Beef Wellington is one of the best holiday meals. It looks fancy, but is actually easy to prepare. It also pairs well with yesterday’s Honey Roasted Root Vegetable and Arugula Salad.
No one is sure where the dish’s name came from. Some sources insist it isn’t named after the Duke of Wellington himself, but rather because the finished filet resembled one of the brown shiny military boots which were named after him.
I like my beef like I like my boots – Welly.
Yield : Serves 6-8
½ oz dried porcini
2-3-lb center-cut tenderloin roast, trimmed
Salt and pepper
3 Tbs butter
2 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8 oz cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
6 oz chicken liver pate
6 oz prosciutto, sliced
2 tablespoons honey
All-purpose flour for dusting
1 package puff pastry, about 1 lb
1 egg, beaten
Put the dried porcini in a heatproof bowl and cover with ½ cup boiling water. Let soak for 30 minutes, then drain, reserving the liquid. Chop the porcini, and set them and the liquid aside.
Season the beef all over with salt and pepper. Melt half the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When foaming, put the beef in the pan and brown all over for 4-5 minutes, taking care not to burn the butter. Put the beef on a plate and set aside to cool.
Melt the remaining butter in a separate frying pan. Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add the porcini and garlic, then the reserved porcini liquid and the cremini mushrooms. Increase the heat and cook until the mushroom mixture is dry. Season with salt and pepper and add the thyme, then set aside to cool.
Put the pate in a bowl and beat until smooth. Add the mushroom mixture and stir well. Adjust the seasoning as necessary.
Use a metal spatula to spread half the mushroom mixture evenly over one side of the beef. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on the work surface and arrange half of the prosciutto on it so that the slices overlap. Place the beef mushroom-side down on the prosciutto. Spread the remaining mushroom mixture over the beef. Wrap the rest of the prosciutto slices, overlapped, over the top. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of honey. Wrap the whole thing in the plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Heat the oven to 425°F. Take about one-third of the puff pastry from the package and roll it out to a rectangle 1/8 inch thick and 1 inch larger than the base of the roast. Transfer to a baking sheet. Prick well with a fork and bake until brown and crisp, 12-15 minutes. Let the pastry cool, then trim it to the size of the roast.
Take the beef from the refrigerator and unwrap it. Brush the beef all over with some of the beaten egg, then place it on the pastry base.
Roll out the remaining pastry to a rectangle about 12 by 14 inches. Use this to cover the beef, tucking the sides under the base and sealing the edges. Brush with the rest of the beaten egg. Place the Wellington on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes for rare to medium rare beef, and 45 minutes for medium.
Remove the Wellington from the oven and let it stand for about 10 minutes before slicing. .
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