Beef Wellington is a preparation of beef tenderloin or filet mignon coated with pate and duxelles, then wrapped in puff pastry and baked until golden brown. I wish I loved pate, but I don’t, so I have eliminated it from this recipe. Now on the other hand, I absolutely love Mushroom duxelle, which is a mixture of mushrooms, butter, shallots and thyme that are finely diced and sautéed. To add to the richness of this dish, I recommend putting the cooked mushroom mixture through the food processor to give it more of a paste texture.
Beef Wellingtons take a bit of time to prepare, but if you are looking for an elegant dinner entrée to impress your guests, this is the dish.
Quick tip: You can use the duxelle mixture along with the puff pastry to make mushroom turnovers for your next appetizer.
Mushroom Duxelle Recipe
2 T. Butter
2 Shallots, finely chopped
8 oz. Button mushrooms, finely chopped
1 t. Dried Thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
In a sauté pan, melt the butter, add the shallots and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have browned and the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature or chill.
4 Filet Mignon, approximately ½ pound each
Salt and pepper
1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
2 T. Butter
Prepare the beef by trimming of any excess fat. Season each side with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, melt the butter and turn the burner to medium. Sear each side of the filets for about 2 minutes each. Remove and place onto a plate and put into the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, take out and remove any excess liquid with a paper towel. Meanwhile, on a large board, lightly flour and gently roll the puff pastry sheet just slightly. Cut into four equal squares. Add into the center of each square about 1 heaping tablespoon of the mushroom duxelle mixture. Place a seared filet on top of each duxelle mixture. Gently fold the pastry dough around the filet. May need to gently stretch the dough. Turn upright, so the smooth side is face up. Beat one egg with a splash of water and brush the top of each one.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place each beef Wellington on a large cookie sheet and cook for about 20 - 25 minutes or until the pastry is lightly golden brown.
Quick tip: I used a small cookie cutter and placed a “leaf” on each one. If you are having a dinner party, place the initials of each guest on the individual Wellingtons to add that extra special touch.
Brandy Peppercorn Cream Sauce
1 large shallot, finely diced
1 T. Butter
½ t. crushed dried green peppercorns
½ C. Cream
½ C. Brandy
¾ C. Demi-glace broth (1 T. demi-glace into ¾ cup boiling water, let melt and mix)
Using the same pan that you seared the filets in, add the shallots and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the brandy, off the flame. Cook over low heat and deglaze the pan with a wooden spatula. Then add the demi-glace liquid and cook for about 5 minutes on medium high heat. Add the crushed peppercorns and cream. Cook for 5 minutes on medium. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Return to the pan and keep on low heat or off if you are not ready to serve.
Quick tip: If when you are adding the brandy and the pan catches on fire - don't panic! Simply take off the burner and hold over the sink until the alcohol burns off.