Beef Wellington

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

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

1 Preheat oven to 400°F.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My father, searing the fillet.

Links:
Video of Chef Gordon Ramsey making Beef Wellington
Wikipedia on the origins of Beef Wellington
Individual Beef Wellingtons from Joanna of The Passionate Cook
Mini Beef Wellingtons from Mardi of Eat Live Travel Write

46 Comments

  1. Wendy

    This looks amazing, I remember my Mom making this every once in a while for Sunday dinners. I was just wondering if you had any ideas about a sub for the mushrooms, I am seriously allergic (I know it is rare and it sucks!) but would like to give this recipe a go.

    Other commenters have suggested using duxelles made with olives or with onions. ~Elise

  2. Bob

    That looks amazing. Me and my brother made a “Pork Wellington” a couple years ago. It was a pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon and puff pastry. There was something else in there too, but I can’t remember, the bacon blocks it out. Heh.

    A friend of mine was just telling me about a pork Wellington, great idea! Could probably use an apple compote instead of the mushrooms for another twist. ~Elise

  3. Sandra Simmons

    In all this time I’ve been following your blog, I don’t ever remember seeing your Dad! He is so buff!

    Yeah, he is, isn’t he? Pretty good for 79 yrs. ~Elise

  4. Susan

    Oh, man, that looks really good. I love Beef Wellington. I used to get it at the old Velvet Turtle restaurant. It was my favorite entree, surrounded by Duchesse Potatoes and served with a whipped cream horseradish sauce. So good! I’ve been tempted to make it over the years, and am glad to see the video you used for guidence plus your Dad’s experience in photo’s too. No more excuses! Beef Tenderloin is on sale right now, so I’ll have to give this a go for Fathers Day. Thanks, Elsie..and her Dad!

  5. eatlivetravelwrite

    WOW – I have just come home from culinary school where we made mini beef wellingtons… Mine do not look near as good as yours though! But to all of you who think it’s hard, it really is pretty easy – I might even be persuaded to make them again!

  6. Cathy

    THANK YOU for this post! Amazingly perfect timing! My husband has requested Beef Wellington for Father’s Day. Sides: Artichoke, green salad, and garlic mashed potatoes.

    I check your blog everyday… I think I especially like reading it b/c I am a Nor Cal girl, too! Originally from Davis, now my hometown is Chico.

    Thanks again!

  7. Greg Walker

    When I was a wee lad, pulling at my mother’s apron strings, she had a “cookbook” of sorts that was put together for a fundraiser of some sort at El Camino High School in Sacramento. The book was about 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″, typewritten and mimeographed. It dated from the late sixties or early seventies.

    All this is to say that is where my first Beef Wellington recipe came from. It was simple and delicious. I never cared for the packaged, frozen puff dough, but I suspect that it has improved in the interim. I think that it is time that I give it another try.

    I found a premium brand for all-butter puff pastry at Whole Foods which I think is good. (Can’t remember the name.) ~Elise

  8. Espahan

    That looks sooo good. I’ll bet it’s been 40 years since I last made Beef Wellington to impress in-laws. I remember my puff pastry was on the heavy side. This looks so much easier. Okay, I need to have a another go at this. Thanks.

  9. Danielle

    Wendy, perhaps substituting olives for the mushrooms would work? I think they would compliment the dish well, especially if you used the prosciutto… just a thought!

    Great idea! Black olives I would think. ~Elise

  10. Sherrie

    I have been thinking of trying this just lately. I’ve never made one but have seen it demonstrated on TV by a chef who was teaching a class on it. The problem I have always had was they used a huge piece of meat. I might try this one since it’s not so big. I wanted to try it out at home on the hubby first before I try it for guests. Thanks, it looks wonderful.

  11. Mely

    Great idea for father’s day dinner. Thanks a lot for the recipe. I was still wondering what could cook that will be special for this day. Now, I know.

    Again, thanks to you and your dad.

  12. Regina

    OH YUM! That sounds so amazing…. I won’t be making it for Father’s Day (those of you who still have your dads, hug them tight!), but I’m sure some say soon, I will be making it! It sounds HEAVENLY!

    Maybe for my friend Chris’ graduation with his MBA in December!

  13. Lajuana Palmer

    Hi Elise,
    I love this blog! I do not like mushrooms at all is there anything else you can suggest that I can use instead?

    Thanks.

    Earlier in the comments someone suggested olives. I think black olives would be a good substitution (haven’t tried it). The next comment suggests a recipe for duxelles based on onions, that also looks good. ~Elise

  14. Cortney

    I make Beef Wellington a few times a year, however I don’t eat mushrooms or pork and my husband won’t touch pate. I use an onion duxelles. Also no mustard on the meat, as the duxelles have a lot of flavor. The part that was always hardest for me was getting the temperature of the meat correct. Traditionally Beef Wellington should be Med-Rare. There was a lot of trial and error. I wish I had your description of browning it from the get go. This was one of the first meat dishes I ever cooked.
    Onion Duxelles-for those with allergies or preferences.
    1 large onion chopped, 2T butter salted, 1T flour, 2T beef broth, 1/4tsp marjoram, dash black pepper, 1T parsley chopped. Saute the butter and onion till clear than add all other ingredients stirring constantly till thick. Then cool completely before spreading onto the pastry. It’s a great alternative and has recieved many rave reviews.

