A Squared: Christmas Recipe Run Down: Beef Wellington

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Recipe Run Down: Beef Wellington

I love serving a beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner.  They are relatively quick and easy to prepare (at least in comparison to roasting a chicken or turkey) and because they are a little on the pricey side it's definitely a special occasion meal.  My favorite to make is usually our Holiday Beef Tenderloin with Cippolini Onions, but I decided to change things up a little this year.  I saw a sheet of puff pastry left in the freezer after making that baked brie for Thanksgiving and a lightbulb went off-- beef Wellington!

This dish was actually much easier to make than I imagined it would be, but the flavors are really delicious.  The combo of the pastry/mushrooms/Dijon/prosciutto keep the beef moist and the flavors are rich and savory. I paired it with some simple Dijon green beans and roasted root vegetables-- a recipe that I will be sharing with you later.

And here's a little tip for your leftovers:  Slice the entire Beef Wellington up into individual portions and store any leftover slices cut side down in an airtight container, ideally in a single layer.  Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Bake beef Wellington portions for 10-15 minutes or until they have reached desired degree of warmth.  The pastry and prosciutto should crisp back up and the fillet will be warm in the middle.

  • 1 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 lb. beef tenderloin, trimmed
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 8 oz. baby portabella mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 Tbs. dry parsley
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lb. thinly sliced prosciutto (you may not use all of it)
  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/2 Tbs. all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil, swirling to coat.  Season the trimmed beef with salt and pepper and sear each side in the oil until browned, about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Remove from heat and set aside.
Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat and add shallots. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently until softened and translucent.  Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently until the liquid in the pan has evaporated.  Carefully pour brandy into the pan and cook down until liquid has evaporated, stirring often.  Stir in the garlic and herbs and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove pan from heat.
Unroll a large piece of plastic wrap (large enough to wrap around the tenderloin) and smooth it out on a flat surface.  Arrange the prosciutto in a single layer over the plastic wrap, slightly overlapping to ensure that there are no gaps between slices.  Spread the mushroom mixture over the prosciutto layer leaving about an inch of space around the edges.  Spread Dijon mustard evenly around the outside of the beef tenderloin.
Place the tenderloin on top of the mushrooms and prosciutto near the edge and then use the plastic wrap to bring the prosciutto up and around the beef. Roll the tenderloin up tight, twisting the plastic wrap at each end tightly to form a tight even cylinder. Place it in the freezer for a few minutes while you prepare the pastry.
Roll out the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface so that it is large enough to wrap completely around the tenderloin.  Unwrap the tenderloin and place it in the center of the pastry. 
Make an egg wash by whisking one egg and 1 Tbs. water in a small bowl.  Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash and wrap fillet up, using egg wash to "glue" the seams shut.  Place the wrapped tenderloin seam side down in a lightly greased glass baking dish.  I like to use a dish with edges instead of a baking sheet in case any juices run out of the pastry.  Brush the outside of the pastry with egg wash and bake for 35 minutes at 400 degrees for medium doneness. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for ten minutes before transferring to a cutting board and carving. 
Adapted from original recipe by Debalicious


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