Because what Dave wants for his birthday dinner, Dave gets for his birthday dinner.
It has become a bit of a tradition now that I make Dave whatever he can dream up for his birthday dinner no matter how outlandish. One year it was Lobster Thermadore, another it was surf and turf along with escargots.
This year Dave wanted Beef Wellington. The most challenging part of this, finding a whole beef tenderloin. And as luck would have it, Publix came through and just happened to have one, which they kindly cut in half for me. I love Publix.
I was a bit nervous about cooking up a very expensive cut of meat, hidden away inside of a pastry shell, where I had no familiar method of telling its doneness, no touch, no visual... just had to go on instinct on this one.
So I read through quite a few different recipes for Beef Wellington, and took tips and instructions from a few, like searing the beef and letting it cool back down before wrapping it in pastry, to prevent the juices from making the pastry itself soggy. Good tip I thought.
It was much easier than I had anticipated. I had visions of presenting it to Dave and him promptly throwing it on the floor and calling me a donkey a la Gordon Ramsay. But to my delight, I cut timidly through the shell and into the meat, and it was perfect! My first Beef Wellington, SUCCESS!
So I'll share the recipe I created by combining about half a dozen I dug out of books and the interwebs.
Beef Wellington with Foie Gras Pate and Wild Mushrooms
- 1 beef tenderloin, trimmed (I cut mine down to be small enough for just 2 portions, the rest is in the freezer for future noms.)
- .5 lb assorted wild mushrooms (I had shiitake, cremini, woodear, chanterelle)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 oz smooth pate (I used a foie gras & truffle pate)
- 2 T butter
- 3 T fresh flat leaf parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1lb ready made puff pastry
- 1 beaten egg to glaze
Let the beef sit until it reaches room temperature. Then, in a lightly oiled pan on high, sear the outside of the beef without leaving it long enough to begin cooking through. You just want a sear here. Set the beef aside and allow it to cool back down.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a large skillet and cook the onion until they begin to soften, then add the mushrooms and continue cooking for about another 5 minutes until they are soft and nicely colored. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set the mushrooms aside to cool.
Once the mushrooms have cooled, bled in gently into the pate and set aside.
Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to a sheet large enough to enclose the beef. Spread the pate mixture down the middle of the pastry and lay the beef on top of the mixture. Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg and fold the pastry around the meat into a neat parcel. Place the meat onto a baking sheet, seam side down (pate side up), and brush the pastry all over with the remaining egg.
Bake for 40 minutes or so, until the crust is golden and puffed up. Transfer to a serving board and LET IT REST FOR 10 MINUTES!
Cut into thick slices and serve.
We had this with a green salad and some beautiful little potatoes, parboiled and sauteed in butter. And of course a side of English mustard.