Friday, January 2, 2009

Beef Wellington

It's hard to believe that the holidays have already passed us by. I tried to hold onto them as long as I could by hosting a dinner party on January 1st to celebrate the new year. Special occasions like this call for once-a-year special dishes and for me, Beef Wellington is definitely a show-stopper. Aside from the exceptionally expensive cut of meat the dish calls for, you can spend an entire afternoon going through all of the steps. Of course, that's often a positive for me. I love the whole process. The step by step of putting together an elaborate dish is my happy place. For a brief afternoon, there is nothing else going on in the world other than what's happening in my kitchen and I love that.

It's been almost three years since I last made a Beef Wellington and I needed a new recipe. I settled on Tyler Florence's "Ultimate" recipe. I have yet to be disappointed by a dish in that series and I did not want to risk this three-pound beef loin on an unknown. He did not disappoint this time around. I will keep this recipe exactly as is the next time I make it. If you're cooking for less than eight people, by all means, save some money and get a smaller beef loin.

Beef Wellington
Serves 8
Adapted from Tyler Florence

1 1/2 pounds button mushrooms
2 shallots, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
leaves from 8 thyme sprigs
2 T butter
2 T olive oil + more for loin
3-pound beef loin
10 - 12 slices prosciutto
2 T dijon mustard
1 pound puff pastry + flour for rolling out
1 egg for an egg wash
salt and pepper for seasoning to taste

Place shallots, garlic, mushrooms and 1/4 of the thyme leaves in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Heat butter and olive oil in a pan large enough to hold your beef loin and add the mushroom mixture. Saute until most of the liquid has evaporated (this took me more than 20 minutes). Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

Secure the tenderloin with kitchen twine in a few places, to help it keep its shape. Rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. Remove mushroom mixture from the pan and heat a small amount of olive oil in the same pan. Sear the tenderloin on all sides until starting to brown. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly. 

While the tenderloin is searing, set out a large piece of saran wrap and shingle the prosciutto into a rectangle large enough to wrap around the whole tenderloin. Spread the cooled mushroom mixture over the prosciutto and season lightly with salt and pepper and the remaining thyme leaves (see photo below). Cut the twine off the tenderloin and rub with the dijon mustard. Lay the beef in the middle of the prosciutto rectangle and roll up to cover the beef. Place the whole roll in the fridge for 20 - 30 minutes to help the mixture hold its shape.

Preheat the oven to 425*. Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle large enough to fully encase the beef. If you're working with smaller sheets of pastry, you may need to overlap them. Remove the beef from the fridge and remove the saran wrap. Place the beef in the puff pastry and roll up, using some of the egg wash to seal the bottom as well as the ends. Place the roll on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat, seam side down. Cut four small slits in the top to help release steam. If you have extra pastry from the ends of the roll, you can cut out decorative pieces to place on top. Brush the puff pastry shell with the egg wash and place the beef in the oven for 40 - 45 minutes until an thermometer registers at least 125*. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing so the juices can redistribute. Enjoy!



Erica said...

Looks like it turned out really well. I haven't tried a lot of Tyler's recipes but I really enjoy watching his show!

Meg said...

Very impressive!

Michele said...

I agree, Tyler's "Ultimate" recipes never disappoint. I haven't had beef wellington in ages. Seeing your beautiful photo makes me wonder why I haven't made it in so long.

Shelby said...

I have actually been thinking about making this for my carnivorous hubby. Maybe for a Valentine dinner! Glad to know it turned out so well!

Cathy said...

Oh my goodness, this looks so good. What a beautiful presentation. I'll save this for my next family celebration. They will love it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this divine recipe. Glad to see Beef Wellington getting some attention again. Always a great dish.

alexandra's kitchen said...

How festive! This is indeed a showstopper! I have never attempted something like this but have always wanted to.

Happy New Year!

Hopie said...

I totally agree with you about spending an afternoon in the kitchen cooking up something special. I've never even had Beef Wellington though. It sure looks good!

Susan said...

I have never made this...I sure would love to try it- I think my family would go nutz! It makes a very elegant dinner!

rachel said...

You're dinner party sounds amazing. I agree with you about the holidys and the parties they inspire. Good work

Maria said...

Wow, you did a great job on this one!

Anne said...

Mmm the beef looks really delicious!

Alicia Foodycat said...

That looks so good! I am a huge fan of beef wellington, and it isn't often you see one as beautiful as that!

Maris said...

This looks great! I've never had beef wellington but know it's a classic and I'm sure I'd enjoy it!

Maris said...

This looks great! I've never had beef wellington but know it's a classic and I'm sure I'd enjoy it!

Jen said...

Wow... beef wellington at home. I'm impressed.

I've used a few of Tyler's Ultimate recipes as well and they've all been great.

Grapeshot/Odette said...

Used to make beef wellington for dinner parties in the seventies. It was always a production and always yummy.

A good tradition to revive. Tyler's recipes rock.