I have a (not-so) secret celebrity crush on Gordon Ramsay. I've seen the "oh crap" look of fear in contestants' eyes on his cooking shows and other cooking shows when they are asked to cook the intimidating classic, Beef Wellington, that Ramsay is famous for. I can hear him yelling "this WELLINGTON IS OVERCOOKED!!!! DISGUSTING!" So to prove to myself that it's not that hard and get a little practice AND give my boyfriend a delicious Saturday night dinner, Wellington it was. I have to say, this is surprising simple, but relies on a few simple techniques that will make or break it. I will also share a few Gour-maybe tips that will help you nail this. I recommend watching this video of Ramsay making the dish - and rolling your eyes MANY times at how simple he makes it look. I served it with a blue cheese and chive potato puree. Get the recipe and the tips after the jump.
Beef Wellington - Serves 4
You will need:
- 1 1.5 lb Beef filet tenderloin
- 1/2 lb thinly sliced prosciutto
- 3 T Coleman's English Mustard (Hot! You'll want to put this on sandwiches )
- 3/4 lb Baby Bella (small Portobello mushrooms), chopped - Ramsay uses regular, but I like these
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- 1 T unsalted butter
- 4 T olive oil
- 1 sheet puff pastry (thawed) - I use Pepperidge Farm
- 1 large egg
- 1 T water
Blue Cheese/Chive Potato Puree
- 1.5 lbs medium Yukon Gold potatoes, washed, peeled cut into halves
- 4 T minced fresh chives
- 4 T unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- 1 C whole milk (added gradually to desired thickness)
- 2 T Gorgonzola or Stilton cheese
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Food Mill
Ok, let's get all the dirty work out of the way. Begin cooking about 2.5 hours before you want to serve this to give yourself plenty of time. Start by bringing the filet to room temp (this will take about an hour). Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place potatoes in large pot, cover with water, add about 2 T of Kosher Salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook potatoes for about 15-17 minutes, testing until tender. Remove from water, drain and let cool (about 30 minutes). While the potatoes are cooling, make the mushroom "duxelle" don't let this new term freak you out - it means make a mushroom paste. See? Nothing to worry about!
IMPORTANT STAGE 1: DUXELLE
Mince mushrooms and 2 cloves of garlic in a food processor until a paste forms. Heat a small saute pan on high heat. Melt butter quickly. Add the mushroom mixture and cook until the water evaporates. You will see it begin to darken in color and steam will stop releasing from the mixture. When all the liquid is gone, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
IMPORTANT STAGE 2: SEARING THE FILET
Heat 4 T olive oil in a medium saute pan until almost smoking. Season the filet generously with Kosher salt and pepper. Sear the filet on all sides (even the ends) until brown (about 1.5-2 minutes a side). Set aside to cool.
When the filet has cooled, brush the entire filet with the mustard. Don't skimp, it really adds to the flavor. Place mustard covered filet on center of mushroom/prosciutto set up. Pull up one side of the saran wrap, rolling right to left so that you wrap the filet entirely. Twist edges of saran wrap and place in fridge for 15 minutes.
Make an egg wash (beat 1 egg with 1 T water). Roll out your puff pastry on a counter top until it's about 3mm thick. Remove filet from saran wrap and place in center of puff pastry. Brush edges with egg wash. Wrap/roll entire filet in the pastry, trimming any excess, fold the edges in. Place on baking sheet, with the seam down. Brush entire package with egg wash. Refrigerate another 15 minutes. Brush entire package with egg wash again. Score 3-4 slits in the top of the puff pastry. Place in oven for 35 minutes.
While the filet is cooking, finish the potatoes. Heat the butter, cream, garlic and 1/2 of the milk in a medium sauce pot. Add potatoes, stirring and cook until warmed through and liquids are incorporated. Add more milk as necessary to achieve the desired thickness. Add blue cheese and chives and stir to combine. Keep warm on lowest heat.
Remove wellington from oven, testing for done-ness with a digital thermometer. I like mine at about 123 degrees as it will continue to cook while it rests. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Slice into 1 inch sections and serve over the potato puree. I'd say also serve with a delicious cab, which (if you are like me) you should start sipping on while you cook. Now that you've done it, aren't you wondering why everyone said it was so hard? Enjoy!