So the holidays have come and gone and I’ve taken some much-needed time off to try to reinvent myself and my food. While I will always stick true to my roots, sometimes it’s nice to make something a little more special. For me, it has to be my version of beef wellington. While it may seem fancy or too daunting to tackle in your kitchen; I assure you, this dish is just a matter of a few steps and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Moreover, it has that “throwback”, “retro” vibe that I love in cooking. Granted, some of those recipes need to stay back in 1962…like jello salad. Let’s get cooking!
For the beef wellington:
**Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Start by getting 4 (or however many needed) of your favorite filet.
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of salt
1 tsp pepper
–Coat a heavy-bottomed pan (such as cast-iron) with the olive oil and let it come to temperature. In the meantime, season each side of the filets with the salt and pepper and place into the bottom of the pan. You’ll want to get a good crust on each side and you’ll achieve that by searing them for 2 minutes on each side. The goal here isn’t to cook them through, it’s just to sear in the juices and par-cook them so you’re not waiting all night. Once done, transfer to a plate and set aside to rest/cool. After about 10 minutes, I like to move them to the refrigerator to let them cool completely.
For the duxelles:
**For those of you that don’t know, duxelles is a traditional ingredient in any beef wellington.
1 container of your favorite mushroom, quartered with the stems cleaned and reserved—I use crimini.
1 shallot, finely diced
1 tbsp. butter
1 clove of garlic, minced (not traditional, but it adds a better flavor)
2 tbsp chopped, fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
–Heat up the same pan-which you used to cook the filets in-on medium heat. Add the butter and let it cook until it reaches a light brown color. Add mushrooms and let them brown for about 5-6 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Next, add the shallots and continue to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Last, add the minced garlic and let cook for about 60 seconds. Finally, kill the heat and stir in the chopped parsley. Once done, transfer the entire mixture to the bowl of a food processor equipped with a steel blade and pulse until the mixture forms a paste. From there, spread the mixture in a thin layer on a sheet pan and transfer to the freezer.
For the red wine reduction:
2 cups of red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. ground thym
1 rosemary sprig
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp. butter
Salt and pepper to taste.
–Add all of the ingredients to a sauce pan and set the heat to medium-high. Once the liquid has come to a rolling boil, allow it to reduce until it has lessened in size by half and then whisk in the butter. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. When ready to use, be sure to strain the reduction.
For the puff pastry:
2 containers of thawed puff pastry. I cut 3 strips from each sheet of puff pastry.
2 tbsp Dijon mustard.
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste.
–When it comes to the assembly, take 2 strips of the puff pastry and create an “X” pattern with them. Brush the insides of the pastry with Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper. Next, take the duxelles and pack it around the entire filet. From there, place the filet in the center of the “X” and then wrap it up like a little present. Last, brush the outside of the pastry with the beaten egg and transfer to a greased baking sheet. Place the beef wellingtons into a 400 degree oven and cook for 10-15 minutes. Honestly, it just depends on your liking of the meat temp, but I prefer medium rare (about 10 minutes in the oven). If you want something more cooked, then cook it longer. Once done, remove from the oven and allow them to rest for about 5-10 minutes. To plate, cut the wellington in half and ladle the red wine reduction over the top and serve. This dish would go perfect sided with whipped, boursin potatoes or some type of roasted vegetable. I like to serve mine with roasted provencal tomatoes and if you tune in next week, I will give you the recipe. I hope you make this dish and I hope it speaks to you like it does me.