Beef Wellington

Some times, when dinner rolls around, we all experiment and try to put together something new. Other times, we resort to the classics, maybe not comfort food, but definitely something “established,” and this is one such dish: Beef Wellington.

I don’t think I ever had a Beef Wellington before this, but was well aware of it (how could you not be when its included on Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen season after season?). Like some other “classics”, I approached this with some hesitation as it seemed like it could be tasty in my mind, but it also just seemed kind of…stodgy and dated, if that makes any sense. But the more I thought about it, I couldn’t imagine how this dish would disappoint.

After eating this, I can easily see why this is a classic. This is timeless: a juicy, tender cut of filet mignon cooked inside a tight, buttery, flaky package of puff pastry. If you’re not familiar with this dish though, there’s an additional, literal layer of flavor in there between the steak and the pastry: an earthy mushroom duxelle (think a finely diced mix of caramelized mushroom, garlic, and shallot) as well as an optional mousse of foie gras (or in my case, a bit of dijon–I have no aversions to the deliciousness that is foie gras, I just didn’t have any handy!). When this delicate dish is fully assembled, you have something that just screams luxurious, and as luck would have it, I just happened to have some of the highest quality, marbleized, melt-in-your-mouth, tender cut of beef I ever had the privilege of cooking in my kitchen. Cooked rare so that the beef could still shine center-stage, this made for quite a meal.

  • ~1.5 lb beef tenderloin (ideally all in one piece)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • ~1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • Duxelle
    • no more than 1 Tbsp butter
    • 1 tsp duck fat
    • 8 oz button mushrooms
    • 1 shallot
    • 6 cloves garlic
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black or white pepper
    • 2.5 Tbsp white wine
  • Optional: ~1-2 oz of Foie Gras or some other pâté

Begin by letting the tendeloin rest at room temperature so that it warms up a bit.

Now, we’ll start with the duxelle. Finely dice the shallot, garlic, and mushrooms.

In a hot pan, melt a teaspoon of duck fat (if available–this was my nod to foie gras) and a knob of butter. Sauté the shallot for 2 minutes and then add the garlic for another minute. Finally add the mushroom with the salt and pepper and sauté for about another 10 minutes (just when the mushrooms begin to caramelize), after which, you should deglaze with the wine and briefly cook further until the wine fully absorbs. Set this aside to cool.

Now that the duxelle is done, salt and pepper the steak and then in a pan with a bit of olive oil, sear the tenderloin for about one minute on all sides (this is good for rare/medium-rare). Remove this from heat and set aside while preheating the oven to 425°F.

At this point, roll out a sheet of puff pastry (already thawed out if using store-bought) to about 14 inches square (adjust this size to accommodate your cut of meat) and fairly thin.

If you’re using pâté (due to poor timing, I ran out just prior to cooking this!), coat the entire surface of the tenderloin on all sides with it, pressing firmly all over the steak. If you don’t have or care to use pâté, you could instead lightly coat the steak all over with dijon mustard instead (this is what I did–but don’t use both at the same time).

Whatever you coated the steak with, finally, coat the steak with the duxelle you prepared earlier, pressing on all sides. Lay your coated steak on the rolled out puff pastry. If there’s excess puff pastry, cut off a thin strip for decorative purposes later (if you care to bother).

In a bowl, prepare an egg wash, beating the egg with water in a bowl until well mixed. Brush the perimeter of the inside of the puff pastry with the egg wash (to ensure it sticks and seals shut nicely later) and roll it tightly around your steak, crimping and sealing shut as neatly as possible. The goal is for all of this to happen on the “bottom” of your wellington so that the ugly seams are unseen.

If you have any designs for decorating your wellington with the extra puff pastry, now is a good time to go ahead and do it. I don’t really know what I was thinking, lol, but it looks better than nothing, right? Make leaves, lines, and other frilly things just so it doesn’t look like a big, dull loaf.

Finally, brush the entire visible surface of the pastry with your egg wash and set this on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and transfer this to the oven.

Once 20 minutes have passed, your wellington should be around rare/medium-rare, so if you’re happy with that (like I am), take it out of the oven. If you prefer your meat a little more cooked, give it another 5-10 minutes (and consider a longer sear earlier). Whenever you say the meat is cooked, let the wellington rest for about 5-10 minutes before you dive in so that the juices can be reabsorbed into the meat.

Once you can’t hold back any more, with a sharp knife and a steady hand, carve into serving sized slices and dig in. While you could prepare an additional sauce to compliment this, with a high quality cut of meat, I think you’ll find this rich and rewarding enough as it is. I served with a side of mashed potatoes and a glass of aged Brunello di Montalcino.

Enjoy!

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54 Responses to “Beef Wellington”

  1. Meeta Says:

    Beef wellington is so special. I’ve made a few times for x-mas dinner. I love the comnination of the musrooms, herbs and beef and of course the flaky pastry. Perfect!

  2. the caked crusader Says:

    Not only beautiful but it looks delicious too! Yum.
    Great photos

  3. Raquel Says:

    Wow, that looks wonderful!

