November 24, 2014

Beef Wellington: Doing New Year’s Up Right

New Year’s Eve is a time for decadence – a time for a beautiful piece of filet mignon surrounded by puff pastry and sitting atop a brandy cream sauce. Diets start, after all, on January 1st so why not make the last day of 2010 one to remember.

Now I am not going to lie to you and tell you this is a quick meal to make. It is not. But it is actually not as difficult to make as it might appear. Let’s walk through it step by step.

Beef Wellington with Brandy Cream Sauce
(serves 6 to 8 people)

Adapted from Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Beef Wellington Recipe

Ingredients

For the Duxelles:

  • 2 pints white button mushrooms (approx. 1 lb.), cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Beef:

  • 1 (3-pound) center cut beef tenderloin (filet mignon), trimmed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Flour, for rolling out puff pastry
  • 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • Minced chives, for garnish

For the Brandy Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 16 oz. beef stock
  • 1 cups cream
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Wondra (to thicken sauce)

[1] Combine chopped mushrooms, thyme. and garlic in the food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped.

[2] Heat butter and oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add mushroom mixture and saute for about 10 minutes until the moisture has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and let cool.

[3] Meanwhile, while the mushrooms are cooking, preheat a large pan to medium high heat.

[4] Tie the beef tenderloin with kitchen string, in about 1 inch sections, to allow the beef to keep its shape while being seared.

[5] Rub meat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

[6] Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board or counter and spread the cooled mushroom mixture thinly on the plastic wrap.

[7] Sear the meat on all sides for 2-3 minutes to lock in the juices. Let cool slightly and remove the string. Save the pan for the brandy cream sauce.

[8] Spread a light layer of dijon mustard all over the meat and place the meat on top of the mushroom mixture.

[9] Carefully wrap the mushroom and meat with the plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes.

[10] While the meat is resting in the fridge, heat some olive oil in the pan used to sear the meat. Be sure to scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add shallots, garlic and thyme and saute for 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the brandy and beef stock. Return to the heat and reduce the sauce by half. Strain the shallots from the sauce and add the cream and mustard to the sauce. Reduce the sauce by half again and also add some Wondra to thicken if necessary. Remove from the heat or keep warm on low heat.

[10] Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

[11] Flour the counter and place the first of two pastry sheets on the counter. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.

[12] Roll out the second sheet of pastry dough to the same size as the first sheet and then press the two edges of the sheets together to make one long piece.

[13] Remove the meat from the refrigerator and carefully unwrap the plastic wrap. Some of the mushroom mixture may come off. No worries. Just press it back on again. Using a large spatula, transfer the meat to the middle of the pastry sheet and wrap . Seal the edges of the pastry with egg wash. Brush the entire pastry with egg wash.

[14] Make some cuts on the top of the pastry about 1 inch apart to allow the steam to escape while cooking. This also will help to determine the portions when serving.

[15] Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the meat is 125 degrees F. Doesn’t that look yummy?

[16] Remove from the oven and let the meat rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing. Serve over the brandy cream sauce with some green beans and shallots. Garnish with a few chives.

And here is the money shot once again…

What’s the best dish you’ve ever had on New Year’s Eve?

Comments

  1. That is a beautiful piece of meat – it looks really tasty! And that brandy sauce – wooohooo! Great recipe – thanks for sharing!

  2. I just opened your message via Marlton Bus. Assoc. and was browsing through your wonderful website. The recipes look and sound absolutely delicious. Do you have them in a booklet or book of some kind or must I print them all out. I can’t wait to try them.

    Your service sounds super also. Do you ever prepare meals at your house and deliver to and serve them at another location? If so, we might hire you for our annual Passover dinner that is served in the social room at our apartment building. It has a refrigerator with freezer but no stove or microwave.

    There are many seniors living in our building, as well as many young families. There is also an organization that arranges dinners (in the social room) and other activities for the seniors. If you’d like, I can connect you with the person in charge and perhaps she can schedule you as a speaker at one of the events. Your cooking sounds much healthier than Meals on Wheels (but probably more expensive). However, some people might be interested or know someone who is.

    I am looking forward to meeting you at Whole Foods next week and would love to get together to chat sometime.

    Ronnie Wolf

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