This recipe is a classic. It is savory and ridiculous and rich. You need time, but no special skill or equipment to achieve an impressive, delicious dinner, for a holiday or special occasion, or an unremarkable Thursday in May. To gild the lily, we served ours with creamed spinach and a dry vodka martini.
The butcher cut a beautiful piece of fillet. I chopped wild mushrooms fragrant of the middle woods. I used my favorite long rolling pin to form the puff pastry into the right shape (Mississippi-ish) and size. I added a good glug of wine to the cooking-down earthy vegetables, with marjoram instead of the more traditional thyme. I brushed lovingly with egg.
It came out of the oven and golden brown. And when we sliced, the medium-rare meat was pink in the center. There are textures and layers and such a sweet reward for your effort. I cannot recommend this one highly enough. Please enjoy!
- 2 lb beef tenderloin fillet
- Vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 12 oz mixed mushrooms (shitakes and creminis), very finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 sprigs marjoram, leaves removed from stems
- 1/4 cup vermouth or dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 6-8 pieces of prosciutto
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- Flour, for dusting work surface
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
To prepare the beef:
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, get vegetable oil very hot. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Sear meat on all four sides until deep brown. Remove to a plate and allow it to rest, then rub with Dijon mustard.
For the mushroom duxelles:
In the same skillet used to sear the beef, melt butter over medium-low. Saute shallots and mushrooms, garlic and marjoram. Add the vermouth and cook down, until almost a paste. Season with salt and pepper.
For the Wellington:
Preheat oven to 400.
Lay 12 inches of plastic wrap on your work surface. Layer prosciutto in a shingled fashion in two columns, overlapping.
Spread mushroom duxelles evenly over prosciutto.
Center the beef fillet on the mushroom mixture. Fold the sides of plastic wrap up and secure tightly around fillet. Refrigerate while you prepare pastry.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one sheet of (thawed) puff pastry into a rectangle.
Paint the edges with beaten egg yolks. Unwrap the beef and center on puff pastry. Fold up sides and seal. Now, the other ends, making sure to remove any excess pastry, since more than two layers of pastry will not cook completely.
Place on a baking pan, seam side down; brush with egg yolks and score with the back of a knife, taking care not to go all the way through the pastry. Cook 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast reads 125-130 degrees. Allow the Wellington to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into one inch thick slices.