Classic Beef Wellington, seared in herbs, encased in mushroom pate and an herb crepe, wrapped in puff pastry and roasted to perfection.
Easy Beef Wellington
While a classic beef Wellington is easy to make, it does require several steps in the preparation.
Despite the beef that is herb seared, a mushroom pate to be made, then herb crepes and finally a puff pastry to wrap before roasting; each is easy, just requires a little patience.
Those layers of flavor and prior preparation are what contribute to the elegance reserved for the most special of occasions.
The Elegance Of A Classic Wellington
If you want a dish that is fit for royalty, this is your ‘piece de resistance’!
Every slice tantalizes with its beauty and perfection.
But, if you are pressed for time and still want an impressive beef dish, Mediterranean Beef Shank is the another option for you.
While Beef Wellington may appear to be a difficult dish to perfect, I promise you, it is not, and so worth learning to make.
There are several steps in preparing this beauty, and each step can be done in advance, except the final roasting time.
What is Beef Wellington?
Beef Wellington is absolutely the most decadent, beautiful, showstopper meal you can ever serve!
It’s like that perfectly wrapped gift box that someone gives to you, with another perfectly wrapped box inside, with another inside until you reach the final box with a gorgeous diamond inside!
It was the entertainment extravaganza of the 60’s and has definitely made a come back!
Beef Wellington From A Master
I first learned to make Beef Wellington from Gordon Ramsay in his Master Class presentation, at the onset of the pandemic.
The steps were easy to follow and the results were impressive.
I did, however, make a few changes. Shhhh don’t tell him!
Another Beef Cooking Master
My son is a fabulous Executive Chef and his real forte is meat and seafood.
I was not happy with the timing on cooking the beef in Gordon’s instructions.
The beef was just not cooked enough, or took nearly double the time for the thermometer to register medium rare.
Maybe it was the layers that added thickness, therefore not allowing the heat to penetrate. So my son gave me a few pointers and now my Beef Wellington is absolutely perfect every time!
Despite any suggested amount of time required to roast this elegant bundle, a meat thermometer is going to be your true time guide.
Perfectly Cooked Beef Wellington
A perfectly salted and herb seared tenderloin, will require more of each than you might normally do, when cooking beef.
Those flavors help to enhance the natural flavor of a good tenderloin.
Unlike a hearty Beef Stew, which is far more forgiving since it is often simmered low and slow in a tenderizing wine sauce.
Best Pate For Beef Wellington
Why wrapped the beef in a pate?
Occasionally, a Wellington is wrapped in chicken liver pate.
As for me, I didn’t want to detract from the flavor of beef, as chicken pate is strong.
Next, is the second wrapping which is held in with prosciutto; which doesn’t detract from flavor but adds fat.
After that, the next wrap will be with a beautiful herb crepe, and trust me, this step really holds it all together.
Finally wrapped in a buttery puff pastry, this elegant bundle goes into a hot oven to roast. Of course it will be baked to perfection and served with applause!
Too Much Work For A Classic Wellington?
Sound like a lot of work? Here’s the good news, each wrapping can be done a day in advance.
The final wrapping of the herb crepe, around all the goodies inside, gets wrapped tight in plastic wrap for a few hours, if not overnight.
With all you best efforts, you do not want to skip the crepe because it is loaded with eggs, which helps to hold it all together while roasting.
Consequently, the only real work, the day of serving, is to wrap the puff pastry and bake. Easy!
As you may know, beef tenderloin is also the cut of a filet mignon, as well as the cut used in a Wellington.
You may also know that the tenderloin cut has the least amount of flavor of any other cut of beef.
Little to no fat, means less flavor, however it is most tender.
Fat is what imparts much of the flavor in the meats we cook.
While the filet, or tenderloin is a beautiful cut of meat, it really does need help with taste.
Flavor Help For Beef Tenderloin – Step 1
For this reason, when we prepare a Beef Wellington, the meat is seared first, in a hot iron pan with olive oil, butter, herbs and lots of course sea salt.
Flavor surrounds the meat, its juices become secured inside by searing the outside of the beef.
Step one of layering flavor to a beautiful cut of meat, has begun.
While goose, duck or chicken liver pate is what is often used to cover the beef, then wrap in bacon, I just felt it was too many conflicting flavors.
Chicken liver pate, to me, has a strong flavor, as does faux gras (which, I’m sorry, I just don’t like), and so I opted for mushroom pate.
Easy Mushroom Pate – Step 2
Who doesn’t love the earthy flavor of mushrooms with beef anyway!
Homemade mushroom pate is so easy to make, you will wonder why you don’t make it often for a variety of other dishes.
A huge, like really huge, heap of blitzed mushrooms gets tossed into a big pot with a little butter, garlic a drizzle of wine and herbs.
This step is then simmered down and pureed!
