Well Dined


Valentine’s Day Beef Wellington

Well Dined | Beef Wellington

This year for Valentine's Day we decided to stay in, and we both agreed that I should make Beef Wellington - a very special occasion dish of filet mignon and mushrooms wrapped in puff pastry.  You can find many recipes out there for this dish, but mine has some secret weapons to keep the puff pastry from getting soggy, the beef from getting overcooked (look at how nice and pink it is, even after 20 minutes in the oven), and to add extra flavor.  It is not difficult, but it is time consuming with many steps - which is why it is a special occasion dish (plus it's soooooooo rich).  So read on!

Well Dined | Beef Wellington

First up, sear the filet.  (I made 4 servings because it would use a whole package of puff pasty - I have never had good luck with refreezing it.)  You want to get a nice sear on all sides, including around the edges, but don't cook the steak all the way.  Remove the filets to a plate and allow to cool a bit, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.  This step is what will keep the beef from overcooking in the oven.

Well Dined | Beef Wellington

Next, make your mushroom duxelles.  In the same pan that you seared the beef, deglaze with a couple of splashes of sherry, then add butter, shallots and garlic.  Add in finely chopped mushrooms (I pulse mine in a food processor), salt, white pepper, and thyme and cook until the liquid is gone.  Carefully remove the thyme stems.  Add a splash of cream to bind the mixture, cook down some more, then add a splash of soy for umami. (Credit to The Food Lab for those last two ingredients.)  Allow to cool completely, you can place the mixture in the fridge to cool faster.

Well Dined | Beef Wellington

At this point, prepare your wrappings.  Roll out the puff pasty and cut each sheet in half.  Also cut 2 sheets of phyllo dough in half - this is your secret ingredient that will trap moisture and keep the puff pastry crisp (credit again to The Food Lab).  Lay slices of prosciutto over the phyllo - this is your secret ingredient for flavor.

Well Dined | Beef Wellington

Top the prosciutto with the mushroom duxelles, then the seared and chilled beef.  Before you place the beef, spread one side with a little bit of whole grain mustard; place the mustard side down into the mushrooms.

Well Dined | Beef Wellington

To wrap: first fold the phyllo and prosciutto up and around the beef; then brush the puff pastry with egg wash and fold it up as well; place the seam side down on a baking sheet; cut vents in the top (I tried to make hearts, but didn't cut deeply enough); and brush the top with more egg wash.

Well Dined | Beef Wellington

Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Well Dined | Beef Wellington

This is a heavy dish, so keep the sides lighter.  I served it with roasted red potatoes (olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme) and green beans (steamed part way, finished in a pan with butter, olive oil, shallot, salt, pepper, and lemon juice).  Enjoy!

Beef Wellington
Adapted from The Food Lab
serves 4

4 4-6 oz beef tenderloin filets
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2-4 tbsp sherry
1 tbsp butter
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms (I use cremini), finely diced (I use a food processor)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
a few springs of thyme
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp soy sauce
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed (Pepperidge Farm is perfectly fine, but Dufour is better id you can find it)
2 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
8 slices of prosciutto (about 4 oz)
2 tsp whole grain mustard
1 egg

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Season both sides of each filet with salt and pepper and sear for 1 minute on each side.  Transfer to a plate to cool, then cover and place in the fridge to chill completely (at least 30 min).

Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the sherry, 1 tbsp at a time, to deglaze.  Stir and scrape, adding more sherry as needed, until all of the browned bits are scraped up.

Add the butter to melt.  Then add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.  Add the mushrooms, salt, white pepper, and thyme.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms begin to caramelize, about 12 minutes.  Add the cream and cook until thickened, 1 or 2 minutes more, then add the soy sauce.  Remove from the heat and let cool completely before using.

Preheat the oven to 425 deg F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and set aside.

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut each sheet in half.  Also cut each sheet of phyllo in half.  Lay the prosciutto slices on top of the phyllo, then spread the mushroom mixture over the prosciutto.  Spread 1/2 tsp of mustard over 1 side of each of the filets, then place (mustard side down) onto the mushroom mixture.

Fold the phyllo up and around the beef to form a small packet.  Place each packet into the center of each piece of puff pastry, seam-side up.  Beat the egg with 1 tsp of water, then brush the edges of the puff pastry with the egg wash.  Fold the puff pastry up and around the phyllo packet, pressing to seal.

Place the puff pastry packets seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet.  Cute vents into the top and brush with the egg wash.  Bake until the pastry is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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  1. Oh, I’ve been planning to make salmon en croute, the fish version of this, for a few weeks! I’m definitely going to try out the phyllo trick. Thanks!

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