We had a very laid-back, quiet Christmas yesterday. Because of my husband’s work schedule, we were unable to travel down to Ohio to celebrate the holiday with our families. I will be traveling down tomorrow, a day late due to a blizzard – and thus Mike will be working and ‘baching it’ for a few days. Today will be spent cleaning up from the holiday, cooking lunches for Mike, and getting ready for my trip.
When work schedules and/or weather hinder us from travel, we always make an effort to have an enjoyable day and a dinner that is ‘fancier’ than usual. Mike’s idea this year was Beef Wellington. I know that I for one had never had this dish before, and I’m not sure that he had, either. The verdict? YUM! It was a success. Including the usage of liver pate. As weird as it sounds, it really added something significant to the dish. I grew up eating gooseliver pate as a kid (my dad is German, don’t judge!) so I wasn’t really too freaked out about purchasing it from the butcher.
We ate our beef wellington, made into two individual portions, as part of a surf & turf meal (lobster was our surf) with mashed potatoes and asparagus. This was very filling, so we both saved half of our wellingtons for tonight’s dinner.
Individual Beef Wellington – adapted from Emeril Lagasse
First, make the Mushroom Duxelles:
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp minced shallots
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 10 oz button mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed & chopped fine (I used my food processor)
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 2.5 tbsp dry white wine
- Heat the butter in a medium skillet. Add shallots & garlic, and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, salt, & pepper, and cook until all the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms begin to carmelize. The consistency almost becomes paste-like.
- Add the wine & cook, deglazing the pan, until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat & cool before using.
For the Beef Wellington
- 2 thick cuts of filet or beef tenderloin
- salt & pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 slice liver pate, divided in half
- Mushroom Duxelles
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- egg wash (1 large egg, beaten with 2 tsp water)
- Preheat the oven to 425*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or foil sprayed with cooking spray.
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet (I just used the same one that I made the mushrooms in). Season the filets with salt & pepper, and add to pan. Sear for 1 minute on each side, for a medium-rare beef. Remove from heat & set aside.
- Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface, so that from it you can get two pieces that will successfully over your pieces of beef.
- Spread half of the mushroom mixture onto the pastry, followed by a portion of the pate. Top with the filet.
- Using your fingers or a pastry brush, coat the inside edges of the puff pastry with egg wash. Then, fold the pastry edges over so that everything is encased by the puff pastry.
- Place the wellingtons seam-sides down onto the baking sheet, and brush with egg wash.
- For medium-rare, bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and let rest for 10 minutes before serving (this is a good time to finish preparing any sides).
I am glad that we had made individual portions for this meal, so that we wouldn’t have a ton of leftovers, nor would we completely gorge ourselves during our Christmas meal. As I said before, we only made it through about half of our portions, since we had a few other things to eat with our meal. I plan on reheating this in the oven tonight, in a covered baking dish, so that it does not dry out.
This dish is filling, and indulgent – a perfect main dish for a special occasion.