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Monday, December 14, 2009

Another Daring Cooks Adventure: Beef Wellington

Hi All! It's another delicious edition of the Daring Cooks and this month the challenge was hosted by Simone of Junglefrog Cooking. Simone chose Salmon en Croute (or alternative recipes for Beef Wellington or Vegetable en Croute) from Good Food Online. This was very very exciting to me because while the salmon looked totally delicious, I have always wanted to make Beef Wellington.. it is one of our favorites and we get it almost every year for my birthday (though not needed this year) and we even had it for our wedding entree. I only had a chance to make the Beef Wellington (just in the nick of time yesterday!) but I would love to make the salmon recipe because it looks so delicious, and I bet my parents would love it too. (Sometimes The Husband needs some coaxing to eat fish...)

We had two holiday parties this past weekend - Friday and Saturday night - both with fancy and hearty meals so I must say we were feeling a little burnt out from fancy meals by the time it came to Sunday night's Beef Wellington. But.. for Daring Cooks.. the dinner must go on!

I tried a short crust pastry for a pumpkin/pecan pie I made for Thanksgiving and the crust was a little tough, so I was a little nervous to try out yet another short crust pastry but I felt that I should just try it again, that would be the main part of the challenge for me, plus I had all the ingredients. I put the crust together much like I remember Audax's awesome directions (in the Daring Cooks forum) and hoped for the best while it chilled. I always seem to need to add extra water to my crusts. Anyway, meanwhile, I made the duxelles .. I followed a recipe I saw online. Duxelles is a mixture of shallots, button mushrooms, garlic, and thyme all chopped up and sauteed which I then set aside to be wrapped around the meat. I had some leftover fillet of beef from a large Costco one that I chopped up and froze in pieces, which ended up being more than I expected and we had tons of leftovers! Some of the beef wellington recipes I saw online said to wrap the beef and duxelles with prosciutto but I have a vendetta against that stuff so I skipped it.

What I did do was follow the Good Food Online recipe and made some herb crepes. The purpose of these crepes (just milk, flour, herbs) is to absorb any extra liquid from the duxelles and meat, so that the flakey crust can stay nice and crisp. I laid down the crepes on plastic wrap, spread the duxelles mixture on top and then laid the seared beef across and wrapped everything up into a log. That got chilled while I rolled out my pastry.

The pastry worked out OK and I wrapped the log of meat in the pastry and popped it into the oven. I stuck an instant-read thermometer into the thickest end and waited for the meat to get to 123 degrees. This didn't take too long. I left the log to rest and the temperature did rise a good 10 degrees.

Even with how burnt out we were with holiday parties... we both agreed.. this was an awesome meal.  My fear of short crust pastry is no longer with me as this crust actually turned out flakey and delicious. Yay! Take that, Mom! This recipe is totally Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or New Years Eve-worthy... this would also be an excellent recipe to impress some dinner guests. You can make the duxelles and crepes in advance and the whole thing can be chilled.. it really isn't that much work, minus the quick pastry. I will definitely make this recipe again.. we served it with a Detroit specialty - Zip Sauce, and with some broccoli. Yum! Thanks to Simone for making me try this recipe and I can't wait to try the salmon version.


  1. it looks absolutely delicious. Great job.

  2. My question to you is, how did you get the crust and filling to stay on the meat when you sliced to serve it?

  3. OMG, your photos and write up just made my mouth water. Your beef wellington looks amzing..and puts mine to shame. Very well done, although your beef isn't..which is a good thing..rare and juicy is the ONLY way (IMO) :)

  4. I'm looking forward to this recipe.nice share and also nice making details.
    Beef wellington recipe