Monday, June 21, 2010

Beef Wellington and ::Sayonara::

Two nights ago, I wanted to make a special dinner at home since it was the last I would share with my husband until September. As a Marine, his training takes him (well, us, really) all over the place. This time, he's in a desert on the other side of the country. When I think about him eating out there, I just imagine sand in everything, the way it was when I was a kid on vacation in the Outer Banks.

I decided to try my hand at Beef Wellington, something I've only had once at my momma's house. I turned to one of my new cookbooks (purchased from McKay's a couple weeks ago). The book is Appetizers, Finger Food, Buffets & Parties by Bridget Jones (no joke).

There's more this cookbook than its title offers up, including "Festive Main Courses," "Brunches, Lunches and Fork Suppers," and "Eating Outdoors." I look forward to trying out a little of every section. Now, before I get into all the nitty-gritty, I have to note a few things. 1) I asked for the specific cut of meat from the butcher at the local grocery store. Being in a hurry, I didn't check the packaging and, upon returning home, realized that it was 1 lb instead of 3.25 lbs. (Not sure what happened ...). So! I have two, half-pound cuts in the photos. 2) I didn't chop the mushrooms. Oops. I was distracted working on my growing herb garden (photos to come soon) and just totally looked over it. I will definitely chop them next time. 3) I didn't put tin foil over it. Since we had less than half the called-for beef, I should have covered around the 15-minute mark. I had set the oven timer for 30 minutes as the directions called for. Thankfully, the pastry was only dark gold, not too crispy, so the taste was definitely still there (without any burnt-flavoring). And 4) I didn't make any pastry leaves. Time was of the essence.

  • 3 1/4 lb fillet (tenderloin) of beef
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil (we substituted with olive oil)
  • 1 1/2 C chopped mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 oz. smooth liver pate
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (we substituted with parsley flakes)
  • 14 oz. puff pastry
  • beaten egg, to glaze
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • fresh flat leaf parsley, to garnish
  • kitchen twine
  1. Tie the fillet of beef at regular intervals with string so that it stays in a neat shape during cooking.

  2. Heat 2 tbsp of the sunflower oil in a large frying pan, and cook the beef over a high heat for about 10 minutes, until brown on all sides. Transfer to a roasting pan, bake for 20 minutes. Leave to cool.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and cook the mushrooms and garlic for about 5 minutes. Beat the mushroom mixture into the pate with the parsley, season well. Set aside to cool.

    (Don't you just love the label on this? The font, the flourish - so fun!)

  4. Roll out the pastry in a sheet large enough to enclose the beef, plus a strip to spare. Trim off the spare pastry, trim the other edges to neaten. Spread the pate mix down the middle of the pastry. Untie the beef and lay it on the pate.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg and fold it over the meat to enclose it in a neat parcel. Place the parcel on a baking sheet with the join in the pastry underneath. Cut leaf shapes from the reserved pastry. Brush the parcel with egg, garnish with pastry leaves. Chill for 10 minutes.
  6. Bake the Beef Wellington for 50-60 minutes, covering it loosely with foil after about 30 minutes to prevent the pastry from burning.

  7. Serve cut into thick slices garnished with parsley. 

And so, my love, I will dream of you and me, the sun and sea, until we meet again...


  1. This sounds really good. I will be honest, I don't know if I could do the pate though. No worries, he won't get sand in his food out there unless of course he drops it and picks it up.

  2. Wow, I would love to try this! But I highly doubt they have pate out here in Lawton =) I'm thinking of you, my dear, and I know you'll be strong through the rough patches! Can't wait to see you in a few days!

  3. Ive been craving for Beef Wellington for a week, since this actress mentioned that she wanted this (I forgot the movie, twas on HBO, but I can definitely remember she wanted Wellington), and this is a coincidence. Thanks for the recipe!! I'd love to make it this week.... U