Beef Wellington is a delectable dish to make when you're wanting to serve an impressive entree for a special occasion. Serve it with, or without, a drizzle of gravy and enjoy every tender pastry wrapped morsel.
Beef Wellington can be intimidating, I know. The classic preparation wraps the filet of beef in liver pate much like this recipe for chicken pate from Chef Jacques Pepin. Pate is rich and creamy and considered a bit of a delicacy. That said, my family doesn't care for liver in any way, shape or form. Because of this, I use a mushroom Duxelle for layering with the beef tenderloin prior to wrapping it all up in puff pastry. Duxelle is a fancy name for a seasoned mixture of mushrooms, onion and shallots sauteed together and used as a filling. I've enjoyed it in omelets and in this case, as a filling for beef wellington in place of pate.
Tips for Making Beef Wellington
- One of the biggest challenges when making this dish can be soggy puff pastry. One technique I've used to help counter this, is by baking the tenderloin on a baking sheet fitted with an oven safe rack so, if any juices escape they will drip away from the pastry. If you don't have a rack, you can of course, bake it directly on a parchment lined rimmed baking pan.
- The purpose of seasoning and searing the meat is to add flavor and it helps lock in the juices for baking. Don't skip it.
- When cooking the mushrooms, they must be cooked as dry as possible. This takes at least 20-25 minutes to achieve and can be done in advance to save time.
- I find that brushing the entire sheet of puff pastry with egg wash before spreading the mushrooms also helps. It forms a barrier from the juices released during the baking process.
- Some techniques for making classic beef wellington include a layer of thinly sliced ham or Italian Parma ham on the pastry first. Then, spread the cooked mushrooms on the ham. You can certainly do this, if you prefer, with no other adjustments.
- A meat thermometer is crucial for reaching the proper internal temperature for cooking the tenderloin to your personal taste. .
Flavorful Accompaniments to Serve with Beef Wellington
Beef tenderloin is pricey but, the side dishes to go along with it don't have to be. You can serve this with roasted vegetables or roasted rosemary potatoes. You could also add an elegant spinach or seven layer salad and dinner rolls.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 1 3 or 4 lb center cut beef tenderloin
- kitchen twine
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- olive oil
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 3 cups finely diced baby portabella mushrooms
- 1 small red onion finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp teriyaki or Worcestershire sauce
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only adjust to taste
- 1 sheet puff pastry thawed per package instructions
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tbsp cold water
- Bring beef tenderloin to room temperature. Tie tenderloin at 4-6 even intervals with kitchen twine to help keep it's shape. Season on all sides with kosher salt and pepper.
- Drizzle a heavy bottomed skillet with olive oil. Seer the meat on high for 2 minutes on all sides including ends. The ends won't take as long. (If meat is thicker, 3 minutes per side)
- Place onto a platter and into the fridge to cool for 1 hour. If preparing in advance, cover with plastic wrap only after the meat has cooled, to prevent it cooking further.
- Meanwhile, add butter, mushrooms and onion to pan. Season with salt and black pepper to your taste. Cook for 20 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic, teriyaki and thyme, continue to cook until completely dry. set aside to cool.
- On a non-stick floured surface, roll puff pastry into a rectangle roughly 4 inches longer and 6 inches wider than the tenderloin. Brush entire surface with beaten egg wash.
- Spread from end to end with cooled mushrooms leaving a 1 inch border Remove kitchen twine from tenderloin.
- Center tenderloin on mushrooms then fold pastry over ending seam side down. Tuck ends under or trim using extra pastry to decorate the top. Transfer to a large piece of plastic wrap, Wrap tightly and chill for 30 minutes.
- To bake: Preheat oven to 400°F. Fit a rimmed baking sheet with an oven safe rack or line with parchment. Remove plastic wrap and center beef wellington on pan.
- Brush on all sides with beaten egg wash. May decorate with additional puff pastry, if desired. Use a sharp knife to cut 3 or 4 slits on top.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until internal temperature is 125-130°F for rare, 135-140°F for medium-rare and 140-145°F for medium.
- Rest on pan for 10 minutes. Slice and serve with gravy, if desired.
- Reserve drippings from searing beef. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Add 3 cups beef stock, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp onion powder, ½ tsp garlic powder. May add a splash of cognac or red wine, if desired.
- Dissolve 3 Tbsp cornstarch in 3 Tbsp beef broth until dissolved, whisk into broth.
- Simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened. Add 1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves and 1 tsp kitchen bouquet browning sauce, mix well. Keep warm until serving.