A classic of British cuisine, beef Wellington was named after the Duke of Wellington in 1851 and has graced British tables ever since. The recipe is based on a classic French boeuf en croûte or beef wrapped in pastry. It is a great dish to make for a celebration and is often served at Christmas for that reason. But don't save this classic dish for once a year. Beef Wellington deserves to be enjoyed more often than just during the holiday season. Consider changing up your Sunday lunch or a classic family dinner roast with this meaty treat (although you may want to pass on the Yorkshire pudding since the combination will be quite filling).
Many cooks shy away from making a beef Wellington, as it has a reputation for being difficult to prepare. This recipe is not. It's been tried and tested and, more importantly, it works. Simply follow the steps, and you will be amazed at the results.
This classic beef Wellington recipe comes courtesy of Angela Boggiano from her book, Pie.
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- 1 ounce/25 g unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion (peeled and finely chopped)
- 5 ounces/150 g chestnut mushrooms (finely chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 1/2 ounces/100 g smooth liver pâté
- 1 pound/500 g frozen puff pastry (defrosted overnight in the refrigerator)
- 1 1/2 pounds/750 g beef fillet (tenderloin)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten (for glazing)
Gather the ingredients.
Heat the oven to 400 F/200 C/gas 6.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms soften, release their moisture, and the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the garlic and parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Add the pâté to the mushroom mixture and mix well; set aside.
Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to a sheet large enough to enclose the beef. Trim the edges and reserve the scraps for decoration.
Spread the pâté mixture over the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border at the edges. Place the beef in the center of the mixture.
Brush the exposed edges of the pastry with the beaten egg.
Fold the pastry over the meat to enclose it in a neat parcel and seal the edges well.
Place the meat parcel on a rimmed baking sheet, seam-side down.
Cut decorative leaves from the trimmed pastry. Brush the parcel with beaten egg, decorate with the pastry leaves, and chill for 10 minutes.
Transfer to the oven and bake until the pastry is puffed and golden and a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 125 to 130 F for medium-rare (or to your desired doneness), 40 to 45 minutes.
Transfer to a serving board and let rest for 10 minutes.
Cut into thick slices.
Serve and enjoy.
- Letting the meat rest after it's been cooked will allow for the muscle fibers to relax and redistribute the juices so that your beef Wellington remains juicy, tender, and flavorful when you cut it.