Friday, January 7, 2011

NYE Recipe: Beef Wellington

I almost couldn't believe my luck.  My dad, independent of my 130 list, decided to make Beef Wellington for dinner on New Years Eve.  I had already offered to help him in the kitchen this year, hoping some of his cooking prowess would rub off on me, and I jumped at the chance to make Beef Wellington for everyone and thereby cross another goal off of my list!

This recipe is a little different than a traditional Beef Wellington because instead of using a beef tenderloin, it calls for beef fillet steaks.  If you are cooking for a large crowd or serving this as part of a multiple course meal, these smaller fillets take less time and are easier to work with.

The beef is so hearty and filling, it only needs a very simple side dish such as Creamy Napa Cabbage Alfredo, pictured below, or a salad tossed simply with oil and vinegar.

Beef Wellington, adapted by my dad from a Mastercook recipe

4 beef fillet steak, 6 ounces each
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 17 1/2 ounce puff pastry
4 ounces goose liver pate, sliced--we used canned pate, which tasted great and is a lot easier to find in grocery stores
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
10 ounces button mushrooms, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 cups reduced beef stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 canned truffle, very thinly sliced
4 ounces duck liver, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup madeira

Kitchen Supplies:
Rolling pin, for rolling out puff pastry
Parchment paper
Medium skillet
Baking sheet
Heavy sided skillet
Can opener, if using canned pate
Pastry brush, for egg wash on top of pastry
Small saucepan

Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.  Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium.  Cook until all liquid has evaporated, and the mushrooms begin to caramelize, about 12 minutes.  Add the wine and cook to deglaze the pan and let the liquid evaporate.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Season both sides of beef filets with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a heavy sided skillet over medium high heat and sear each side of the filets for 1 minute.  Transfer to a plate and cool completely.  This is very important because if the meat is warm, it will begin to cook the pastry before it goes into the oven, creating a mushy mess.

Roll out puff pastry and cut into 7 inch squares.  Spread mushroom duxelles on top of each filet and top with a slice of pate.  Press down to flatten.  Place the filet, pate side down, in the center of each puff pastry and brush edges with egg wash.  Fold into bundle.  Place folded side down on parchment paper.  Brush egg wash on top and sides.  Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes for medium rare.

Place beef stock in a small saucepan and heat gently, set aside.  Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the truffles and cook 1 minute.  Add the liver, salt and pepper and swirl the pan and cook for 45 seconds.  Add Madeira and increase heat to medium-high to deglaze the pan.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Add the warm stock, stirring well to incorporate and cook until warmed through, about 30 seconds.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.  Spoon sauce in center of plate and arrange beef wellington on the top.  Serve with vegetable of choice.

Serves: 4

To make this recipe work for a crowd during a multiple course dinner, make the mushroom druxelles a day ahead and keep in refrigerator until you assemble the Wellingtons.  The sauce should also be made ahead of time and reheated at the right moment to serve.  Likewise, you can make the Wellingtons and store in the refrigerator until 45-50 minutes before the course.  Just be sure to let the Wellingtons lose some of their chill from the fridge before placing them in the hot oven!

To round out our NYE dinner recipe tour, we will finish up with Bananas Fosters, with a twist. Hint: it involves my favorite dessert, bread pudding!

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