Beef Wellington for Beginners

I’m taking you all on a different path today with this post. Since it is the weekend, and no rules apply, I am introducing you to the world of “gourmet in your own home/people will think you’re Chef Emeril/probably not the healthiest but definitely one of the tastiest.” This recipe isn’t for the faint of heart. This is a “Man Vs. Food” challenge. Are you up for the task? Can your stomach handle the mouth-watering, tender, rich and beefy mountain of meat and pastry goodness? This recipe is not only a stomach commitment but a commitment of the will and the mind. Time goes out the window. Put on that favorite playlist and dance along. Muster up as much patience as you can and get ready to wrestle with ingredients you have probably never used before. You’ll feel like you climbed a mountain after this, but that first taste on the tip of your tongue makes it all worth it, every finger nick from your kitchen blade, every curse word uttered. It might look like hell but damn it tastes like heaven. You won’t have to worry about every going to a five-star restaurant and spending $50 on a Beef Wellington the size of Luxembourg (Google it if you don’t know where that country is located) when you can make one in the comfort of your own home (bra and underwear optional) the size of Russia.

I added pictures to go with the instructions so you can see the process and feel a little better when yours doesn’t look picture perfect (I’m a pretty great cook but couldn’t get mine to look the best either). There is a first time for everything. All the ingredients are easily found at your nearest Publix or Whole Foods for some of the weirder stuff. And if you buy frozen puff pastry, make sure it is completely thawed before attempting to work with it.meat 6

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms

1/2 cup boiling water

1 (2- to 3- pound) center-cut beef tenderloin roast, trimmed

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium shallots, finely chopped

2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and finely chopped

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

6 ounces chicken or duck liver pate, room temperature

6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

1 (14- to 16-ounce) package all-butter puff pastry, thawed

All-purpose flour, for dusting

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Method

  1. Place the porcinis in a small heatproof bowl and pour in boiling water. Let sit until completely softened, about 30 minutes. Transfer the porcinis to a cutting board, being careful not to disturb the gritty sediment at the bottom of the bowl. Finely chop the mushrooms and set them aside. Slowly pour the soaking liquid into a small bowl, discarding the sediment.
  2. Season the beef all over with the salt and pepper. Melt 1 ½ tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming. Place the roast in the pan and brown it all over, about 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to a plate to cool the roast.
  3. Melt the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons butter in a separate frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the reserved porcinis, garlic, reserved porcini liquid, and the cremini mushrooms. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushroom mixture has releases most of its moistures and appears dry, about 10 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, add thyme, and stir to combine. Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  6. When the mushroom mixture has cooled, place the pate in a medium bowl and beat with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the mushroom mixture and stir evenly to combine.
  7. Using a long spatula, spread half of the mixture evenly over one side of the beet roast. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap, slightly larger than the roast, horizontally on the work surface. Vertically arrange half of the prosciutto, one piece slightly overlapping the next, along the length of the plastic wrap (it should be about the same size as the roast).meat 3
  8. Place the roast mushroom side down on the prosciutto.
  9. Spread the remaining mushroom mixture over the roast.meat 1
  10. Lay the rest of the prosciutto slices, in the same manner as before, over the mushroom mixture. Fold up the edges of the plastic wrap and use another piece of plastic to enclose the entire roast. Refrigerate.
  11. Heat the oven to 425.
  12. Cut off about one-third of the puff pastry and roll it out on a thinly floured surface into a rectangle about 1/8-inch-thick and at least 1-inch larger than the base of the roast. Transfer to a baking sheet.
  13. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and bake until brown and crisp, about 12-15 minutes.
  14. Remove the roast from the refrigerator and discard plastic wrap. Brush the roast all over with the beaten egg. Reserve the remaining egg.
  15. Roll out the remaining puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 14 inches. Place the roast on top of the cooked pastry base.
  16. Lay the rolled-out puff pastry over the roast. Tuck the sides of the uncooked pastry underneath the cooked pastry to seal the roast. Brush all over with the remaining egg.meat 5
  17. Roast for 20 minutes.
  18. Lower the temperature to 400F and continue to roast for 25 minutes more for rare to medium-rare beef, 30 to 35 minutes for medium.
  19. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.meat 4meat 2
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