Beef Wellington recipe!
Every Christmas, I obsess over trying to make the perfect holiday dinner for my friends. In recent years I've made beef wellington, based on a recipe my mother perfected. Mine never came out quite as well as mom's, and I cut a few corners here and there. But I thought it was about time I'd post something that didn't concern hospital visits, pet cats, Indiana Jones, or politics...
BEEF WELLINGTON RECIPE
(Adam’s admittedly less complex, cheaper version of Eileen McDaniel’s recipe)
· Choice cut filet of beef tenderloin, trimmed. (Hearty serving size approx. ½ lb. per person.) This isn’t often available on supermarket shelves; you’ll need to request it from a butcher in advance.
· Cold Puff Pastry sheets
· 1 beaten Egg
· Seasoned Olive oil
· Pinch of Seasoned salt
· Pinch of Red Pepper
· 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
· Duck or chicken liver pâté
· 1 tablespoon Butter/Margarine
· 3 tablespoons of Worchester sauce
· 1 tablespoon seasoned breadcrumbs
· White wine
· Chopped/crushed onions (or substitute with onion soup)
· Tomato paste
· 2 cups Beef stock
· 1 1/2 cups white wine (A red wine, or madeira wine, also works, but I prefer white myself)
· 1 cup Tomato paste (or pizza sauce!)
· Add to taste: Garlic powder, onion powder, Worchester sauce, salt, pepper
· 1 teaspoon flour
PREPARING THE BEEF (requires 2 days’ prep)
Marinade the beef in a ziplock plastic bag, with 1 part white wine, and 1 part tomato paste, so the entire beef cut is submerged. Add chopped onions or onion soup. Squeeze out as much air from the bag as possible before sealing.
Marinate in the refrigerator for a full 24 hours.
Remove from marinade bag, and salt and pepper the beef lightly.
You’ll then need to sear/brown the outside of the beef. You can do this one of two ways:
Broil the beef in the oven on high for 5-8 minutes.
Favored method: Heat beef with seasoned olive oil and butter/margarine in a large frying pan, 2-3 minutes on each side.
When cooled, wrap the beef in plastic wrap as tightly as possible, making sure no part of the beef is exposed. This will compress the beef into a log-like shape.Let sit and cool in the refrigerator for at least another two hours.Reserve the juices (not the fat) from the cooking pan and any from the beef as it rests, for the gravy later.
WRAPPING BEEF IN PASTRY
On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to an oblong big enough to fit the fillet (about 1/8 inch, 3mm thick). You may need to use a baker’s rolling pin to thin them out. The pastry sheets can be combined by overlapping them, pressing the edges together.
Prep the stuffing/spread:
Heat duck or chicken liver pâté in a bowl, mixed with the butter/margarine, breadcrumbs, and Worcester sauce. Mix and heat in microwave until the consistency of warm butter – something easily spreadable.
Spread a uniform layer over the pastry sheets, and then wrap them around the beef fillet, with the stuffing side inwards, facing the beef.
Lightly coat the wrapped pastry-covered beef with the beaten egg. Cut away the middle of the ends of the pastry and brush all edges with some beaten egg. Now carefully fold the pastry up to completely envelope the beef, tucking in the ends neatly.
Carefully place the parcel onto a buttered, large baking tray. (Foil sprayed with Pam or lightly oiled is recommended.)
Refrigerate, uncovered for at least 30 minutes.
PREPARE THE GRAVY
In a saucepan, bring to the boil the reserved juices from the beef pan with the white wine, tomato paste and beef broth (stock).
Simmer at a low heat until reduced by half. This may take over an hour or two.
Take the pan off the heat and add a teaspoon of butter. Shake the pan gently until the butter melts and gives a shine to the sauce.
Add flour to thicken slightly.
Season to taste.
BAKE THE BEEF FILLET
Lightly cover the beef fillet with foil.
Bake the beef fillet at 425F for 20 minutes.
Lower temperature to 375F for a further 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
The ideal temperature for the thickest, center portion of the beef should be between 135-137 F. (It’s a good idea to use a meat thermometer, for safety’s sake; under 130 is too rare, and over 140 is too well done. Be sure to remove the beef from the oven when the thermometer hits about 125, as it will continue to cook for a few minutes after.)
Remove from the oven and leave to relax (uncovered) for 10 to 15 minutes.