    Thank you for the onion duxelles recipe! Looks great. ~Elise

  15. Lori @ RecipeGirl

    I had beef wellington as a teen when I tagged along on a business trip to Las Vegas w/ my mother. She brought me to a really ‘fancy’ restaurant, and that was what I ordered. I absolutely adored it, but I’ve never ordered it since!

    When I worked in catering, we used to make a Salmon Wellington, which is much the same… mushroom & puff pastry etc. Really, really good.

    This version sounds interesting w/ the mustard. I’m wondering if it takes away from the wonderful mushroom flavor that I adore so much in this dish. I suppose I’ll have to give it a try to find out!

  16. T Bud

    Do they make a baking rack, pan, or dish that helps the bottom brown better?

    We had no problem with the bottom browning. That said, there is a pan you want to avoid, and that is a baking sheet that has an insulated layer of air in the bottom. Those kinds of pans are great for even cooking of cookies, but not for something like this where you want to make sure the bottom gets browned. ~Elise

  17. June

    Funny how food fads come and go. Can’t figure out why beef wellington lost its popularity. This looks absolutely delicious!

  18. Ryan

    I have always wanted to try beef wellington. I came across this recipe and tried it for the first time. All I can say is delicous.

  19. MasPinaSarap

    Crazy – Mr. Ramsay is the exact reason we wanted this last December, after watching a million orders of this on Hell’s Kitchen, I ended up making this for my Mom’s B-day (around Christmas). Food Network also ran a bunch of recipes for this at the same time, weird how cravings sync up. Came out very rich.

  20. CityGirl

    You know, every time I cook a pork tenderloin I look at it and think: Why not pork Wellington? Using the Parma is genius…I think I just might try it. Thanks for the video link!

  21. melrose

    Hi, Elise, question for you – do you think this would work with butter instead of egg yolks?

    I can’t stand the taste of eggs – I do, of course, make cakes, cookies, etc., with eggs – but it sounds as if the pastry might taste pretty eggy with so much egg dabbed on.

    Puff pastry is filled with butter, so I wouldn’t add any more. The beaten egg is used for 2 purposes, a binder for the pastry and an egg wash to make the pastry look shiny and golden when baked. It doesn’t taste eggy. You can skip the egg wash at the end, but I wouldn’t skip the binder egg as it will help the pastry keep its shape. ~Elise

  22. Diana

    Awesome! This is another recipe on my list. Once we get our share of 1/4 of a cow this is what I want to make with the tenderloin.

  23. Sandra Simmons

    For Mother’s Day my husband made me your recipe for Baked Shrimp in Tomato Feta Sauce. So for Father’s Day, I made your Beef Wellington for him! Let me tell you it was absolutely fabulous! I am still thinking about it 2 hours later and wishing I had more points (we’re doing Weight Watchers) because I would go eat another slice right now! Thank you so much! I looked like a rock star today. Mine looked just like yours and Gordon’s and the taste was just out of this world! Tell me what I should try with the other pound of beef tenderloin I still have!

  24. Pint_Pricess

    This recipe is GREAT! My husband said it was the best thing Ive ever cook. The recipe is not hard at all but, BEWARE, you must know what you are doing. If this is your first time searing or working with puff pastry or wrapping foods with other foods, you will have a hard time. This is not a beginners recipe.
    It also helps a lot to watch the Gordon’s video, it is very easy to follow. Im thinking in making BW for Christmas! :D

  25. Will

    How funny. I searched the net for the best beef wellington recipe I could find and ran across Gordon Ramsey’s which looked perfect. Not really sure why I didn’t check for the Elise/ Simply Recipe version but won’t make that mistake again. The key to this is making sure you properly dry out the muchroom puree and also make sure there are no gaps in the parma ham wrap. This will ensure the pastry doesnt get soggy. Also dont forget to score the top after using the egg wash or it will split during cooking like mine did:-(

  26. Mary

    Cooked this tonight using Pillsbury Crescent rolls for the puff pastry. Also used Dijon mustard that I had on hand. It was delicious! My husband loved it. Will cook it for company the next time! Thanks for the pictures that made the recipe easy to follow!

  27. Dee55

    Looks wonderful, going to try this one out for our 2nd anniversary dinner.
    We don’t eat pork, could we opt out of the ham strips or would the pastry get soggy? Any substitutes for ham? I’m already going with the mustard and mushroom puree. Thanks!

    I would just skip the ham. ~Elise

  28. daniel

    This looks so good I am going to make it for new years dinner. What would you sugest for a side though?

