Sunday, September 15, 2013

Something Special for your next dinner party- Beef Wellington

Sooo, my favourite Wellington is of the beet variety.  Carnivores should try the Beet Wellington as well as the Beef Wellington that follows.  Thanks to Gordon Ramsey for providing the basic directions.  It really is quite easy to prepare and packs a huge "WOW" factor with dinner guests.

Andrea and I made this for a dinner party.  We began prepping around 2 pm and everything was ready to serve by 6 pm.  To accompany the Beef Wellington, we prepared buttermilk mashed potatoes, maple glazed carrots and steamed broccoli.  Rounding everything out was an arugula salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

This recipe serves four to six.


1 kg beef tenderloin, centercut
3 tbsp olive oil
250 gr mushrooms (assorted- white, wild, shitake)
50 gr butter
1 large sprig fresh thyme
100 ml dry white wine
12 slices prosciutto
500g package puff pastry, thawed if frozen
flour, for dusting
2 egg yolks beaten with 1 tsp water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the beef tenderloin on a roasting pan, brush with 1 tbsp of olive oil, season with pepper and roast for approx. 15 minutes for medium-rare (a little longer for medium). When the beef is done, remove from the oven, cool, then refrigerate for approximately 20 minutes.

While the beef is cooling, place the mushrooms in the food processor using the chopping blade. Pulse the mushrooms until they are finely chopped (do not turn them into a paste!). They should have the consistency of large breadcrumbs.

Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the butter a large pan and fry the mushrooms on a medium heat, with the thyme, for about 10 mins stirring often, until you have a softened mixture. Season the mushroom mixture with salt and pepper to taste, add the white wine to the mushrooms and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until all the wine has been absorbed. The mixture should hold its shape when stirred. Remove the mushroom duxelle from the pan to cool and discard the thyme.

Overlap two pieces of plastic wrap over a large chopping board. Lay 12 slices prosciutto on theplastic, slightly overlapping, in a double row. Spread half the duxelles over the prosciutto, then place the fillet on it and spread the remaining duxelles over. Use the edge of the plastic wrap (à la sushi roll style) to draw the prosciutto around the fillet, roll it into a sausage shape, twisting the ends of the wrap to tighten it as you go. Chill the fillet while you roll out the pastry.

Dust your work surface with a little flour. Roll out a third of the pack of puff pastry to a 18 x 30cm strip and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Roll out the remainder of the 500g pack of puff pastry to about 28 x 36 cm. Unravel the beef from the plastic wrap and place it in the centre of the smaller strip of pastry. Beat the 2 egg yolks with 1 tsp water and brush the pastry’s edges, and the top and sides of the wrapped fillet. Using a rolling pin, carefully lift and drape the larger piece of pastry over the fillet, pressing well into the sides to eliminate any air pockets. Trim the joints to about a 4cm rim. Seal the rim with the edge of a fork or spoon handle. Glaze all over with more egg yolk and, using the back of a knife, mark the beef Wellington with long diagonal lines taking care not to cut into the pastry. Chill for at least 30 mins and up to 24 hrs.