A special day deserves a special meal. And it doesn’t have to take all day — it doesn’t even have to be hard.
Beef Wellington is an impressive and memorable dish that makes anyone you serve feel special. It’s deceptively easy and gorgeous on your table.
Beef Wellington has long been associated with the 1st Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), an impressive General in the British army credited with the first Napoleonic war victory. While I’d like very much for this provenance to be true, it is likely:
Either way, anything credited to Julia Child is special, it’s a beautiful dish, worthy of the season… and easy on the chef.
2 1/2 pounds center-cut beef tenderloin
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon salt
freshly cracked pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
Heat the oven to 425°F. Place the beef into a roasting pan fitted with a rack. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Roast for 35 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the beef reads 145°F. Cover the pan and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Reheat the oven to 425°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.
Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms are tender and all the liquid is evaporated, stirring often.
Sprinkle the work surface with the flour. Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a rectangle 4 inches longer and 6 inches wider than the beef. Brush the pastry sheet with the egg mixture. Spoon the mushroom mixture onto the pastry sheet to within 1-inch of the edge. Place the beef in the center of the mushroom mixture. Fold the pastry over the beef and press to seal. Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Tuck the ends under to seal. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture.
To garnish the top of the Wellington, use an additional puff pastry sheet and cut shapes and ropes and apply to the top of the pastry encrusted beef with egg wash.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the beef reads 150 – 160°F (for medium-well to well done).