Epic Beef Wellington

Epic Beef Wellington

Serves 4 to 6

Filet Mignon:

1 single cut (3 lb.) “trimmed” filet mignon (center cut)
2 eggs beaten (lightly)
1 pound puff pastry (if frozen; thaw-out)
2 tablespoon mustard (Dijon preferred)
⅔ cup chicken liver pâté
6 sprigs fresh thyme (only the leaves)
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
Minced chives (for garnishing)
Fresh ground pepper and Kosher salt (to taste)
Flour (keeps pastry from sticking when rolled out)

Diva’s Mixture – Duxelles:

2 sprigs fresh thyme (only the leaves)
3 pints mixed exotic mushrooms (1½ lb.)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
4 roughly “chopped” garlic cloves (peeled)
2 roughly “chopped” shallots (peeled)
Fresh ground pepper and Kosher salt (to taste)

Peppercorn Sauce:

3 sprigs fresh thyme (only the leaves)
1 cup Brandy
2 cups cream
2 “smashed” garlic cloves (peeled)
½ cup green peppercorns in brine, drained (reserve brine)
1 box beef stock (32 oz.)
2 tablespoons “grainy” mustard (Dijon preferred)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 “sliced” shallots (peeled)

Preheat oven to 425°F

Prepare the Duxelles: In a food processor or blender, pulse blend the garlic, mushrooms, thyme, and shallots until finely chopped. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, place the olive oil and butter and lightly stir until the butter is melted. Now, add the shallot mixture and sauté until the liquid is almost entirely evaporated (approximately 8 to 10 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste and allow cooling.

Prepare the Beef: The beef should be tied in at least 4 to 5 places to ensure it maintains a circular shape during searing. Entirely salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil. Lightly coat a heavy-based skillet with olive oil over medium heat and fully sear the beef (including its ends; approximately 2 to 4 minutes). Do not clean the skillet (set it aside); it will be used for the peppercorn sauce.

On the top of a cutting board, lay out a sheet of plastic wrap in length sufficient to tie the beef up in it.

In a medium bowl, place the pâté and duxelles and mix to a soft paste with a fork. Use a spatula to spread the paste evenly over the plastic wrap in a shape that will cover the beef when rolled in the plastic. Sprinkle the top of the duxelles with thyme leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Remove the seared beef from the skillet, cut off the ties, and place it on a plate. Then, lightly coat the beef with Dijon mustard and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Position the beef on the duxelles and roll it up (and tie it up) tightly; it helps to twist the ends of the plastic to get a complete seal. The goal is to have the beef tightly sealed in a log shape before placing it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Lightly flour a cutting board or another clean surface. Roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of approximately 1¼ inches (if needed, overlap additional sheets – press together- to meet this thickness). Cut and remove the plastic from the refrigerated beef (leave the ties in place) and place it in the center of the puff pastry. Fold the pastry around the beef and brush the ends with an egg wash to act as a sealant. Trim the ends of the pastry and completely/neatly seal the beef. Lightly sprinkle the pastry with sea salt and place it (seam down) on a baking sheet. The top side of the pastry should be brushed with egg wash and vented. That is, use a paring knife to cut a few slits so steam may escape during baking.

For 40 to 45 minutes, bake until the pastry is golden brown and an “instant read” meat thermometer registers between 125-130°F. Pull the pastry from the oven and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting thick slices. Use minced chives as a garnish and serve with the peppercorn sauce.

Prepare Peppercorn Sauce: In the skillet used for searing the beef (over medium heat), place olive oil, garlic, reserved peppercorn brine, shallots, and thyme. Sauté for approximately 1 to 2 minutes before removing from heat. Pour in the brandy and flambé by lighting with a long match or long stick lighter. When the flames die down, return the skillet to the heat and add stock (lightly stir and reduce heat by half). Now, strain out the solids, add mustard and 2 cups of cream (reduce heat by half, again). Finally, shut off the heat entirely and add peppercorns.

Diva Tip:

  • Beef Wellington is the “star of the show” at any dinner table. Pair this beautiful meat with your favorite vegetable or potato. My preference is to start with a light, crisp salad before presenting this beauty with a couple of side dishes of choice. Enjoy Epicureans!
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