Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My first beef wellington.

Complicated. That's the word that comes to mind. However, the flavors were amazing. First, I need to admit that I know very little about English food, and the stigma of it may or may not have any truth to it. All I know is that this was originally from England, and it tasted great.
Once again, I perused many recipes, watched a few short clips and then just had to wing it. This recipe should be reserved for special events, since, as I said it's complicated, but also expensive. It's best to look for tenderloin on sale. For those who may not know what beef wellington is, it's a tenderloin wrapped in some type of ham, along with a mushroom filling, then wrapped in puff pastry dough. Here we go:


Beef tenderloin (I used 1.5 lbs for our family of four)

Mushrooms (about a half a lb was sufficient, but then you cannot have too many shrooms. Also, I used the typical white, you can use your favorite)

Shallots, about 3 bulbs (many recipes did not call for them, but some did. They are more mild and a bit sweeter than onions)

Prosciutto (1/4 lb thinly sliced. Some recipes call for Serrano ham, some for Prosciutto)

Yellow mustard (classic recipes call for an English mustard, not stoneground, but regular old yellow works fine)

Puff pastry, 1 sheet (I bought mine)

Salt, pepper, garlic to taste (course ground sea salt)

2 eggs beaten

Here's what I did. Preheat oven to 400°

Finely chopped the shallots and cook them down with a little olive oil and salt, then set them aside.

Then using a food processor, very finely chop the mushrooms, almost to a puree, but not quite. Using a dry frying pan (no fat) cook the mushrooms down, on medium to high heat, to get all the water out. This step is extremely important, shrooms are like sponges and the filling would be way too runny if this was not done

Set aside the mushrooms to cool and add olive oil to the pan. Season the beef tenderloin with salt, garlic, and black pepper on all sides (including the ends). In the hot pan, sear all sides, including ends of tenderloin and set aside to rest. Before it cools, brush mustard on the whole surface of the loin and let cool. 

Lay out plastic wrap on the counter and line with the prosciutto, then spread the mushroom puree and the shallots over it. Once it's spread evenly, place the loin on top and roll the whole thing as tight as possible, using the plastic wrap to help roll and then cover. Twist the ends of the plastic tightly and place in the fridge to completely cool and maintain it's shape. 

Lay out, or roll out the puff pastry (however you buy it or make it) on a floured surface. Remove plastic wrap from the prosciutto covered loin and then roll loin in the puff pastry. Use the beaten eggs to seal the pastry. Make sure it's wrapped tightly and all seams are crimped. Place on a parchment paper covered sheet pan. Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire dough. Using the back of a knife, lightly score the top (do not cut through). Sprinkle the top with course ground sea salt.  Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until golden brown (not too much longer as the loin should be a medium rare inside). Let rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting. 

So, there you have it. Seem complicated? It is. Like I said, this is special occasion material. You may notice that I baked on a foil covered baking sheet, but I would highly recommend parchment as I said in the directions, it stuck a bit. Anyway, I learned a few things and the flavor was amazing. Kudos to the English cuisine, I guess. 

Buon Appetito!


  1. IT WAS SO FABULOUS AND DELICIOUS! Truly really amazingly awesome. I'm so glad the kids and I live in Joel's test kitchen.