There is no better way to celebrate the holidays than with Beef Wellington. It’s the ultimate indulgence!
Time consuming, yes. Worth it? Absolutely!
Beautiful layers of mushroom duxelles, dry-cured ham and tender beef, all wrapped up in nothing but the best- flakey buttery puff pastry. Traditionally recipes include wrapping the coated beef in a crêpe to retain the moisture.
I am including both methods, because who doesn't like options!
For ease, I like to prepare the Wellington the night prior. Serve it with a red wine jus alongside classics like mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and if you are feeling really British, Yorkshire Puddings.
Mis en Place
2 x 450g Beef Filet / Tenderloin
Olive Oil, for searing
4 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
500g Mixed Wild Mushrooms
1 Clove Garlic
1 Thyme Sprig, leaves only
500g Puff Pastry Dough, portioned into 2- 250 g
8 slices of Dry Cured Ham or Crepe
Coarse Sea salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
(If using omit dry cured ham)
2 Whole Eggs
1 C. Flour
1 C. Milk
1 Tsp. Chives, chopped
1 Tsp. Fresh Thyme, chopped
Pinch Sea Salt
Nonstick cooking spray
2 egg yolks, beaten with 1 tbsp milk and a pinch of salt
Red Wine Jus
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
200g Beef Trimmings, such as cheeks
4 Large Shallots, peeled and sliced
12 Black Peppercorns
1 Bay Leaf
1 Thyme Sprig
1 Clove Garlic
1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
750ml Red Wine
750ml Beef Stock
Knob of Butter
The Night Before
Generously salt and pepper filet.
Sear the filets in a hot pan with a little olive oil preferably in a cast iron pan. Sear until browned on all sides and rare in the middle. Remove from the pan and transfer to a dish.
While hot, brush the filets all over with Dijon mustard.
Finely chop the mushrooms (or blitz in a food processor) and combine with garlic, salt and pepper.
During the holiday season it is fun to add some chestnuts for an additional nutty flavour.
Once ready, cook in a hot dry pan.
When the mushrooms begin to release their juices, continue to cook over a high heat for about 10 minutes until all the excess moisture has evaporated and you are left with a mushroom paste.
Add chopped thyme leaves, remove from heat and transfer to a pan to cool.
If making crepes prepare now, if using dry cured ham, carry on!
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, flour, milk, chives, thyme, and salt.
Whisk until incorporated. Transfer to the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Apply a light coat of cooking spray to a 10-inch nonstick pan and place over low heat. Add 1/4-cup crepe batter and swirl the pan so that the batter spreads evenly along the bottom, forming a very thin pancake. Allow to cook for 25 to 30 seconds until set. Using an offset spatula to lift one side, flip crepe and cook on opposite side for just a few seconds, then transfer crepe to a plate. Place parchment between crepes to prevent them from sticking to one another.
Continue cooking until batter is finished, making roughly 5 crepes.
Lay a large sheet of cling film on a work surface and place 4 slices of dry cured ham in the middle, overlapping the remaining slightly, to create a square.
Alternatively, this is where you can lay down your crepes, using 2 per filet, cut into a square shape.
Season with black pepper.
Spread half the duxelles evenly over the ham/ crepes leaving a half inch border.
Place the cooled filet over top the duxelles.
Using the cling film, roll the ham over the beef, wrapping the beef as tight as possible to get an even thick log. The tighter the cling the more perfect the shape.
Repeat this step with the other beef fillet, chill for 30 minutes.
Once set, it is ready for the final wrap.
Once again, lay a large sheet of cling film on your work surface.
Lay down puff pastry using 250 g per filet (rolled to roughly a 1/8-1/4" ).
Unwrap chilled beef and lay in the centre of the pastry. Brush border of pastry with egg wash and
wrap puff pastry over the beef, trim any excess and pinch edges to seal in the beef completely.
Using cling film, wrap Wellington tightly to perfect the shape.
Repeat with second filet.
Chill for overnight.
Red Wine Sauce
Heat the oil in a pot, fry the beef trimmings for a few minutes until browned on all sides.
Stir in the shallots with the peppercorns, garlic, bay and thyme and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallots turn golden brown.
Pour in the vinegar and let it bubble for a few minutes until almost dry.
Add wine and boil until reduced by half. Add the stock and bring to the boil again.
Simmer gently for 1 hour, skimming the surface of the sauce with a ladle,
until you have the desired consistency.
Strain the liquid through a fine sieve.
Add butter and check for seasoning.
Refrigerate over night.
Preheat oven to Convection 400 F.
Remove Wellington from cling film and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
Brush all over with egg wash.
If you are feeling creative score with the back of a pairing knife a decorative pattern, taking care not to fully slice into puff pastry.
This will create a beautiful finish to your Wellington.
Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake until golden brown, roughly 20 minutes or until an internal probe thermometer reaches 120-125 F (for medium rare).
Allow Wellington to rest for 10 minutes before serving, it will continue to cook while resting.
Slice 1" thick slices and serve with hot red wine jus.
*Each Wellington should yield 2 perfect servings with the ends as extra.