Beef Wellington

50 Comments

I made beef Wellington for my husband and myself for our 32nd anniversary in January. The idea to make this for our dinner came from watching Masterchef Junior on TV.

There was an episode where the little kids were challenged to make beef Wellington, a Gordon Ramsay signature dish. But judge Ramsay didn’t show them how to make it. He simply cut through a perfectly cooked beef Wellington and told them how to make it. My brain would have shut down part way through his instructions, especially without any visuals. But these kids proceeded to tag team their way through their own beef Wellingtons, plus two sides. And most all of their beef Wellingtons came out perfectly.

So my husband turns to me at some point and says, “Those look so good. Why haven’t you ever made them?” And I really had no answer. It made me think, and I think that I thought that all beef Wellington contained liver paté, which my husband refuses to eat. But I learned that night that duxelles, essentially diced, sautéed mushrooms, can be substituted for the paté. So I figured it was about time to make Wellington. And it was well worth it!

I’ll show you what I did to make these beef Wellingtons, the Gordon Ramsay way. And if you didn’t catch Masterchef Junior the first time around, watch it next time it’s on. The kids are lovely, and act so much kinder than their adult counterparts on Masterchef or any other cooking shows.

Beef Wellington is quite extravagant, but it’s just the sum of many parts, each of which is not difficult at all to prepare. I’ll discuss all of these parts next.

Beef Wellington
This recipe serves 2, with leftovers

Crêpes: I’ve posted on making crêpes before, so I won’t bother with a tutorial. You only need a total of four for these two beef Wellingtons. Crêpes are used to absorb any beef juices that leak out of the filets. This keeps the puff pastry from getting soggy!

crepes

Duxelles: Duxelles is a name for finely-diced sautéed mushrooms. The ones I made for the beef Wellington aren’t super finely diced; I wanted a little more texture. I made duxelles in a post called Crêpes Fourées. For those crêpes, I used a combination of fresh and dried mushrooms. For the Wellingtons, I used only fresh mushrooms. Either will work.

The duxelles recipe I used for the beef wellington:
1 stick of unsalted butter
3 finely diced shallots
1 pound finely-chopped fresh mushrooms
Salt, pepper
Chopped parsley

Sauté the mushrooms and shallots in the butter for at least 5 minutes, over medium heat. Season, then stir in the chopped parsley. Place in a colander over a bowl.

I used no liquid in the mushroom recipe whatsoever, although you can tip in a little marsala or madeira if you wish. Just make sure to drain the mushrooms in a colander before beginning the beef wellington. And whatever you do, always save the mushroom liquor to use in any kind of sauce or reduction. Check out this post if you’ve never prepped mushrooms before.

duxelles

Prosciutto: I used 2 thin slices of Prosciutto in each of the two beef wellingtons.

Puff Pastry: I used purchased puff pastry that I thawed overnight in the refrigerator. There are two pieces in the box of puff pastry and I used both for the beef Wellingtons; there was plenty of pastry, but I couldn’t have wrapped any more filets.

Miscellaneous Ingredients: Dijon mustard and 1 egg.

Putting together the beef Wellington:

Have your meat sliced off of a tenderloin if you’re doing the butchering yourself. I cut two – 8 ounce filets, using a scale. It’s important that they’re the same size, for cooking purposes. Season the filets with a little salt and a generous amount of crushed black pepper.

well11

Pour some olive oil, about 3 tablespoons, in a skillet over high heat. Sear both filets on both sides. You’re just searing the meat to get some caramelization. You’ll be using the same skillet to make the wine reduction later. Don’t wash your skillet!

well9

Remove the filets from the skillet and place them on a plate. Place a teaspoon or so of Dijon mustard on each filet. Using a pastry brush, brush on the mustard. Mr. Ramsay, of course, recommends English mustard, but I don’t own any. A tidbit of info from Mr. Ramsay – it’s essential to brush the mustard on the filets after having just been seared. Supposedly mustard won’t get absorbed by the meat once it’s cooled off.

well8

The next thing to do is roll out the pastry dough that has remained chilled.

puff

Roll it into a kind of circle, using a little bit of flour and a good rolling pin. Place a crêpe in the middle of the dough, top with a layer of duxelles, then top them with the prosciutto.

well55

On top of the prosciutto place the mustard-brushed filet, mustard side down.
well6

I cut a little circle out of the remaining two crêpes and placed those on top of the filets. These will eventually be at the bottom of the beef Wellingtons.

well5

Then begin the wrapping process. Have one egg beaten well in a little bowl, and a pastry brush. The wrapping process was a little challenging, and it’s definitely harder than rolling the pastry around a whole tenderloin, with an easy one-seam fix. If you’ve ever wrapped a brie in puff pastry, this is similar, except for the fact that I like seeing the wraps of dough on the top sides of the brie. In this case, I wanted smooth tops for the beef wellingtons. I also didn’t want the pastry bottoms too thick.

