Beef Wellington, Come at me Ramsay
This has long been on my list of stuff to try to make. If you’ve ever seen Gordon Ramsay on TV chances are you’ve seen him scream at someone about screwing up some Wellington. I was feeling pretty good at how far I’ve come along in the kitchen so I decided to make the plunge and take a shot at it. Not a hard dish persay, just requires a bit of precision and patience. It’s sad if you put all that effort into it just to have it come out bad at the end, but if you manage to nail it you’ll get to experience that moment where it looks nice on the outside but you have no idea what’s on the inside. You’ll slowly slice into it praying it doesn’t fall apart. Then when it is opened up….
Wellington is basically a tenderloin wrapped in Duxelles, wrapped in ham, then wrapped in pastry, served with a sauce.
- 1 Pound Tenderloin
- 1 Sheet Dufour Puff Pastry Sheet
- 3/4 Pound Prosciutto/Parma Ham
- 2 Egg Yolks, Beaten
- Prepared Duxelles, see below
Duxelles (Mushroom Spread)
- 1 Pound Mushrooms
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Oil
- 2-3 Sprigs Thyme
- 3 Cloves Crushed Garlic
Red Wine Sauce
- Beef Trimmings
- 2-3 Shallots
- 15 Peppercorns
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Thyme Sprig
- 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 750ml Bottle Red Wine
- 750ml Beef Stock
You can use whatever mushrooms you want here, for the sake of diversity I used three different ones. Shiitake, White and Brown. You want a food processor/blender type setup ideally. Toss the shrooms in there a couple at a time and give it some pulses. You don’t want them puree’d but you want them very finely chopped. Add your thyme/crushed garlic/shallots and get those nice and chopped up together as well. Not pureed, just very fine.
Get out a large pan, put the butter/oil, heat it up, slap that stuff in the pan. Give it a good 20-25 minutes on medium, let the juices free and it should turn into a very spreadable concoction and your house should be smelling like mushrooms.
Duxelles is really fcking good, personally I think its the star of this dish. I fully intend to use it elsewhere in the future. Toss it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
Making Red Wine Sauce
So I put this up before the Wellington but if you’re going to use it you’re basically going to want to have an almost-finished Wellington before you get to this. It takes about 2 hours to reduce so give yourself a window.
Get your stuff together.
Heat up a saucepan, toss the trimmings in there with a bit of oil, fry em up until they are brown all over. Then go ahead and toss in the chopped up shallots. Let em cook for a good 3-5 minutes until they are browned also.
Once that’s done, toss in that splash of vinegar until its basically all gone. A minute should be fine.
Throw the red wine and spices into the pan. Save the beefstock for later. Let it simmer for around 45-50 minutes until its reduced all the way down.
Once its reduced way down to very little liquid add your beef stock. At this point you can slowly go ahead and start fishing out the huge chunks of solid stuff out of the pan and tossing it.
Use a spoon to skim the top of the sauce regularly to get rid of skummy looking stuff. Give the sauce another 45-50 minutes simmering until its once again reduced down to the consistency that you like for sauce. You should be able to put your finger in the sauce and have it coat your finger, not be runny and trickle down. When ready, use a strainer to get out any solid-matter in the sauce voila your sauce is done. This doesn’t make ALOT of sauce, it just makes good sauce. It should fill a solid ramekin and be enough to drizzle for 6 people if you want.
If you have a good butcher you can ask him/her to shave the fat/silverskin off the loin for you at the shop, otherwise you’ll have to do it yourself. If you’re planning on doing the redwine sauce to go with it then have the butcher (or you) set the trimmings aside, don’t toss them. Just like when making Tare’ to season Ramen, you can use the trimmings to help flavor your sauce.
Get out some plastic wrap and wrap it tightly, then toss it in the fridge to cool, ideally overnight. The idea here is to try to set the tenderloin into its form.
When you’re ready to get cookin’, heat up your pan with some oil and give the meat a quick sear all the way around. 30 seconds on each “side” should do it.
Take out some plastic wrap and set it on the counter. Give yourself a good 18-24 inches of space (half meter-ish). Lay out the prosciutto, overlapping it as you go, across the film. It should be as wide as your tenderloin and long enough to roll up the loin.
Take your already made Duxelles, spread it nice and evenly across the ham.
Take your tenderloin, put it on their, and tightly (using the plastic and making sure you dont wrap it inside) roll the meat up, once rolled wrap it in plastic and toss in the fridge.
Get out another sheet of plastic wrap, put the puff pastry sheet on top, and give it a nice brushing with the beaten egg yolk.
Place your ham-wrapped loin on top, and same as before, carefully roll it up nice and tight.
Once wrapped, trim off any excess leaving enough to tuck/closeup the sides. Once again use the rest of the egg to brush down the entire Wellington, seal up all the connections in the pastry. Use a knife to score the wellington, and when ready get your oven to 425. This is where you want to make the red wine sauce if you’re going to be using it. Feel free to toss the Wellington in the fridge at this point, its all ready to go just waiting for the oven.
When ready, toss your Wellington into the oven, and after all that work say a little prayer and hope it all just works out. I can’t stress enough how badly you want a insta read thermometer for this. It’s really hard to gauge “doneness” on something this thick so just going off time is going to make it rough. What you want is a nice 115-120 degree core. It took mine 40 minutes, 45 would have been too much, 35 was alittle under.
Pull it out of the oven and admire. This is part where it looks amazing on the outside but in your mind you’re just praying you didn’t overcook it or that it’s not raw in the middle.
Splash some sauce on a plate and serve while everyone just kinda stares at it in awe.