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Beef Wellington – Anything in Puff Pastry is Good

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Beef Wellington is one of those dishes that tends to intimidate most people. It is one of Gordon Ramsey’s signature dishes. These little beef Wellingtons are much easier to make than the large ones. They also look incredibly elegant and are perfect for a dinner party. They can be made ahead of time and then just baked in the oven before serving. I like to use President Choice Puff Pastry. It’s super convenient as it’s already rolled out so that it requires less work. The traditional Beef Wellington is made with liver paté, but given the many liver haters I know, I make these without. Feel free to add a tablespoon of liver paté with the duxelle (mushroom mixture), if you wish. Some people also choose to wrap the beef in prosciutto in order to ensure that the pastry does not become soggy, however I find that if you dry the beef before and after you sear it, the pastry does not get soggy. This is a dish that came to popularity in the sixties, so don your best black sheath, black pumps, pearls and enjoy Sham Style!

Serves 4

Ingredients

Duxelle:

12 cremini mushrooms, stems removed, very finely chopped (I chop mine in my Cuisinart mini food processor)

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp chopped, fresh thyme

1 shallot very finely chopped

For Wellingtons:

1 tbsp grape seed oil

1 tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp. freshly ground pepper

4 tbsp Boursin (divided)

1 sheet puff pastry

4 beef tenderloins (1 ½ ” thick)

1 egg

1 tbsp water

Mushroom Sauce:

½ cup red wine

½ cup beef stock/broth (low sodium)

1 sprig of thyme

Instructions:

Removes the stems from the mushrooms and finely chop. I do mine in the food processor. Your mushrooms should look like this:

Squeeze the chopped mushrooms in a paper towel to remove any moisture. Add mushrooms, salt, thyme and shallots to a sauté pan. Sauté on medium-high until all of the moisture from the mushrooms has been evaporated – this really important as you want your puff pastry to be crispy, not soggy. Allow duxelle to cool.

Meanwhile, pat the filets until completely dry, rub beef filets with grape seed oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron pan on high until a drop of oil sizzles. Add filets and brown on all sides for no more than 4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Deglaze the pan with the wine until it becomes syrupy. Add beef stock and any left-over duxelle. Add the sprig of thyme. Reduce the mixture on medium-low until much of the liquid has evaporated. Remove sprig of thyme before serving.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry sheet until it is 1/8″ thick. With knife remove excess pastry so that you have an even rectangle. Save scrap pieces. Divide into 4 squares. On each square put a heaping tsp of the duxelle (mushroom mixture). Top with a teaspoon full of boursin.

Remove string from beef (this is really important – I always forget to do this and am running around the table with scissors during dinner removing the string from my guests’ wellingtons), pat the beef dry again and place on top of the duxelle cheese mixture. Pull pastry around the beef and pinch pastry to ensure that it is completely sealed. Remove any excess pastry. Gently turn over and score with a sharp knife. Repeat with remaining filets and pastry squares.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Wisk egg in a small bowl and add the water. Wisk to combine. With a pastry brush, brush the beef wellingtons with the egg wash. Use any left-over puff pastry and cut out leaves, letters or whatever you want to use to decorate the wellingtons. Affix to the wellingtons and brush again with egg wash. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Refrigerate the wellingtons for 10 minutes. Roast in oven – 15 minutes for medium-rare, 18 minutes for medium and 22 minutes for medium-well. You can also use a meat thermometer to test for doneness. 120 degrees for medium-rare, 130 degrees for medium, 140 for medium-well.

To plate, put a little of the mushroom mixture on the plate in a circle. Top with beef wellington. Artfully arrange with sautéed beans and Parisian potatoes.

Written on my Microsoft Surface RT with purple backlit keyboard

All pictures taken with my Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera Phone