Beef Wellington is the main course for Thanksgiving Dinner 2018. A few days before the holiday, I bought a beautiful piece of whole beef tenderloin from Costco, and trimmed it myself. I then tied the Chateaubriand with kitchen twine and let it sit in frig over night.
The next day, which was the day before the holiday, I started to make the beef wellington. Since it can rest in refrigerator for 24 hours before baking, this is a perfect dish to pre-assemble.
First, season the tenderloin with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat a cast iron skillet to very hot, and add a little bit of olive oil. Sear each side of the tenderloin for about 1 minute, sear but not cook. Make sure to sear both ends too.
When it’s properly browned, set it on a plate and brush on mustard while it’s still hot, so the heat would be absorbed by the meat.
While the meat is resting, prepare duxelle, a mushroom paste. Clean about 1 lb of mushroom and slice to small pieces, cut up 1 shallot and place all in a food processor and grind to very fine pieces. Season with kosher salt, pepper and Thyme. Over medium heat, pour mushroom mixture into a non-stick pan and cook away all the moisture. But patient as there is a lot of liquid in the mushroom. The paste should be dry but not burnt, so stir often.
Set clean cling wrap on the counter. Mine doesn’t seem to be wide enough, so I had 2 pieces generously overlapping each other. Then place prosciutto on the wrap to form a square large enough to wrap around the tenderloin. I used 7 pieces.
Spread duxelle over the prosciutto and place tenderloin in the center.
Tightly roll up the wrap so that beef is completely covered by duxelle and prosciutto. Then twist both ends of the wrap till it’s very tight. Set in refrigerator for at least half an hour.
Thaw frozen puff pastry sheet, roll it out slightly and make sure it’s big enough to cover the entire piece of the meat and can seal edges. Unwrap tenderloin and place it in the center.
Lift edge of the cling wrap, fold over and wrap the entire beef, seal the edge. Fold in both ends. Twist ends of wrap as tight as possible. Place the assembled wellington in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours before baking.
To decorate a Beef Wellington, you can brush on egg yolk and score the pastry with the back of a knife; or you can cut out thin pastry strips or leaves and make a design. Today, I decided to cover it with lattice. Take a piece of pastry, about half of the size of the wellington. Use a lattice cutter or cut free hand, spread the cuts and lay over the wellington. Then brush on egg yolk again.
Bake and Serve
Preheat over to 400F. My beef wellington is 3lb 3oz pre-bake, it took 38 minutes to get the pastry golden brown. Remove from oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes so the tenderloin becomes medium rare and all juice is re-absorbed into the beef.
Slice Beef Wellington generously into 1 inch thick slices. You can hear the crispiness of the puff pastry. Tenderloin is perfectly pink and cut through like button. Serve immediately.
You can distinctly taste mustard, duxelle, Prosciutto, buttery pastry and savory beef, yet everything ties together and compliment each other. Simply superb!