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Dejah

Beef Wellington Novice

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We've always had prime rib for Xmas dinner. This year, we are celebrating at our daughter's new "old" home.
Beef tenderloin has been on sale and I've picked up several trimmed chunks in anticipation of cooking at her house.
Both of us want to try something different, and with the tenderloin chunks - about 10" by 4",  thought maybe Beef Wellington.

I've checked the Beef Wellington thread but not too much posted. Google can provide lots of recipes, but...I always like first hand experience.

Would appreciate any input from you experienced egulleteers on this endeavor.

Sous vide tenderloin? Individual Wellies? Aging tenderloin in fridge?

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There was a huge fad for this dish when I was a kid. I saw dozens of terrible versions, including ones made with rolls from a tube and canned cream of mushroom soup. Helped my mom make it a few times, no recent experience, but the Julia Child recipe was very good. Good luck and bon appetit!

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I've never made it, but Gordon Ramsay's youtube videos are probably where I'd start looking if I were to give it a try.

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We used to make it fairly regularly.

This is what we did.

Basically its a fillet of beef (we used a whole fillet) coated in mushroom/onion/pate/butter paste wrapped in puff pastry.

Heat your oven to 250C (hot)

The beef is first tied with butchers twine to keep its shape. Brown on all sides  in a hot pan. don't forget to do the ends. Set the fillet aside to rest.

In the same pan in the juices, lightly fry off a finally chopped onion till translucent (add some butter if needed). Add double the quantity of onion, chopped mushrooms (you can used canned chopped champignons but they are not as good flavor wise)

Set aside to cool.

When cool (but not cold) mix equal amounts of soft butter and pate (originally we would use pate de foi gras but its hard to get and most produced by  unacceptable  method  ) with the onions/mushrooms. 

Remove the string from the fillet, coat it all over with the mushrooms/pate/onion/butter. It can be a messy job. If the mixture is too thin, refrigerate and try again.

You need enough puff pastry to completely enclose the beef. We used store bought pastry. You need to have it ready before you start coating the beef.

brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash to help seal the edges before you start to wrap the pastry round the beef.

Yo can do it 2 different ways. You can fully wrap the beef and overlap the pastry under the beef or make the join at the top but its harder to manage and I don't think it looks as good.

Brush the pastry generously with egg wash and into the oven for ten minutes then reduce the heat to 180C and cook for about 30 minutes. It should be golden brown. Rest it like any other meat before slicing at least 1~1.5 inches thick.

The meat will be rare to medium rare. Some people have an aversion to red looking meat (ooh..blood...), you can commit sacrilege by cooking for longer so the meat is medium. Just don't tell me....

If your kitchen is hot, you can put the whole thing in the fridge before baking to firm up the pastry.

Some people leave out the onions. I have seen recipes where they use short crust pastry.

 

You can do individual single serve beef wellingtons, but I reckon there is a little too much pastry to beef. It is also much harder to get the beef cooked rare, because by the time the pastry is cooked through, the meat is medium to well done.

 

Quantities are a bit hard to quantify. Basically you will be coating the beef to a depth of perhaps 3/16~1/4 inch (4-~mm). The coating should mainly be mushrooms/onions/pate with enough butter to bind it all together. If you omit the butter you usually find the mixture wont bind very well and when it cooks the mushroom/onion/pate will not be combined into a paste like coating.

 

One thing I will say, you need to know the meat is tender. The cooking time for the meat itself is relatively short so the actual cooking is not going to tenderise it. I guess you could add a step in between the browning of the meat and the wrap by using a sous vide on say 50C for a few hours, cooling it in ice water and then just proceed as normal. I haven't tried that yet though so its only a guess.

Do a search for Mary Berry. On one of her TV shows she went step by step through the process. It should be on U tube. I seem to remember she used poppy seeds/pate/mushrooms. There are heaps of variations out there these days. Lots of chefs use different recipes just to differentiate their cooking from everyone else.

 

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I made some for guests a few months ago.  I went with 8 individual Beef Wellingtons, I followed this recipe mostly. https://skillet.lifehacker.com/will-it-sous-vide-a-most-glorious-beef-wellington-1790825718    The temps suggested worked out perfectly.    I did it all one day, and did not do the refrigerator overnight option, though I may have let it rest slightly.    I seared it with a torch before wrapping in the pastry and everyone was impressed with the appearance and getting them done just right.  As you can see, I probably should have rotated them in the oven to get even browning. 

 

 

20180324_185156.jpg

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6 hours ago, Chimayo Joe said:

I've never made it, but Gordon Ramsay's youtube videos are probably where I'd start looking if I were to give it a try.

 

 Agreed— his recipe is popular and doesn’t seem overwhelmingly complex. If I had the guts to try making Beef Wellington, I’d use his recipe. 

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Thank you ALL for the input. I am going to experiment this weekend. I don't have sous vide equipment. but my daughter does...
Don't stop with suggestions, however.

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Round one! Need tweaking on the pastry wrapping, etc, but the meat was perfect! Used combination of Gordon Ramsay's and Tyler Florence recipes...

I used a 3 lb tenderloin, middle section.

I left the tenderloin in the fridge uncovered for 2 days, then wrapped it tightly in Saran for another day to make the nice form.
Early this afternoon, I seasoned it then roasted it in the 400F oven for 15 minutes. Cooled in the fridge for an hour or so while I prepared the mushroom duxelles.  2 hours before serving, I covered the tenderloin with the duxelles ( no bacon or prosciutto as we don't care for the flavour on the beef) and the puff pastry. Put it back into the fridge. 45 minutes before eating, I baked the Wellington in a 400F oven for 25 minutes. Rested for 10 minutes, then sliced.

Eaten with roasted baby taters, steamed green beans and carrots, and green peppercorn gravy.

Son and family came up to help eat the supper. Had to laugh at our 6-year-old granddaughter who said, "Gramma! The bread just breaks into little crispy bits in my mouth!"

 

                                                                  79531692_BeefWellingtonExperiment7646.jpg.2cac293e56fecf4747c07ac602b9c067.jpg

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