Ultimate Beef Wellington
Dinner Party Ideas
The most important part of beef wellington is the pastry. Sealing the beef tightly in the pastry will ensure that the juices are sealed in and the meat remain soft and tender. The duxelle mushroom layer wrapped in prosciutto, not only adds delicious flavours, but also serves as insulation, so that only diffused, gentle heat reaches the beef fillet. That's because you want the oven to be hot enough to crip the pastry, but without overcooking the meat, which should be served medium and still pink in the middle.
1.5kg beef tenderloin, at room temperature
2 tbsp olive oil
300g mushroom, chopped very small
3 tbsp parlsey, chopped
2 tbsp garlic, crushed
100g prosciutto (6 slices)
400g puff pastry, good-quality store-bought or homemade + 250g extra for optional lattice top
2 egg yolks, for egg wash
If your puff pastry is frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge. If opting for homemade and it's not made yet, follow the recipe instructions to make it.
Heat oil in a hot pan and sear the beef fillet for 3 minutes on each side, or until browned all over, but still rare in the middle. Remove from the pan, cover with foil and set aside to cool.
Chop mushrooms as finely as possible and mix with chopped parsley and garlic. Fry the mushroom duxelle mixture in butter on medium heat for about 10-15 mins, or until brown and all excess moisture has evaporated and its starts browning slightly. Set aside to cool.
Place plastic wrap down on a work surface, overlapping, and cover with prosciutto so that’s big enough to cover the whole tenderloin. Spread the cooled duxelles evenly and thinly over the prosciutto. Season with pepper and sit the seared fillet on top. Use the cling film to draw the prosciutto around the fillet, then roll it into a sausage shape, twisting the ends to tighten it nitly. Refrigerate for a couple of hours, or overnight.
Dust your work surface with flour. Roll out the puff pastry as a long rectangle, big enough to fully cover the beef. Un-wrap the beef and place on top of the pastry. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash, then tightly roll. Trim the pastry and brush all over with the egg wash. To make the optional pattern shown in the photo, you'll need a lattice pastry cutter. Roll out the extra pastry, roll the lattice pastry cutter over it and place it over the assembled wellington. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Transfer wellington to a lined tray. Brush with more egg wash and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until pastry is golden. Rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.
I find it easier to start the day before eating it, so that each step is reasonably quick and easy, with enough resting time in between. I also always prefer to get as much done as possible ahead of time, so that I only need to bake it and work on the trimmings on the day when entertaining.
Why is my beef wellington falling apart?
Using the duxelle mushrooms and making sure is cooked long enough, will help prevent a soggy crust. Once wrapped in pastry, make sure the wellington has enough time chilling before cooking.
Why is my beef wellington soggy?
Make sure the mushroom filling is cooked until all of the liquid has evaporated, so it has capacity to absorb excess moisture from the meat when cooking. Another approach is to bake "blind" an extra rectangle of puff pastry for the base before assembling the wellington on top of it. A layer of crepes is also sometimes used for additional absorption (although I have never tried it).
How long can you keep beef wellington in the fridge before cooking?
Beef Wellington can be prepared in advance, up to 24h, and baked from chilled.
Can I freeze my raw beef wellington?
Pastry, mushrooms, beef will all freeze well individually, so you can freeze raw beef wellington for up to 3 months. Ensure its wrapped well and fully airtight and cook from frozen (without thawing). It will require an additional 45 mins cooking on medium heat, and will require covering it with loose foil during that extra time to prevent the pastry from browning too quickly.
Can I freeze leftover wellington?
You can freeze leftover beef wellington, but only if you cooked the wellington from fresh (not if it was previously frozen). When doing so, wrap individual slices and reheat on low heat from frozen.
Calories 573, Fat 35.7 grams, Cholesterol 153 milligrams, Sodium 522 milligrams, Carbs 23.8 grams, Protein 38.5 grams