  4. Janice Bennett Says:

    Did you save some for me?! That looks FANTASTIC!!!

  5. Sandie (Inn Cuisine) Says:

    There are No. Words. Do you have any idea how fabulous this looks?

    I have wanted to prepare Beef Wellington for as long as I can remember and I have no idea why I haven’t. This post may finally be the impetus that pushes me over the edge.

    I can’t get over that tenderloin, it looks amazing. This is probably going to sound weird, but I’ve never seen a cut of beef look more beautiful. So glad you were able to convey that in these photos.

  6. nina Says:

    Perfectly cooked beef in puff pastry – it does not get any better than this. Lovely post.

  7. We Are Never Full Says:

    Perfectly cooked, Mike. GREAT GOING! I would’ve shed a tear if I saw grey-brown meat inside taht lovely crisp pastry!

  8. dp Says:

    That’s a Wellington that would make Ramsey proud!

    You’ve made it sound so straightforward and failsafe. I’d like to do something fancy schmancy like this for a nice dinner party or Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner (I’m not a big fan of turkey). I’m going to bookmark this page.

  9. Peter Says:

    YOU LIE or you’re damn good in the kitchen! lol

    Beef Wellington’s tough to get right as you have go purely on timing to get the doneness right, rare asyou have here.

    I bow, Mike…we are not worthy! lol

  10. Deb Says:

    Your family is very lucky! We only have this on special occasions! Gordon would be proud of you! You definately would not be kicked off the show with this gem!

  11. Judy Says:

    That is incredible! I haven’t had beef wellington in ages. This looks like it will be on the menu for our next special occasion.

  12. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy Says:

    This looks amazing, Mike! I’ve been dying to try a Wellington ever since I fell in love with Gordon Ramsay! ;) It looks like you’ve got the perfect technique. Great job!

  13. noble pig Says:

    I’m really annoyed I was not invited…I LUUUU-HUUUVE Beef Well. We go way back.

  14. Joy the Baker Says:

    My Word! That is absolutely gorgeous! Well done. You succeeded in making my mouth water.

  15. pam Says:

    I have never had beef wellington! Looks incredible!

  16. Sarah Says:

    Well done, Mike! I don’t even like my meat that pink, but one look at this recipe and all I could think of was biting into that delicious looking dish. I’ve never even heard of dish – I must try it soon. It looks fun and different.

  17. RecipeGirl Says:

    Wow, did this bring back a memory… the first really gourmet dinner that my mom took me out to- this is what I ordered. I absolutely love it. I made individual wellingtons with filet mignon not too long ago. Yours looks fab, as usual!

  18. Helen Says:

    Oh what a classic! My partner asks for this every year for his birthday so over the years I have perfected my recipe. I use foie gras pate mixed with the mushrooms and I use a layer of parma ham between the pastry and the mushrooms to stop any juices leaking onto the pastry and of course, add an extra layer of deliciousness, it’s fab! Your beef looks so perfectly cooked. I am craving this so badly now!!!!

  19. grace Says:

    puff pastry in any way, shape, or form makes me giddy. that’s a gorgeous dish, plus “beef wellington” just sounds so posh and fancy. most impressive. :)

    side note: i have that very knife, and it may very well be my favorite kitchen tool.

  20. Ben Says:

    WOW! That’s all I can say. I love puff pastry and I just made a batch yesterday. I wonder if I can do something like this with lamb…

  21. Heather Says:

    I made a Welly once, using venison and wild mushrooms. But since I always try to make everything sound more fancy, I called it “venison tenderloin en croute with oyster mushroom duxelles” instead of Venison Wellington.

    @ Ben – you totally can do this with lamb.

  22. katie Says:

    That looks just perfect! (You could have used faux gras)
    I’ve never tried it but, I think I might – next winter when I’m cooking indoors and the foie gras is in season!

  23. Kevin Says:

    I have never had Beef Wellington before. It looks amazing! How can you go wrong with beef baked in pastry? It looks perfectly cooked and nice and pink. Bookmarked to try.

  24. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    Beef Wellington reminds me of all the carvery meals I’ve had in London over the years. It’s such a classic. And your pastry looks perfect!

  25. Xicculus Says:

    The first ingredient calls for

    “~1.5 lb beef tenderloin (ideally all in one piece)”

    Is this supposed to have 1.5 lbs of meat, or a half pound? The former seems like a lot.

  26. Deeba Says:

    Just keeps getting better Mike. Thanks for the comments on the mango breakfast salad…missed the strawberry seduction, but hoping for some mango mischief now!!

  27. Pixie Says:

    What time did you say dinner was? :) Great Job Mike and thanks for stopping by during the week.

  28. heather Says:

    wow! that looks delicious! the crust looks absolutely amazing on this! i am trying it the next time I have guests for dinner!

  29. Dhipthi Says:

    Hi all,

    Before I get booed off stage, I must say that as his wife I get to express this opinion and survive!

    I am in the process of convincing by wonderful husband that this website needs a fresh look. Right now that is last on his list of priorities. I am imploring you to help me convince him to move it higher.

