I have been watching Hell's Kitchen for many, many years. And drooling over beautifully cooked beef wellington the entire time. I knew when I had the chance to visit London a few years ago I had to go to a Ramsay restaurant and try Beef Wellington - and I did! And it is one of my favorite memories of that trip. What an over the top meal!
We decided why not give this recipe a try at home? It is kind of an ordeal - lots of steps, with resting and shaping, and chilling between each of the steps. It was about a half day project - but I have to say it was really worth it. I'm not sure that we'll revisit this one again anytime soon - but I would absolutely pull it out again for a special occasion meal!
I ended up using the "wrong" cut of steak - we were able to get strip steaks at the grocery store, they didn't have fillets. But we definitely made it work - but I ended up "rolling" the steaks a little bit instead of having the perfect round piece of meat surrounded by the other ingredients like you might have expected to see.
Beef Wellington adapted from Gordon Ramsay
1 1/2 lbs beef fillets
Olive oil, for frying
1 16-oz package of mushrooms, cleaned (I used baby bellas)
1 tsp thyme
1 sheet of puff pastry
8 slices of prosciutto
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water and a pinch of salt
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the red wine sauce
2 TBS olive oil
7-oz beef trimmings (ask the butcher to reserve these when trimming the fillet)
1 small onion, diced
12 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
Splash of red wine vinegar
1 25-oz bottle red wine
25-oz beef stock
- The night before you plan to enjoy your Wellingtons, shape the beef into the proper shape, and wrap well with saran wrap. Refrigerate overnight. Thaw your puff pastry overnight as well.
- A couple hours before you want to enjoy your meal, prepare the mushroom duxelle by fine dicing the mushrooms. Heat about 1 TBS olive oil in a large nonstick cooking pan, and cook mushrooms in a hot pan with a tsp of thyme and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. When they release their moisture, continue cooking for about 10 more minutes until they've become a thick paste and set aside to cool.
- Sprinkle the shaped fillets with a generous dose of salt and pepper, and sear on all sides briefly in a hot pan with a little olive oil. Set aside to cool.
- Lay out a layer of saran wrap, and lay out 4 slices of the prosciutto atop the saran wrap, layering them slightly over each other. Use half of the cooled duxelle over the prosciutto. Then wrap around the seared fillet. Wrap tightly in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Repeat for the other half of the ingredients.
- Roll out the sheet of thawed puff pastry, with a little flour on each side and the rolling pin to prevent sticking. You want it fairly thin. 1 sheet should cover both Wellingtons.
- Cut in half, and wrap your chilled wrapped fillets inside the puff pastry, gently covering all the way around, tucking in around the edges and sealing well. Repeat for the 2nd Wellington. Brush generously all the way around with egg wash. Wrap them both well in saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator again at least 30 minutes (can leave overnight if needed).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees when ready to cook. Brush the Wellingtons a second time with the egg wash before baking.
- Bake 20-35 minutes - until pastry is a lovely golden brown and steaks have reached medium-rare temperature (140-145 degrees).
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving (if you slice into them and they are under-cooked, pop them back in the oven for 5-10 minutes and check again).
- At least 2 hours before serving, being your wine sauce reduction by heating a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Heat the oil and fry the beef trimmings in the oil until well browned. Stir in the thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, and diced onion. Fry a few minutes to brown the onion. Pour in the vinegar, let it bubble and dissipate. When it's almost completely gone, pour in the wine and let it boil until the wine has almost completely reduced. Lastly add in the beef broth. Simmer on low for at least 1 hour until it reaches desired consistency - check and adjust the seasonings as needed.
- Skim off any scum and strain. You can allow to cool if you make this far in advance of your Wellingtons, and just reheat before serving.
- Drizzle over sliced Wellingtons to serve.