Individual Beef Wellington

When it comes to holiday traditions, I’m a stickler. I want turkey for Thanksgiving and More turkey for Christmas. It’s not that complicated. A few years ago, my mother decided to make beef Wellington the Christmas dinner of choice. All the ravenous beef eaters in the family thought this was a brilliant idea. I did not. So my mother always has a chicken dish for me. 🙂

I eat steak but when it’s covered in pate, I kind of lose my appetite. Cook’s Country had a brilliant post about leaving out the pate and focusing on the mushroom duxelles. Now throw in some puff pastry and I’m sold.

What’s not to like about mushrooms, garlic, thyme, shallots and butter…..and more butter.

These are two fine looking filets. They get seared and then rest, while the mushrooms finish caramelizing and the puff pastry is thawing.

Because I prefer my beef more medium than rare, I started searing one for a few extra minutes before adding the other. This is the step to calibrate your preference in temp.

The mushrooms cooling…..where’s my fork???

After you gently roll out the puff pastry, add a bed of mushrooms and then the filet.

Brush the filet with Dijon mustard.

Each gets wrapped up like a pretty present, by laying one strip of puff pastry over another.

An easy way to differentiate my medium well to Stevo’s medium rare is to create different patterns in the pastry.

These tasty buggers, on a bed of bearnaise?? Amazing.

Recipe courtesy of Cook’s Country

INSTRUCTIONS

Serves 2

10

ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved

2

(8-ounce) center-cut filets mignons, 2 inches thick, trimmed

Kosher salt and pepper

2

teaspoons vegetable oil

2

tablespoons unsalted butter

1

small shallot, minced

2

garlic cloves, minced

2

teaspoons minced fresh thyme

3

tablespoons Madeira

1

(9 1/2 by 9-inch) sheet puff pastry, thawed

1

teaspoon Dijon mustard

1

large egg, lightly beaten

The puff pastry packets insulate the beef, which continues to cook during the resting period. Note that we pull the packets from the oven when the meat registers about 110 degrees and give different resting times depending on desired doneness. To ensure accuracy, it’s important to buy filets that are 2 inches thick. To thaw frozen puff pastry, let it sit either in the refrigerator for 24 hours or on the counter for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Do not chill the pastry packets longer than 1 hour in step 5 or the pastry will become soggy.

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse mushrooms in food processor until finely chopped, 13 to 15 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

2. Pat filets dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook filets until well browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer filets to paper towel–lined plate.

3. Melt butter in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, shallot, garlic, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring often, until browned and nearly all moisture has evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in Madeira and cook until no liquid remains, about 2 minutes. Transfer to plate and let cool completely, about 20 minutes.

4. Roll puff pastry into 11-inch square on lightly floured counter. Cut pastry into 4 equal squares. Place 2 pastry squares on prepared sheet and spread 1/4 cup mushroom mixture in center of each, to about same diameter as filets, leaving 1-inch border. Place 1 filet on each mushroom-coated square. Spread ½ teaspoon mustard on top of each filet. Stretch remaining pastry squares over filets to meet bottom pastry squares. Cup your hands around filets to create tight shape.

5. Pinch top and bottom pastry squares together to seal. Trim excess pastry to form circle, leaving 1/2-inch border around filet. Crimp dough evenly around edge using your fingers. Refrigerate pastry packets, uncovered, until cold, about 1 hour.

6. Brush tops and sides of pastry packets with egg. Bake until meat registers 110 degrees, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to wire rack and let packets rest, 10 minutes for medium-rare or 20 minutes for medium. (Puff pastry packets act as oven and continue to cook steaks while they rest.) Serve.

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