    Having said that, happy cooking!

    Dhipthi

  30. Deeba Says:

    The lady’s RIGHT Mike…a man’s gotta do what his better half sayeth!!! MOVE IT HIGHER…it’s a load of effort but once it’s up & running, you’ll thank her for it!! She’s a brave lady,expressing her opinion & surviving, under the threat of getting booed off…LOL!!

  31. Jeff Says:

    I can’t believe it has not been said yet:

    The beef is raw you donkey!

    hehehehehhehe

    j/k brother. Love it and looks awesome!

  32. kittie Says:

    Fabulous dish Mike – I’ve always wanted to cook this – I haven’t even tasted it yet! I seriously can’t believe how amazing the fillet looks – nice job!

  33. giz Says:

    The thought of making a wellington was always just daunting and out of the realm of reasonability for me. Your pictorial breaks up the mystery and now I feel like the little engine that could. Really good job!!!

  34. ntsc The Art of The Pig Says:

    Foix gras is only one option for the liver flavor. I’ve done it with both a chicken liver mouse and a country pate sliced very thin.

  35. 61mike Says:

    I’ve done Wellington several times… I taught myself how to from a French cook book. And of course watching TV. Mine was good, however, this one looks great. You can use just about any steak, but the tenderlion is the best. The only problem I had with mine was the Puff Pastry was a little soggy on the inside, But I’m working on that…. I’ll figure it out one of these days… maybe an egg wash on the inside before rolling it up. Anyway, Looks great. Thanks

  36. EAT! Says:

    The wellington looks divine. I made it for the first time with beef about 6 months ago. Delicious and easy to prepare. I have also made a salmon wellington with wil rice. A nice change.

  37. Steamy Kitchen Says:

    u are my hero! I can’t believe how beautiful and perfect it looks.

    Ramsey would love you on his show.

  38. White On Rice Couple Says:

    Mike, you really this one out of the ballpark! It’s just an amazing photo, we can taste it off the computer!

  39. Helene Says:

    I don’t eat beef but my husband would love this. I like your pastry.

  40. RPO Says:

    That is an awesome idea and looks delicious. Im just concerned about cooking the meat properly without overcookin the outside

  41. Gourmet Says:

    Looks great! Can’t wait anymore to try it :)

  42. Carne Asada Tacos with Watermelon Mango Avocado Salsa from Mike's Table Says:

    [...] doneness, flipping once (e.g. I like to figure something like 10 minutes total, but I am partial to a pink center), and then let it rest off of the heat for 5-10 minutes. With a sharp knife, slice the meat very [...]

  43. Victoria Says:

    Wow that beef wellington photo is making me drool!! I think I’ll have that for dinner tonight. Sometimes the most simple dishes are the best I think!!

  44. Phyllo Tomato Goat Cheese Tart from Mike's Table Says:

    [...] by preparing something akin to a duxelle. Finely mince the shallot, garlic, pale parts of the leek, and [...]

  45. stephen Says:

    the tenderloin is being sliced the wrong way and is wrapped the wrong way as well. You want to slice WITH the grain for a tenderloin and you will have a much nicer texture. If you were using a tough piece of meat with a lot of connective tissue you would want to cut against the grain though. Completely different mouth feels!

  46. Puff Lite: Rough Puff « Pastry Methods and Techniques Says:

    [...] to use it?  Make turnovers.  Wrap it around some brie.  Make Beef Wellington.  Make a galette.  Use it for tarte tatin.  Roll it pretty thin and use it as pie crust.  Roll [...]

  47. Kelsey Says:

    looks SO good!

  48. Jaime Says:

    Oooh. I make this every year on Christmas. It is life changing.

  49. A Byootaful Life » Blog Archive » Beef Wellington Says:

    [...] (sort of) followed the recipe on Mike’s Table (his looked amazing – mine, not so much!). Nevertheless, for a girl whose specialty is mashed [...]

  50. Verena Says:

    I never had the Steak Wellington but always wanted to. I also watch Gordon Ramsay´s TV show…
    Your recipe and pics are amazing and I really will be fixing it soon! Thanks!

  51. 12 intimidating foods I want to learn to make | The Mom Food Project Says:

    [...] confess I don’t even have any idea how hard it actually is to make Beef Wellington. I just know it looks fancy.  Also, cooking a big hunk of meat is outside my comfort zone, because [...]

  52. SALIMA Says:

    Too much moisture on pastry.

  53. I Heart Tastespotting – Erica Frye Says:

    [...] Over” category is being represented by the Beef Wellington on the lower right, courtesy of Mike’s Table. My nitpick here is it should be made with brioche, not puff pastry, but who am I kidding? It looks [...]

  54. Puff Lite: Rough Puff - Jenni Field's Pastry Chef Online Says:

    […] to use it?  Make turnovers.  Wrap it around some brie.  Make Beef Wellington.  Make a galette.  Use it for tarte tatin.  Roll it pretty thin and use it as pie crust.  Roll […]

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