubled this recipe which was a perfect amount)

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Again using a damp cloth to wipe board and cover in the same way with plastic wrap. Place puff pastry in the center. Use a rolling pin and roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness, trimming if necessary to fit beef bundle. Unwrap beef bundle and place on the pastry 1/3 way up. Lightly brush pastry with egg yolk wash and season once again with salt and pepper. Lift the plastic wrap up and roll the pastry over the beef, until the edges meet, then massage the pastry, smoothing it evenly across and sealing the seam. Twist the plastic taking the excess pastry with it, until pastry melts together, and cut off the ends. Unwrap the Wellington, discard the plastic and smooth the ends, then brush with egg wash, several times. Using the back of the knife, gently score the Wellington and create a decorative pattern. Season with more salt, place time sprigs on top and place on a parchment lined tray and refrigerate for 5 minutes.

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Place in the center of the oven on a heavy baking sheet pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

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Salmon en Croute – Salmon in Pastry

Follow the exact same preparations above in preparing the layers and wrapping, omitting the prosciutto. Set a seasoned salmon filet (not seared), in the center, roll and wrap just as the beef. Brush with egg wash and bake 425 for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown crust forms. I tied a few pieces of spring onion on the ends and placed in a small baking dish for an individual serving.

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