This past Christmas we hosted friends for dinner. My family has a Beef Wellington tradition for Christmas and Valentine’s Day so I decided to treat my friends to the same delicious meal.
The tradition started when I was first teaching myself how to cook in the kitchen, I was looking for something challenging and at the time Hell’s Kitchen was all the rage. On that show, Beef Wellington was THE DISH that no one could execute properly causing Chef Ramsey to lose his mind – challenge accepted.
The first one came out good but I knew it was going to need more practice and Christmas was right around the corner so I tried again, and then Valentine’s Day was right around that corner so I tried again and just like that a tradition was born.
With this recipe and step by step instructions you’re going to have a great beef wellington, even if this is your first time!
I usually make individual wellingtons however this year I decided to do one large 3 lb beef tenderloin, it’s the easiest way to please a crowd, allowing different steak temperatures. This recipe will have a medium rare middle (130-135F) making the end pieces closer to medium 145F.
Ingredients(for 3lb Beef Tenderloin)
3 Lb Beef Tenderloin
2 TBSP Butter
1 Clove of Garlic
2-3 Sprigs of Thyme
Sprinkle of Salt
1/4 Cup of Yellow Mustard
10-12 Slices of Prosciutto
2 Sheets of Puff Pastry
Egg Wash (2 Eggs and 1 TBSP of Water)
For the Duxelles Filling
1 1/2 TBSP of Butter & a drizzle of Olive Oil
3 Cloves of minced Garlic (about 3 tsp)
1 TBSP dry Thyme
1 TBSP Salt
3 Cups of small diced Onion
3 Cups of small diced White Mushrooms
1/2 Cup of Red Wine (optional)
Red Wine Shallot Sauce (optional)
1 Shallot – thinly sliced
1 -2 cups of Red Wine (use something you like to drink)
1 TBSP of Demi-Glace
Splash of Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 TBSP Butter
Notes for a larger than 3lb Beef Wellington:
Before purchasing bigger than 3 lb beef tenderloin, you want to make sure you have way to sear the tenderloin. The more weight it is, the longer it will be. I didn’t think about this and I ended up having to use a flat surface griddle pan., also not the longer it is, the longer it will need to cook so you may want to consider making two large wellingtons if you’re feeding a really large crowd in order to make it easier to handle.
I cannot giver exact measurements for adapting ingredients because it will depend on the size of your Beef Tenderloin. But follow the instructions below and step-by-step directions with pictures you’ll be successful:
You will need enough butter to brown your beef tenderloin, I suggest starting with 2 TBSP of butter and you can add more if needed.
You will need enough yellow mustard and prosciutto to cover the entire tenderloin
You will need enough duxelles to cover the top surface of the entire beef tenderloin. Notes: mushrooms and onions will shrink in size once cooked. I am a firm believer that you would rather have more duxelles than not enough. I would increase by 1 cup of each onion and mushroom for every additional pound of beef tenderloin. If you have time, you can make more if you find yourself short.
2 puff pastry sheets and the egg wash in the recipe should cover 3-5 lbs of beef tenderloin.
To make more Red Wine Shallot Sauce, you can easily increase your ingredients. I would start by increasing only the red wine. You may need to increase the red wine vinegar to taste at the end.
If you’re making 4+ cups, then I would suggest doubling the recipe completely.
It maybe worth skimming all of the instructions before starting. There are times you can break and I will be sure to highlight them along the way, you can even do the heavy lifting a day early.
Prepping the beef tenderloin:
Sprinkle with salt and set it aside to let the salt dissolve.
If you want to keep a round shape to your beef tenderloin you can tie it with twine (or keep the twine on until it is seared if your beef tenderloin comes tied already)
Making the duxelles filling:
If you ask me, this is the hardest part in prep. The struggle is real, having the endurance to dice enough onion and mushrooms is difficult. The onions and mushrooms have this annoying tendency to shrink when cooked so the more the merrier. If you need a chef trick for cutting onion quickly I did a tutorial here.
Over medium heat with butter and olive oil, add in onion, garlic, thyme and salt. Start to cook the onions for about 3 minutes. They should start to get soft and translucent without putting on color.
Add in the mushrooms.
Cook the mushroom mixture for another 3 minutes until they are soft. If you are skipping the red wine, continue to cook the mushrooms for another 5 minutes until everything is soft. Remove and drain on plate with paper towels (skip below)
Add in the red wine and cook until the wine liquid is almost gone. It should take about 5 minutes or so.
Drain onion and mushroom mixture on a plate of paper towels.
Searing the beef tenderloin:
I had to use the grill pan this time because the beef tenderloin was too long for my pan, however I like to do this in the same pan that I make the duxelles filling if I can.
Over medium high heat, melt butter, with a clove of garlic and thyme, and sear the beef tenderloin on all sides.
Remove from the heat, let it cool down to the touch. Remove the twine if your beef tenderloin has it.
Assembling the Beef Wellington
As it cools, assemble the ingredients for assembling the beef wellington. You will need the yellow mustard, duxelles filling, prosciutto, and plastic wrap ( this step is optional but highly recommended because it allows the meat to keep it’s log shape after removing the twine. If you see in the picture above it split in the middle a little so this step helps with that
Step one: brush on the mustard. Cover the entire beef wellington with yellow mustard. I know it sounds weird but the acidity of the yellow mustard will help cut some of the softer flavors of the mushrooms and prosciutto.
Step two: pile on the duxelles filling.
You will want it to be a thick layer:
Step three: wrap the top in prosciutto layers. I layer mine one and tuck the ends of the prosciutto under the beef tenderloin.
Step four (optional): wrap the beef tenderloin in plastic wrap. This will help “mold” the shape of the beef wellington. What you will want to do is lay out two pieces of plastic wrap over lapping so that it’s large enough to wrap around the beef tenderloin. Then place the beef tenderloin in the wrap and roll up tightly, twisting the two ends to create tension so that it will hold the log shape – I use tape to tape down the twisted ends so that they don’t come undone.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours) , this is a really good breaking point. You can do all of the prep the day before or in the morning which helps save some of time.
Step five: wrap the beef tenderloin in puff pastry. I use two sheets of frozen puff pastry from the grocery store.
Overlapping the dough, I roll it out to about just under a 1/4 of an inch thick
Then you take your beef tenderloin out of the plastic wrap and wrap it in the puff pastry like a present. you want to make sure there is only one layer of dough all the way around and then fold over the sides. The seem of the dough should be on the bottom, you can use a little egg wash to help keep the seem closed if needed.
Step six: Brush the egg wash over the entire pastry and cut slits. The slits should not pierce all the way through to the meat, if you happen to on accident, it’s ok. Keep the egg wash! You’ll brush it again right before baking.
Refrigerate until you’re ready to bake it.
Preheat your oven to 350F
Take out the beef wellington, egg wash the entire pastry again.
Bake at 350F. 60 minutes for a medium rare center. I recommend testing it with a thermometer, to do that without jeopardizing the presentation, stick it on the side, low and in the center. Try not to stick in down from the top.
Rest. I rested mine for about an 30-40 minutes while I got everything else ready for dinner and then popped it back in for 15 minutes at the end at 400F to make sure it was nice and brown and hot.