That’s it. Don’t forget to set some aside (freeze if need be), to toss into many of your winter soups, particularly a soup from homemade Bone Broth, for winter’s immune boost.
Elegant Herb Crepes – Step 3
Why use crepes in the making of Beef Wellington?
Several reasons. First, the herb crepes are a batter of eggs, milk and flour and that contribute to the firmness to hold the pate and prosciutto in place.
Another brilliant reason is that the crepe is what lays next to the puff pastry so the puff pastry is not touching the pate or meat.
This layer helps protect the puff pastry from getting soggy when it bakes, as many have complained about the making of Beef Wellington.
Putting It All Together – Step 4
Working with several sheets of plastic wrap on the work space, all of the steps will be assembled together and chilled in the fridge before the final puff pastry wrapping.
- Those beautiful herb crepes are made and are first to place in layers on top of the wrap.
- Several strips of prosciutto of layered on top of the crepes.
- A spread of mushroom pate is evenly placed on top of the prosciutto.
- The herb seared, mustard rubbed beef tenderloin is place on top of the pate.
- Using the plastic wrap, gather the crepes tightly around the meat, wrap the plastic tightly to hold this bundle together, then chill. This step helps to hold the bundle together and marinate the flavors.
- Finally the puff pastry is rolled out, the chilled bundle of beef, pate, prosciutto and crepes are bundled inside of the pastry, heavily egg washed and ready to bake.
Let’s Make Easy Elegant Beef Wellington
Ready to put this together and wow your dinner guests every time?
Yes, there are several steps, but as I said, nearly all of them can be done in advance.
Lots of photos included here are to give you the confidence to see what yours should look like, along the way.
- Beef Tenderloin
- Salt and Pepper
- Fresh Thyme
- Olive oil
- Dijon mustard
- Red wine
- Puff Pastry
- Egg yolks
- Flour – for dusting
- Savory herb crepes
- Large Saute pan
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Meat thermometer
- Basting brush
- Metal spatula
- Stovetop or burner
Classic Beef Wellington
- Large skillet
- Baking sheet pan
- Basting brush
- Plastic wrap
- Meat thermometer
- 1-2 lbs Beef tenderloin center-cut, trimmed
- Coarse salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Thyme bundle
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 6 slices Prosciutto
- 1 1/2 lbs Mushrooms finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Red wine
- 1 Garlic clove crushed
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 9 oz Puff pastry sheets thawed
- 2 Egg yolks whisked and set aside
- Flour for dusting
- 4 Large savory herb crepes homemade
- Beef – Salt and pepper the tenderloin generously. In a heavy skillet over high heat, add olive oil. Once the pan begins to smoke, toss in a few sprigs of thyme and the tenderloin. Sear the tenderloin on all sides until well browned, including ends. Transfer to a plate and brush the mustard generously on all sides. Let it cool in the fridge.
- Mushrooms – Pulse mushrooms, salt/pepper to taste, garlic and a few thyme leaves stripped from the stems, in a processor. In the same skillet the beef was seared in, lightly wiped out oil, melt butter and add mushroom mixture to the hot pan along with the wine. Cook until liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms become more of a paste/pate, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the fridge.
- Assemble – 1 – Place plastic wrap down on a work area, overlapping so it is twice the length and width of the tenderloin. 2 – Lay the herb crepes down first, overlapping, then the prosciutto side by side to form a rectangle area able to wrap around the whole tenderloin. 3 – Spread the mushroom mixture evenly on top of the prosciutto. 4 – Set the tenderloin on top of the mushroom mixture. Bring up one end of the plastic, so as to neatly wrap the mushroom/prosciutto mixture around the meat. 5 – Tightly continue to roll until the meat is neatly wrapped, taking care to tuck ends in as well. 6 – Tie the ends tightly with twine or wire twists. Place the bundle in the fridge for 30-minutes. This step helps hold the bundle together.
- Preheat the oven to 425. Lightly flour work surface. Spread thawed puff pastry on floured area and roll it out into a rectangle shape that will cover the tenderloin bundle, with a little extra to seal edges. Remove the tenderloin bundle from plastic wrap and place on bottom end of puff pastry. Brush inside edges of puff pastry with egg yolk, then tightly roll meat bundle into the puff pastry.
- Trim any extra pastry, pinch edges to seal in its contents. Brush egg yolk liberally around the top and sides of the pastry. If you would like to create a little design on top the pastry, or roll out excess pastry and use a cookie cutter to form shapes, now is the time. Lay the shapes on top the pastry and brush with egg yolk again. Sprinkle a little coarse salt on top. Lay a few sprigs of thyme on top. Place this bundle on a parchment paper lined baking tray.
- Place in the oven and turn the oven down to 375 and bake until the pastry is golden and the center registers 120 for a medium rare beef, about 45 minutes, a little longer for well done. Remove from oven, let it rest 10 minutes before carving and serving.