Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ring in the New Year

We welcomed the new year with bang this year. For our 1/1/10 dinner, I made Beef Wellington, a classic English dish where a beef tenderloin or Filet Mignon is coated with duxelles (minced mushrooms, shallots, and herbs sauteed in butter) and wrapped in puff pastry. Its easier than it looks, and has a great visual impact. The recipe I used comes from Tyler Florence and pairs the wellingtons with a creamy green peppercorn sauce. I served it with a simple green salad on the side, and made a vegetarian version for myself by using a portabello mushroom and omitting the prosciutto, and using vegetable stock in place of the beef in the sauce. Easy peasy!

Please pardon the over-cooked filet. Chris said it was still good!

Ultimate Beef Wellington (scaled down for two servings)

For the Duxelles:

  • 1 pints white button mushrooms
  • 1 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Beef:

  • 1 filet mignon
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 thin slices prosciutto
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Flour, for rolling out puff pastry
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed if using frozen
  • 1 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • Minced chives, for garnish

Green Peppercorn Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallots, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1/4 cup green peppercorns in brine, drained
To make the Duxelles: Add mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and thyme to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add butter and olive oil to a large saute pan and set over medium heat. Add the shallot and mushroom mixture and saute for 8 to 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

To prepare the beef: Tie the tenderloin in 4 places so it holds its cylindrical shape while cooking. Drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper and sear all over, including the ends, in a hot, heavy-based skillet lightly coated with olive oil - about 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile set out your prosciutto on a sheet of plastic wrap (plastic needs to be about a foot and a half in length so you can wrap and tie the roast up in it) on top of your cutting board. Shingle the prosciutto so it forms a rectangle that is big enough to encompass the entire filet. Using a rubber spatula cover evenly with a thin layer of duxelles. Season the surface of the duxelles with salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves. When the beef is seared, remove from heat, cut off twine and smear lightly all over with Dijon mustard. Allow to cool slightly, then roll up in the duxelles covered prosciutto using the plastic wrap to tie it up nice and tight. Tuck in the ends of the prosciutto as you roll to completely encompass the beef. Roll it up tightly in plastic wrap and twist the ends to seal it completely and hold it in a nice log shape. Set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to ensure it maintains its shape.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry out to about a 1/4-inch thickness. Depending on the size of your sheets you may have to overlap 2 sheets and press them together. Remove beef from refrigerator and cut off plastic. Set the beef in the center of the pastry and fold over the longer sides, brushing with egg wash to seal. Trim ends if necessary then brush with egg wash and fold over to completely seal the beef - saving ends to use as a decoration on top if desired. Top with coarse sea salt. Place the beef seam side down on a baking sheet.

Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash then make a couple of slits in the top of the pastry using the tip of a paring knife - this creates vents that will allow the steam to escape when cooking. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until pastry is golden brown and beef registers 125 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from oven and rest before cutting into thick slices. Garnish with minced chives, and serve with Green Peppercorn Sauce.

To make the sauce: Add olive oil to pan after removing beef. Add shallots, garlic, and thyme; saute for 1 to 2 minutes, then, off heat, add brandy and flambe using a long kitchen match. After flame dies down, return to the heat, add stock and reduce by about half. Strain out solids, then add 2 cups cream and mustard. Reduce by half again, then shut off heat and add green peppercorns.

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By the way, Anna at twelve22 is hosting a giveaway for Zevia all natural zero-calorie sodas. The ginger ale looks great to me! Go here to find out how to enter.

Happy New Year!


Rita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clumbsy Cookie said...

That does look delicious! What a great way to welcome 2010! Hope it's a great one for you!

Run Lori Run said...

Wow, that looks amazing. The carnivore in me is very happy! But one of my new years resolutions is to eat less meat. Any chance you could do some posts for carnivores that want to incorporate vegetarian meals into the menu more often?

Misty said...

But of course!

As a vegetarian, I often sub a veggie-friendly option into the meals I make for my husband, so that I can eat them too. I use Portabello mushrooms, tofu, tempeh, and even faux meats (I love Quorn Naked Chick'n products). In fact, the hubby said my Portabello Wellington was tastier than his filet mignon (but I think I overdid it on the prosciutto with his).

I'll keep your comment in mind for future meals!

Run Lori Run said...

Any posts on tofu would be awesome! A coworker and I often lament about our failed tofu attempts in the kitchen-- always bland or with a weird texture.

I will keep reading!