I’ve really had a bee in my bonnet lately about my 30 Before 30 list. My deadline is quickly approaching, and with all the wedding planning I’ve been doing, my list has been thrown to the wayside. But, I’m getting a move on and I have somewhat tried to plan out when I’ll be making what next. Clearly I’ve been putting off some of the more difficult items (at least I assume they are difficult…).
I had planned to make just horseradish scalloped potatoes this weekend, but while I was at the store, I noticed that top sirloin was on sale, so I picked one up to make my individual beef wellington. I’ve only eaten this dish once, and if you’ve ever watched Hell’s Kitchen, apparently beef wellington is the most difficult thing in the entire world to make well…at least according to Chef Ramsey. Or maybe he just likes to yell 😉 That being said, I was certainly hesitant to make this. I’ve also never worked with puff pastry, but how hard could it be, right?
Mistake number one, it needs to thaw. Dummy. Whoops! So my schedule was pushed back by about 40 minutes. No biggie, except Nate and I had agreed to watch my niece and nephew for the evening, and I wanted to get dinner on and take pictures before the sun went down, which means I had to do it before they got there. That didn’t happen. I finished it up just after they arrived, but alas, the sun had already gone down. I still got some pics, but not like I wanted. I got up this morning and replated them to get something decent. This was from last night:
Oh, you want to know how they taste?? Yes, let’s get to that. In a minute. Duxelles is what is lines the insides of beef wellington. I never knew exactly what this was, but turns out, it’s basically just a mixture of mushrooms, shallots and herbs. And let me tell you, just making the duxelles filled my house with such a rich aroma, I was dying to eat it with a spoon. But I didn’t.
The steak made the smell even better! I put it in a sizzling hot pan and just seared both sides quickly. Once it was cooled, I coated them in seasoning and let them rest. My house smelled AMAZING!
Once the puff pastry was thawed, it was pretty easy to work with. I laid it out on a floured surface, and gently rolled out each piece. They weren’t perfect or anything, but hey, whatever gets the job done.
Okay, okay. So how did it taste? Well, I must say I make a very good beef wellington! Nate absolutely loved it! I don’t think it even spent much time on his plate before it was gone and he was ready for another. The beef was cooked just barely over medium (so certainly room for improvement), but all the seasonings with the duxelles and the flakey butter puff pastry – YUM! These would be great for a party too. To make as an appetizer, just cut the meat even smaller so they can be 1-2 bite sized.
Individual Beef Wellington
Source: Adapted from Marrying Prince Charming
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 fresh cracked pepper
2 tsp dried thyme
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 shallots, roughly chopped
6-8 large button mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 tbsp red wine
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 rosemary sprigs, leaves only
1 lb beef sirloin or tenderloin
2 sheets puff pastry
2 tbsp stone ground mustard
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and thyme. Set aside.
2. The bowl of a food processor, combine garlic, shallots, mushrooms, red wine, olive oil, rosemary and half of the thyme seasoning mixture. Process until all ingredients are finely chopped and well combined.
3. Transfer mixture to a medium skillet and saute until most of the excess liquid is gone, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
4. Trim any fat from the beef and cut into 2×2 inch chunks. Place in a bowl and toss with remaining thyme seasoning mixture until all pieces are well coated.
5. Once puff pastry is thawed and ready to work with, roll out on a lightly floured surface. Cut puff pastry into as many pieces as you have beef pieces, making sure they are large enough to completely wrap around the beef. Spread a thin layer of the stone ground mustard on each piece of puff pastry. Then spread a thin layer of the duxelles on each piece, about 1 tbsp each, leaving a small border. Place beef in the center of the puff pastry and carefully wrap. Place on a prepared baking sheet, seam sides down.
6. Brush each wellington with egg and poke holes in the tops with a fork so they are able to vent while cooking. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puff pastry is golden brown and flaky.