Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Beef Wellington

I decided to invite my girlfriend's parents over to my place for a dinner and to check out my condo since they haven't seen it since I bought it. I had previously made Beef Wellington for my girl and she absolutely loved it. So, naturally, she requested that I make it again for her parents. I went out and bought myself a whole tenderloin (something I have only done once before) and broke it down. I set aside four steaks, and with no Gordon Ramsay to yell at me, I proceeded with this recipe.

  • 1 lb of mushrooms
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 4.25 oz can of liver pâte
  • 1 box of puff pastry sheets
  • 4 filet mignon steaks
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Crushed Pepper
To begin this recipe, lets start off with the mushrooms. I have a little over a pound here of white and baby 'bella mushrooms. I bought both pre-sliced.

Take your chef's knife and go to town on them. Turn your mushrooms into this:

Take a large pan and set it on medium heat. Add the 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Add the chopped up mushrooms, a generous dose of kosher salt and many, many grinds of pepper. Stir it all up to mix the butter and oil with the mushrooms and let cook.

In the meantime, take 3 cloves of garlic and finely dice them.

After the mushrooms have cooked for about 6-7 minutes, add the garlic. You can see that the mushrooms still have some moisture left in them and that's exactly when we want to add the garlic.

Cook the mushrooms until there is no more moisture left and remove from the heat. It is very important to get all the moisture out of the mushrooms otherwise you will end up with a soggy pastry. That's tip #1 for you.

Get out your liver pâte and add that to the mushrooms.

Mix thoroughly and seat aside in the refrigerator.

Take your filets out and lightly sprinkle with olive oil. Then generously season with salt and pepper on both sides. Depending on the size of the steaks and the temperature of doneness needed, you may want to throw the steaks into the freezer for 10-15 minutes before cooking. This way they will not overcook in the oven. That's tip #2.

In the meantime, heat a cast iron pan as hot as your stove will allow it. Take your steaks out of the freezer and drop right on the pan. This will create smoke and will more than likely set off your smoke detector (I know it did at my place), but that's OK. We are looking to brown the outsides with out cooking the insides. If one of your guests want a more well done steak, you can leave it on for an extra 45 seconds to minute per side.

After a couple minutes, flip to a new spot on the pan. I almost forget to mention, do not crowd your pan. It will not allow it to get as hot as possible. That is why I am only doing two steaks at a time. Once done, place the steaks back in the refrigerator, we want to cool them back down so they are cold when they go back in the oven.

30 minutes later, get your puff pastry sheet out and place it on a large cutting board that is dusted with flour. Dust the top of the pastry as well.

I don't have a roller, but I do have a bottle of wine, so I sprinkled that with flour and rolled the dough out a little. Not too much, but just a little to make sure I can completely cover the steaks.

Make an egg-wash with the egg and set aside. I forgot to take a picture of this, but you know what an uncooked scrambled egg looks like right? Place a 1/4 of your mushroom mixture down on the pastry, allowing room on the edges to seal the steaks. Place one of your steaks on top of the mushrooms at one end.

Roll the steak up in the pasta and seal the edges with the egg wash. Tip #3 is to use leftover dough to identify your steaks if your guests are getting theirs cooked at different temperature. I used initials today. I am a medium rare kind of guy, while my girlfriend is more of a medium well kind of gal. Before you say anything, I know, I know and I am desperately trying to convert her. It's a slow process, but we are making progress.

Also, in the above picture you can see that I have egg washed the 'N' steak, but not the 'K' steak. We will egg wash all of them and then sprinkle with kosher salt and ground pepper.

Throw them back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to cool the dough back down. This will give us the best final texture. Meanwhile, you can preheat your oven to 425°. Once you're ready, throw the steaks in and let them go for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them, because we want the outside to get golden brown, not black. If you are lucky, you get a beautiful dinner that looks like this.

Remember to let sit for 5 minutes to cool down. I wish I had taken pictures of this after I had sliced it open, but I was entertaining the guests and when I realized I didn't get my picture, all the wellington was gone! Oh well, looks like I will just have to make it again!


  1. Just one question...who is your girlfriend?

  2. how fancy :) looks good minus the liver stuff --- grosssssssss!

  3. Awww, come on Brett. I thought you had figured that one out by now? Her initial is even on one of the Wellingtons.

  4. Believe it or not-this Beef Wellington was even more fabulous than the pictures and description on this post show! This is definitely the dish to make when you aim to impress :)