Beef wellington is hands down my favorite food ever. Well, after Escargots but I don't consider escargots a real "meal" so I think Beef Wellington can take the prize (in this post at least). After I first tried Beef Wellington at a very nice local restaurant in my early teens I soon became addicted and ordered it whenever it was on the menu at whatever restaurant I went to. I still do, actually. But for the longest time it was never something I thought of to make at home. I always thought of it as a very special meal that I'd order out. However, last year for Christmas I said enough's enough and decided to try my hand at making it myself and it came out great! Last year I made it with venison and this year I made it with beef and really the beef is better in my opinion, but both versions were just wonderful.
So here is the recipe I use. I've made some changes to it. Mainly because I can't bring myself to buy mushrooms for the top. When they are already in there at the restaurant that's fine because I honestly can't taste them, but when I actually cook, cut or even touch them and have to smell them it makes me want to vomit so I just don't bring mushrooms into my home. Period.
Also, the first year I made this I used the pate but for some reason this year I couldn't find it at the store so I just left it out. I liked it with the pate but honestly I didn't really miss not having it either. So it's up to you whether you want to use it or not.
The reason I chose to make this recipe in the first place is because I love beef wellington when the pastry wraps the whole filet of beef. I am most definitely a puff pastry fan so the more pastry you give me the better! So even though I made some changes to this recipe, I do like it as a starting point and it really is a simple recipe to follow and one that will surly wow your guests.
Adapted from Rachel Ray
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, plus extra for drizzling
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (I add this)
3-4 springs flat leave parsley, finely chopped (I add this)
2 slices of bacon, chopped (I add this)
1/2 pound button mushrooms and stems, cleaned and finely chopped in food processor (I omit these)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dry cooking sherry, 2 splashes (I omit this)
4 tournedos of beef filet mignon, 1-inch thick
8 ounces mousse pate, available in specialty cheese and appetizer cases of larger markets (Optional)
1 sheet frozen prepared puff pastry, 11 by 17, defrosted
1 egg, beaten with a splash of water
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add oil, butter, shallot and chopped mushrooms. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper and saute 5 minutes. Add sherry to the mushrooms and let the liquid evaporate. Remove mushrooms from the heat. (I skip this step entirely)
In a small pan over medium heat, add bacon and cook until crispy. Put cooked bacon on a paper towl to drain off the fat, and put the bacon in a small bowl. Add shallots, garlic and parsely. Mix together and set aside (This can be done in advance and put in the refrigerator). This is a step that I add.
Cut mousse into 4 pieces, 2 ounces each sliced in 1/2 horizontally. Spread the puff pastry sheet out on to a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Quarter the dough with a sharp knife. Roll each piece of dough into a 10 by 6-inch rectangle. On each rectangle of dough, place 1/4 of the cooked mushrooms. I omit the mushrooms but add the bacon and shallot mixture instead. Top mushrooms (or shallot mixture) with 2 ounces pate (if using) and 1 tournedo of beef. Wrap dough up and over the meat. Seal the dough with egg wash and trim excess. Use leftover dough bits to make decorative garnishes for the tops of your Wellingtons. Turn the wrapped Wellingtons over and cover with egg wash using a pastry brush. Affix dough garnishes with egg wash. For a simple decoration, roll dough bits into a long, thin spaghetti like string and make swirls on each Wellington. Bake beef Wellingtons 10 minutes or until golden (I usually keep it in the oven longer then 10 minutes...more like 15-20). Let stand 5 minutes, then serve with au jus or gravy.