    Roasted root vegetables, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, parsnips, etc. ~Elise

  29. Jackie

    OMG! This was FABULOUS! Instead of beef tenderloin, though, since I wouldn’t pay the outrageous price my grocery store was charging for that, I got top sirloin filets and made individual wellingtons. I also used dijon mustard since that’s what I had on hand, baby bella mushrooms and prosciutto. Since I was doing “mini-wellies”, I did adjust the cooking time down, though. I checked them at 20 mins and they were the right temp, so I took them out and let them rest for 10 mins and they were PERFECT!! I made them for my fiance’s birthday, and wouldn’t tell him what we were having. Afterward he told me that was the best meal he’d EVER had! Thanks Elise!!!

  30. Charla

    I was looking for Ramsay’s recipe and found yours. I used this and a video of F-Word to cook my wellington. It was a huge help to already have the measurements converted, and pictures of each step. It’s in the oven now, but I think it will be good. Thanks!

  31. Christina

    I came across your blog searching for beef wellington instructions. Ok..I’m going to attempt this for Father’s Day. Between your directions & the F-word video..It really doesn’t seem so intimidating anymore. Thank you for easing my fears! I may have to do a substitute on the mushrooms because my husband hates mushrooms but I really want to try the original recipe & go from there on variations. Maybe olives, I don’t know yet. Has anyone tried anything else in place of the mushrooms?

  32. Nina

    I’ve made beef wellington twice now, and both times it tastes really good, but each time I have the same result: a wonderfully cooked, perfectly brown pastry on top, and a soggy, disgusting mess of a pastry on bottom. Do you have any idea what could be going wrong?

    I thought I may have left too much moisture in the mushrooms the first time so I made sure to cook them longer the second time, but it still happened; I even reduced the amount of mustard the second go around, thinking maybe that had something to do with it.

    Please let me know if you have any tips! This was so good, but I could never make it for company knowing how it’s turned out on bottom…

    Mushrooms do have a lot of moisture in them. Make sure that the keep cooking until they are no longer releasing any moisture. This can easily take 10 minutes or longer. ~Elise

  33. Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

    I have an amazing recipe for Beef Wellington. Feels like I haven’t made it for those 40 some years though it has been so long and it’s a shame because I think it’s a terrific dish.

    Mine is a three day process; the last time I made it I took it to a gourmet dinner group and it was devoured; almost too quickly to have made that three day effort worthwhile.

    This looks easier and tasty. I actually use mushrooms for a pate appetizer so I can imagine they would be delicious. Thanks!

  34. Caroline Ruggieri

    I have a solution for Christina, who comments that her pastry ends up soggy on the bottom. When making the duxelle, try chopping the mushrooms finely with a sharp knife instead of putting them in a food processor. Putting mushrooms through a food processor renders them mushy and soggy. The chopping job is a big one, but it’s worth it (same goes for mushroom soup). Once they’re chopped finely, make sure the pan is very hot and saute them on high heat for a minute or so with a finely chopped shallot. THEN add a small pat of butter, followed by a small splash of cognac (optional). Season with s&p, and once all the liquid is gone, add chopped fresh parsely. I use a variety of wild mushrooms, many of which carry less moisture than their supermarket cousins. Have never used mustard but it sounds like a great idea. I really like your web site, by the way!!

  35. karen abels

    Loved it!! I made BW for the first time with my boyfriend. He helped make a asparagus rissotto to go with our BW and it was fabulous! Thanks for sharing your recipe and making things so much smoother. My son wasn’t a big fan, because he does not care for mushrooms, but I am definately going to try again. I think next time I will try thicker cut pieces of mushroom, a thinner paste (less mushrooms all together) and more seasoning. Overall….very, very delicious!!

  36. Jeni

    Hi Elise,

    When you chop the mushrooms, are you supposed to chop it to a fine dice or puree to a paste? I have seen different versions of this. What do you think?

    Chopping them only makes it easier for them to purée in this recipe. You can do either a fine chop or a purée, whatever you want, but here we are doing a purée. ~Elise

  37. Casey

    Thank you for this fabulous recipe and helpful tips! I made it for Christmas Eve and my husband has declared it his favorite meal ever. We both love to cook, so that was high praise. It has been officially declared a new Christmas Eve tradition. Yum. Yet another fabulous recipe from your fabulous blog. Keep them coming!

  38. Mommybradley

    What a great recipe! My husband asked me to make this for him for his birthday dinner. Me being a terrible cook, I made the dish just as you said, and I have to say… It came out great! The only problem I had was that someone submerged my thermometer in water and it was not reading properly. Had it have been correct, we would have had perfect med-rare Wellington. Start to finish, it took me 3 hours.

  39. Christina

    Can this be made a day ahead or several hours ahead and then refrigerate and then bake when ready to eat?

    We haven’t tried making it that far ahead, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  40. Todd

    Thanks for the recipe! Have made it twice and has been great both times. My kids love it – the are a little spoilt :)

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