I’ve always loved the idea of Beef Wellington. The first time I heard mention of this classic dish, Gordon Ramsay was admitting that it took him years to perfect the textures, temperature, and flakey pastry. If a world class chef finds Wellington challenging, I knew I wouldn’t be perfect on my first try.
As expected, I learned some lessons. What went wrong? The pastry. When I originally set off to make this, I attempted a homemade puff pastry dough. It took me two attempts to make a dough that was the proper consistency… The first one, which was too wet and sticky, would have never formed a crisp golden crust. You can also purchase premade puff pastry at any grocery store if you want to save time.
I also learned to roll the Wellington a little tighter than you think you should. My attempt (pictured), was a little loose. The next time I make Wellington I will adjust.
A note: Most recipes for Beef Wellington include a mushroom duxelles. My husband doesn’t like mushrooms, so for my Wellington, I cut the number of mushrooms in half and added in spinach as a filler. It isn’t traditional, but he did enjoy it!
Recipe for my Beef Wellington:
Puff Pastry Ingredients:
2 1/3 Cups Plain Flour
1 tsp Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
14 Tablespoons of Room Temperature Butter
8-10 Tablespoons Ice Cold Water
Directions for Puff Pastry:
Mix flour and salt in a stand mixer. In the center, slowly pour in ice cold water, and butter. Mix until dough forms. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and set aside to rest.
2+ Pounds of Beef Tenderloin
3 Tablespoons High-Quality Olive Oil
250g of Wild Mushrooms
250g of Fresh Spinach
3 Tablespoons of Butter
2 Large Sprig Fresh Thyme
3oz of Dry White Wine
12 Slices of Prosciutto
2 Shallots, Roughly Chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
2 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten
Fresh Cracked Peppercorn
Directions for Beef Wellington:
1: To make the Duxelles, place a pan over medium to medium-high heat with olive oil. I always prefer to use cast iron in all of my recipes, but any pan will do. Add your mushrooms, spinach, shallots, garlic, sea salt, cracked pepper, and some thyme to a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped.
2: Add your mixture to the frying pan with butter and white wine, and saute until most of the water has evaporated. This can take up to 10 minutes. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper if required.
3: For your tenderloin, rub with olive oil and a generous amount of sea salt and cracked pepper. On a cast iron pan, sear off the beef on all sides (including the ends). Be careful not to move the tenderloin around too much in the frying pan. You want it to have time to pick up a deep caramelized sear (about 2-3 minutes per edge).
4: Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap, and lay your prosciutto out in a rectangle on the plastic. This will be used to wrap your Wellington, so make sure you have enough space!
5: Use a spatula to evenly distribute your mushroom and spinach duxelles on top of the prosciutto.
6: When the beef is properly seared, remove it from the heat and smear with dijon mustard. Allow the beef to cool for about 5 minutes. Place the beef on top of your duxelles and prosciutto. Using the edge of the plastic wrap, roll the beef, duxelles, and prosciutto (tightly!). Twist the edges of the plastic wrap, and place the tenderloin in the fridge for 30 minutes.
7: Preheat your oven to 425 Degrees F.
8: Lightly flour a clean surface. Lay out your puff pastry dough, and roll it until it is approximately 1/4 inch thick. Trim your pastry dough so it forms a rectangle, and lay your wrapped tenderloin in the center.
9: Brush the edges of your dough with egg wash. Fold the dough over the beef tightly, and seal the edges. Trim any extra dough.
10: Brush the pastry with more egg wash. With a sharp knife, carve decorative slits or patterns into the top of your wellington. This looks pretty and allows the steam to vent during the cooking process. Sprinkle with sea salt.
11: Bake your Wellington in your preheated oven for 40-45 minute, until your pastry is golden brown.
12: Remove from the oven and allow to rest. Slice thick pieces (at least 1 inch), and garnish with fresh thyme.