June 30th, 2008

monkey pirate

Beef Welling ala piraat d'amour

I've been watching "Hell's Kitchen" on hulu.com, and one thing that's consistently on the menu there is Beef Wellington. Between that, and reading a Sharpe's Rifles book that is, of course, about Wellington, I've been craving Beef Wellington.

I found a recipe. I gave it my own particular twist. Here's the results. Alas, I completely forgot to take a picture of the actual dinner, which was a shame because it was pretty goofy looking, though fairly tasty.

Beef Wellington ala piraat d'amour

* 1 2 1/2 to 3-pound beef tenderloin. I used filet mignon, same thing, basically.
* 2 teaspoons coarse salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 2 tablespoons butter-like substance
* 1 small onion, finely chopped
* 1 pound white mushrooms, stems removed, finely chopped
* 1/4 cup marsala
* Flour for dusting.
* 1 pound frozen puff pastry, thawed.
* 1/4 pound (4 ounces) pate de foie gras, or mushroom pate
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* Sea salt, or coarse salt, for sprinkling (optional)


1. I couldn't get a single cut of meat, so I got several filets and strung them together with toothpicks and twine.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season beef with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sear tenderloin until well browned on all surfaces, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Allegedly this includes the sides, but I couldn't figure that out, and didn't bother.
3. Set aside tenderloin. Cut away twine, and chill for at least two hours or over night.
4. In another large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook until it softens, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms; season with remaining teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and liquid is released and evaporates, 8 to 10 minutes. Add marsala; cook until mixture is dry, about 4 minutes more. Cool in the refrigerator for up to a day.
5. Dust a surface with flour, and make a rectangle of the puff pastry by rolling together pieces to get the right shape. Pinch the seams together, dust with flour, roll it out. Spread the top of the tenderloin evenly with half the mousse, and spread half of the mushrooms evenly over the top. If your meat is made of several segments (snicker, snicker)fill in the gaps with a little pate.
6. Put the tenderloin face down (the part with the pate and mushrooms) in the puff pastry. Spread another layer of mousse on top and sides of tenderloin. Spread remaining mushrooms over top. Fold up the puff pastry and seal the sides with the egg. Trim ends if necessary, set aside extra for decoration. Carefully transfer tenderloin, seam side down, to a baking sheet, and chill at least 2 hours or overnight. Roll out the extra dough, and cut out a skull, teeth, crossbones, and four little hearts. Chill them on the tray with the tenderloin.
7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a baking sheet on the middle rack in the oven until hot, about 15 minutes. Decorate top of pastry with skull, crossbones, and hearts. Brush with beaten egg. Make 2 to 3 slits in pastry for venting steam. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Carefully transfer beef Wellington to preheated baking sheet. Bake until pastry is golden brown and beef registers 120 degrees.to 130 degrees.on an instant-read thermometer for rare, 130 degrees.to 135 degrees.for medium rare, 35 to 50 minutes. Don't leave the meat thermometer in the Wellington when it cooks, or it will melt, even though the damn instructions say that you can. Let rest on a cutting board 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with rum, and love. (or red wine)
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