It was also challenging for me to take pictures during the process. I already mucked up my camera with this one shot.

well4

Eventually, I got them both wrapped and sealed. Then I wrapped and stored them in the refrigerator.

well3

Bring the beef Wellingtons out of the refrigerator for at least an hour before you plan on putting them in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush the Wellingtons with the remaining egg mixture.

For the first time ever, I used a temperature probe that came with my oven. Right when I put them in, I pushed the probe in to the middle of one filet. I didn’t want to keep poking the poor things with my meat thermometer. And this thing worked beautifully!

well66
The 2 Wellingtons took only 20 minutes to cook; I removed them from the oven when their internal temperature reached 125 degrees. This is for rare beef. From the photos, you can tell we like our beef rare.

I removed the beef Wellingtons from the oven and put them on a plate. They would have continued cooking if I’d left them in the hot baking dish. They rested for 15 minutes, during which time I got my vegetables together and heated the red wine reduction.

I placed some of the hot red wine reduction on two plates, and topped them with the beef Wellingtons. (Red wine reduction in a future post.)

reduction
Then I added peas à la Française as our simple but delicious vegetable side.

welly3

I must say, beef Wellington is a fabulously extravagant meal. You can taste all of the parts – the beef, the mushrooms, the prosciutto, and a hint of Dijon mustard.

welly1

My pastry wrapping could have been better. It should have been a tighter fit. But fortunately that didn’t affect the flavors!

Note: this recipe is for 2 individual Wellingtons. Many recipes utilize whole chunks of tenderloin, from which slice’s are cut.

verdict: Sure, this meal took a while to prepare. But yes, I’d make beef Wellington again. And it’s already been requested of me for my husband’s upcoming birthday!

50 thoughts on “Beef Wellington

  1. Wellington is a favorite in our home, and the first dish Phil and I made together from scratch on a special Valentine’s Day, years and years ago (ok, not 32, but still… ;-)

    I now tend to use phyllo instead of puff pastry because it is a lot lighter, but the whole thing of wrapping a gorgeous piece of meat in pastry, and topping it with rich duxelles sauce, is perfection!

    Like

    • It really is. I was kicking myself for not having made this before. And as much as I love pate, I can’t imagine it tasting any better than with the duxelles! By the way, I’ve been asked to make it for Valentine’s day!

      Like

  2. Ramsay would be proud of your Beef Wellington, it looks amazing. Perfectly cooked. It reminds me a little of the Beef Wellington the Two Fat Ladies made on their show, I’ll never forget that episode it looked so delicious and your Wellington makes me think of that. I have never attempted it, fear of failure maybe or maybe I have watched one to many episodes of Gordon Ramsay yelling at the chefs about their Wellington. Well done and Happy Anniversary.

    Like

  3. In the eighties when we worked our fingers to the bone to throw a dinner party, beef Wellington was my main course of choice because I could prepare ahead and bake it off when needed. A whole fillet sliced at the table always created excitement! Your’s looks very tempting, it might be time Lord Wellington was resurrected!

    Like

    • hahaha! I’m making it again on Friday (Valentine’s day) and will do a chunk of beef tenderloin instead. I think it will be easier. But I don’t know why I never made one before!!!

      Like

  4. Looks delish! My husband and I were in Vegas for NYE and we ate at Gordon Ramsey’s Steak, We tried so many things on the menu including the wellington, I have to say the wellington was probably one of the things I liked the least, but even in saying that, it was incredible! I want to make one myself now :)

    Like

  5. this looks beautiful Mimi. It’s been on my list of things to try for a long time, but have never gathered the courage required :) I watched the whole masterchef kid’s edition. It was incredible what those little kids could do and their understanding of food but nothing but humbling.

    Like

  6. Sorry, just learned a lesson in English… I should have written “dressed to the teeth”

    My beloved husband was quite amused when I told him my intentions of dressing to the T, and politely corrected me. I tried to edit my comment, but that did not work, so here I am.

    sorry for butchering the beautiful English language, one more time… (sigh)

    Like

    • No apology necessary. I’m full American and I thought it was dressed to the nines, or dressed to the t as well. or maybe i was hoping it was dressed to the tee, since a tee shirt is my favorite piece of clothing! I blame my mother, because as a French woman in the US, although she’s lived here since 1952, she butchered every single American saying.

      Like

  7. Outstanding, both dish and anniversary. Congratulations to the newlyweds! I really did enjoy watching MasterChef Junior. What a bunch of talented kids! I remember this episode and I walked away thinking that I should try this version of Wellington. I’ve only made it using a larger tenderloin and slicing it table side. Yours was executed perfectly, Mimi. That beef looks incredible!

    Like

  8. very impressive! my husband asks about them every now and then when we watch Ramsay’s shows, but I haven’t attempted making them yet. I’ll have to take on the challenge at some point. you make it look so simple! congrats on your anniversary!

    Like

Please... write something!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s