Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Recipes to Rival: Beef Wellington

Add ImageThank you to Mz. Kitchen for picking an outstanding recipe for this months Recipes to Rival. You made my Father and husband ecstatic on Father's Day. They were in for a treat- we all were.

Well. Let's start by saying that I am not a major beef fan. A hamburger once in a while or a steak once a year is about it for me. When this recipe was announced I was intrigued and looking forward to the challenge. I really could have cared less about the beef part. I wanted to stay true to the recipe because I have never eaten it before and I was curious.

Lucky for me about a month or so ago a local store had beef tenderloin for sale- dirt cheap. I picked up some not really expecting it to be tender. Boy was I surprised but that wasn't the only surprise in store.

I decided to challenge myself a bit more. I am always looking to expand my baking horizons. I make a lot of things home made to try to avoid prepackaged things- their prices and their additives and preservatives. I have never bought puff pastry before nor have I worked with it. So this was really a crap shoot. I decided to make the puff pastry. After viewing a video on You Tube, I found a recipe and made it. Oh my goodness, was it ever simple. It is less work that making layered jello. Honestly. It's only real challenge is setting aside the time to pull it our every hour to roll it and fold it. Otherwise, piece of cake, piece of puff pastry cake!
So on I went. I made all the elements for the beef wellington and really the most nerve racking part was rolling the beef and hoping it would stay together in bake mode... oh, and wondering if my puff pastry would actually puff. It did. It really did!

I added an element, so here is how I worked it. On a plastic wrap sheet, I layed out some prosciutto, I spread the mushroom/shallot mixture onto the prosciutto, I slathered mustard on the seared piece of tenderloin (I made individual servings), I rolled the beef and wrapped it in plastic to refrigerate for 30 minutes or so. I cut my pound of puff pastry into six pieces and rolled them out. I spread the pate in the center and then brushed the egg around the perimeter. I wrapped the roll that I had refrigerated previously. I made some slits in the top to vent and brushed it with egg wash. Into the oven they all went when I was done.

Beef Wellington

For the Duxelles:
3 pints (1 1/2 pounds) white button mushrooms
2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Beef:
1 (3-pound) center cut beef tenderloin (filet mignon), trimmed
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Flour, for rolling out puff pastry
1 pound puff pastry, thawed if using frozen (follow directions on the package)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces mousse pate, available in specialty cheese and appetizer cases of larger markets (optional)

To make the Duxelles:

Add mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and thyme to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add butter and olive oil to a large saute pan and set over medium heat. Add the shallot and mushroom mixture and saute for 8 to 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool completely.

To prepare the beef:

Tie the tenderloin in 4 places so it holds its cylindrical shape while cooking. Drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper and sear all over, including the ends, in a hot, heavy-based skillet lightly coated with olive oil - about 2 to 3 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula cover evenly with a thin layer of duxelles. Season the surface of the duxelles with salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves. When the beef is seared, remove from heat, cut off twine and smear lightly all over with Dijon mustard. Allow to cool completely.

About an hour before you plan to serve the Beef Wellington,preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry out to about a 1/4-inch thickness. Depending on the size of your sheets you may have to overlap 2 sheets and press them together.

Spread the duxelles mixture down in a column down the middle of the rolled out puff pastry. Thinly slice the mousse and cover the duxelles with it - every square millimeter doesn't have to be covered, but you're trying to make sure that every serving gets beef, duxelle, and mousse.

Remove beef from refrigerator. Set the beef in the center of the pastry and brush all the edges of the pastry with egg wash. Fold the longer sides over the beef, and seal. Trim ends if necessary then brush with egg wash and fold over to completely seal the beef - saving ends to use as a decoration on top if desired. Place the beef seam side down on a baking sheet.

Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash then make a couple of slits in the top of the pastry using the tip of a paring knife - this creates vents that will allow the steam to escape when cooking. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until pastry is golden brown and beef registers 125 degrees F (rare) on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from oven and rest before cutting into 3/4-inch thick slices


Cristine said...

I'm impressed! Your wellington looks great!

kat said...

wow, that looks fantastic! I really wanted to do this but it was so hot here I couldn't imagine it

Anonymous said...

I've never had this dish and yet it's so classic!

Grace said...

fancy shmancy! i'm here to tell ya, i can love anything wrapped in pastry. :)

Mary said...

Lori, these look delicious! You did a wonderful job with this challenge. Kudoskiddo.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

I love your mini wellingtons. These are just the right size for me. Problem is it's almost midnight here and now my stomach is growling. :s

Donna-FFW said...

Very impressive. It looks wonderful. Perfectly cooked as well.

Bunny said...

It looks great Lori! Sorry for my absence Lori, work was kicking my butt!

Lucy said...

Kudos!!! This looks amazing, I know that my husband would so enjoy this on his plate and me too of course ;-)

Sara said...

Lori, that looks awesome. I just couldn't fit this one in this month, but we have made homemade beef wellingtons before and they are sooooo good! I think we will have to do a make up of this one soon.

Great job making your own puff pastry.

Madam Chow said...

Lori, it looks gorgeous! For some reason, I thought posting day was July 5. Don't ask me why I thought that, I don't know. My apologies!

maybelle's mom said...

I love the individual ones. They look wonderful. I can't wait until I am back to cooking to go back and try this one.