Christmas ’12: Beef Wellington

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)
  • salt
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 2.5 tbsp dry white wine
  1. 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. 
  2. 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)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or foil sprayed with cooking spray.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Spread half of the mushroom mixture onto the pastry, followed by a portion of the pate. Top with the filet.
  5. 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.
  6. Place the wellingtons seam-sides down onto the baking sheet, and brush with egg wash.
  7. 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 forgot to take a picture – but cut in half, they’d look something like this!

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.

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