The Beef Wellington, or the Filet de Boef en Croute, is a dish that traces it’s origins back centuries to Britain, where it was named for the Duke of Wellington. The duke was a man that enjoyed beef, pate and truffles, and obviously didn’t have enough patience to enjoy them separately.
The traditional preparation calls for beef tenderloin wrapped in a mushroom duxelle with foie gras pate, sometimes with a crepe wrapped around the beef to absorb moisture, then it is all wrapped in puff pastry.
For this preparation, the beef tenderloin was seasoned with kosher salt, freshly ground toasted black pepper, garlic powder, dried rosemary and thyme, then cooked sous vide for two and a half hours at 135 degrees Fahrenheit. The wrapped tenderloin was then shocked and cooled in an ice bath.
A mushroom duxelle was prepared using a mix of local mushrooms including shiitake and trumpet. The mushrooms were sauteed on high heat with clarified butter, then seasoned with kosher salt, freshly ground toasted black pepper. Freshly chopped garlic and shallots were added, as well as a knob of unsalted butter. After the butter was toasted and the shallots were translucent, the pan was deglazed with madeira, then freshly chopped parsley, thyme and chives were added to finish. After the mushroom mixture cooled, it was roughly chopped by hand.
The tenderloin was then wrapped with the mushroom duxelle, then blanched and seasoned spinach leaves, then finally a trellis cut of puff pastry was added. The puff pastry was brushed with an egg wash then allowed to sit, uncovered, in the refrigerator for a couple hours. Applying the egg wash and allowing it to sit uncovered allows for greater browning in the oven.
The wellington was then baked in a convection oven on high fan at 375 degrees for approximately fifteen minutes, until the crust was golden brown. It was then removed from the oven and brushed with clarified butter to add a sheen and allowed to sit for five minutes before slicing.
One thing to note is that the puff pastry on the bottom of the wellington was too damaged to use because of the moisture that it absorbed. When I repeat this recipe I will probably try to remove more moisture from the mushrooms, as well as possibly wrapping the beef tenderloin in crepe to wick moisture and another layer of flavor.