A few months ago my father got an inkling to make Beef Wellington, beef tenderloin smothered with mushroom duxelles, wrapped in puff pastry and baked. Who knows where he got the idea, maybe just curiosity. Beef Wellington is one of those dishes that was a lot more popular 40 years ago than it is now. But once my dad decides he wants to make something, come hell or high water, it will be made. It also helps that Chef Gordon Ramsey has a video online on how to make his version of Beef Wellington, using Parma ham wrapped around the fillet instead of the more traditional pâté de foie gras. So, we recently set out to make it, dad channelling Chef Ramsey, albeit without the yelling and swearing (though I’m guessing that if dad thought he could get away with acting like Chef Ramsey around the rest of us, he would). It’s actually a lot easier to make than it looks, assuming you are using ready-made puff pastry, and the result is fantastic. A great idea for a father’s day dinner for the beef-loving dads out there.
Beef Wellington Recipe
- 1 lb beef tenderloin fillet
- Salt and pepper
- Canola, grapeseed, or olive oil
- 1 lb mushrooms (we used half cremini, half shiitake)
- 4 thin slices ham (Parma ham if you can get it) or prosciutto
- 2 Tbsp yellow mustard (we used Coleman's Original English Mustard)
- 7 ounces puff pastry (needs 3 hours to defrost in refrigerator if using frozen)
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
1 Preheat oven to 400°F.
2 Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large pan on high heat. Season the fillet generously with salt and pepper. Sear the fillet in the pan on all sides until well browned (hint: do not move the fillet until it has had a chance to brown). Remove the fillet from the pan and let cool. Once cooled, brush the fillet on all sides with mustard.
3 Chop the mushrooms and put them into a food processor and purée. Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Scrape the mushroom purée into the pan and let cook down, allowing the mushrooms to release their moisture. When the moisture released by the mushrooms has boiled away, set aside the mushrooms to cool.
4 Roll out a large piece of plastic wrap. Lay out the slices of ham on the plastic wrap so that they overlap. Spread the mushroom mixture over the ham. Place the beef fillet in the middle, roll the mushroom and ham over the fillet, using the plastic wrap so that you do this tightly. Wrap up the beef fillet into a tight barrel shape, twisting the ends of the plastic wrap to secure. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
5 On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheet to a size that will wrap around the beef fillet. Unwrap the fillet from the plastic wrap and place in the middle of the pastry dough. Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten eggs. Fold the pastry around the fillet, cutting off any excess at the ends (pastry that is more than 2 layers thick will not cook all the way, try to limit the overlap). Place on a small plate, seam side down, and brush beaten egg yolks all over the top. Chill for 5-10 minutes.
6 Place the pastry-wrapped fillet on a baking pan. Brush the exposed surface again with beaten eggs. Score the top of the pastry with a sharp knife, not going all the way through the pastry. Sprinkle the top with coarse salt. Bake for 25-35 minutes. The pastry should be nicely golden when done. (To ensure that your roast is medium rare, test with an instant read meat thermometer. Pull out at 125-130°F for medium rare.) Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice in 1-inch thick slices.
Recipe adapted from this video for making Beef Wellington by Chef Gordon Ramsey.
Yield: Serves 4.