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 Ramsay has a video online on how to make his version of Beef Wellington, using Parma ham wrapped around the tenderloin instead of the more traditional pâté de foie gras.
So, we recently set out to make it, dad channeling Chef Ramsay, albeit without the yelling and swearing (though I'm guessing that if dad thought he could get away with acting like Chef Ramsay 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.
Watch How to Make Beef Wellington
What is Beef Wellington?
Beef Wellington is a traditional English way of preparing beef tenderloin. Believed to have originated in the 1800s after the Duke of Wellington had a victory at Waterloo in 1815, it was a popular "fancy" dish in the mid-1900s.
The beef is covered in paté de foie gras or mushrooms duxelles (a mushroom puree that has its moisture cooked out) and some sort of ham — like Parma or proscuitto — cover the beef. It's then wrapped in puff pastry and cooked in the oven.
Make-Ahead Strategies for Beef Wellington
We don't recommend making Beef Wellington ahead of time and reheating it when it's time to serve because the puff pastry will get soggy, but you can make the mushrooms duxelles in advance so it's quicker going when it's time to cook.
Prepare the mushrooms duxelles up to 2 days ahead of time as directed in Step 4. Cool completely and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.
Tips for Buying Beef Tenderloin
It might be tricky to find the right size beef tenderloin on the supermarket shelf. Beef tenderloins are often cut into steaks, which won't work for this recipe. When in doubt, as a butcher. They should be able to cut a thick, 1-pound tenderloin for you.
What to Serve With Beef Wellington
- Smashed New Potatoes With Garlic and Chives
- French Green Beans With Butter and Herbs
- Quick and Easy Asparagus
- Broccoli Rabe With Caramelized Onions
- Roasted Baby Carrots
Recipe adapted from this video for making Beef Wellington by Chef Gordon Ramsay.
You can use any mushrooms you like. We used half cremini and half shiitake. If using shiitake mushrooms, cut off the tough stems and discard or save them for stock.
This recipe uses a frozen puff pastry sheet. Plan ahead to thaw the sheet for 2 to 4 hours in the refrigerator, or on the counter for about 40, until it’s easily pliable but not too soft or squishy.
1 pound thick beef tenderloin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons yellow mustard (like Coleman's Original English Mustard)
1 pound mushrooms (see recipe note)
4 thin slices ham (Parma ham if you can get it) or prosciutto
1 (7 to 8 1/2-ounce sheet) puff pastry, thawed (see recipe note)
2 large egg yolks, beaten
Flaky salt, for sprinkling on top
Preheat the oven:
Allow the oven to preheat to 400°F as you assemble the Wellington.
Sear the beef:
Season the beef generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan on high heat. Sear the beef in the pan on all sides until well browned, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. (Hint: do not move the beef until it has had a chance to brown.)
Brush the beef with mustard:
Remove the beef from the pan and let cool. Once cooled, brush the beef on all sides with mustard.
Prepare the mushrooms:
Chop the mushrooms and put them into a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped.
Heat the sauté pan on medium-high heat. Transfer the mushroom mixture into the pan and cook, allowing the mushrooms to release their moisture, 10 to 15 minutes.
When the moisture released by the mushrooms has all boiled away, remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside to cool.
Wrap the beef in mushroom paste and ham:
Roll out a large piece of plastic wrap. Lay out the slices of ham on the plastic wrap so that they overlap and are large enough to wrap around and encapsulate the beef. Spread the mushroom mixture over the ham.
Place the beef in the middle and roll the mushroom and ham over the beef, using the plastic wrap so that you do this tightly.
Wrap up the beef into a tight barrel shape, twisting the ends of the plastic wrap to secure. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Roll out the puff pastry and wrap the beef:
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheet to a size that will wrap around the beef.
Unwrap the beef from the plastic wrap and place in the middle of the pastry dough. Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg yolks.
Fold the pastry around the beef, 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 to 10 minutes.
Brush with the egg wash and score:
Place the pastry-wrapped beef 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 in the oven:
Bake at 400°F for 25 to 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 to 130°F for medium rare.
To ensure an accurate temperature reading, stick the thermometer into the center of the beef from 2 to 3 different angles. Test from the top as well as the side.
Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice in 1-inch thick slices.
Leftover slices can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. Wrap tightly with foil and reheat in a 350°F oven. Once warm, remove the foil and bake for a few minutes more to crisp the pastry. Note that reheated slices will be closer to medium or well-done.
Did you love the recipe? Leave us stars below!
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 54g||70%|
|Saturated Fat 14g||68%|
|Total Carbohydrate 34g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 5mg||23%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|