The Non-Chef’s Christmas Dinner Edition- Beef Wellington

Making Christmas dinner can be a daunting task for friends and family, especially if you are not a trained chef or in my case, someone who doesn’t cook a hot meal on a daily basis. However, Tom and I do love to volunteer and host social events, so true to form we (Tom) volunteered to make the piece de resistance- the main course. What does one typically make for Christmas dinner? Baked ham? Prime rib? We recently hosted our annual Friendsgiving at one of our favorite places in downtown Las Vegas last month and I had ordered a delicious beef Wellington that ignited Tom’s creative juices. Our minds were made up- we were going to make beef Wellington for Christmas dinner, just one thing was stopping us…we’ve never made it before.

We got cracking at researching different recipes; needless to say we experimented with different cuts of beef, oven temperatures, timing and seasonings. We decided to make individual Wellington’s to better control the beef as some people in our party liked their meat more well done than others. We prepped everything at home and then packed it all up and drove over to my parents house to finish baking them as well as making an awesome peppercorn sauce. It turned out to be a huge success and there were only two extra Wellington that my family insisted on keeping for themselves for leftovers the next day. First time making the entrée for Christmas dinner-success! The recipe below is a loose interpretation of how we prepared everything; please note we’re not trained chefs, however this is a great weekend dinner to host for friends and family. So crack open a bottle of wine and start prepping!

Non-Chef’s Version of Beef Wellington

Prep time: 1.5 hours
Total Time: 2.5 hours
Serves 4-5

For the Duxelles (mushroom spread that goes on the inside)

  • 1.5 lbs of button mushrooms
  • 3 shallots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 springs of thyme
  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 tbd of butter

For the Beef

  • 2 lbs of beef (we used tenderloin, but NY Strip or if you’re feeling fancy Filet Mignon works great)
  • Dijon whole seed mustard
  • 1 package of frozen puff pastry (thawed)
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 4-5 springs of thyme
  • 12 slices of prosciutto (we used 2 sliced per Wellington)
  • flour

For the Peppercorn Sauce

  • 2 shallots
  • 1 box beef stock
  • 2/3 cups bourbon
  • 2 cups cream
  • 3 tbs whole peppercorns (crushed in a mortar and pestle)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2-3 springs of thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Duxelles

Place all of the mushrooms, shallots, garlic and thyme in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and then add in the mushroom mixture. Sauté until most of the liquid evaporates, roughly about 10
minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat and set aside to cool for later.

 

Beef

Drizzle olive oil into a pan and let it get hot but not to the point of the oil burning. Sear the meat all over and set aside to cool. Once the meat has cooled, smear a light coating of the Dijon mustard on the top sides on all of the meat. Then place plastic wrap on a
cutting board and lay out the 2 slices of prosciutto, slightly overlapped. Place 1 tbs of the duxelles and spread over the prosciutto, once complete place the meat mustard side down on the duxelles and spread more mustard on the meat. Pick up one side of the plastic cling
and wrap up the prosciutto over the meat; repeat on the other side to fully encase the meat. Tie up the ends of the plastic and leave in the fridge to set.

Let the meat set in the fridge for a minimum 30 minutes (prep peppercorn sauce while waiting).

Set oven to 425 degrees

Sprinkle flour on a clean surface and roll out the pastry; flattening out with a rolling pin. Unwrap the meat out of the static cling and place on top of the pastry and fold over the pastry to enclose the meat. Seal with egg wash. Make a couple of tiny slits on the top of the pastry so when it bakes the steam from the meat will release or else the bottom of the pastry may get soggy. Place in the over for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Let it rest 5-10 minutes before cutting.

 

Peppercorn Sauce

Add the olive oil to the same pan that you used to sear the beef earlier. Add the garlic, thyme, shallots and the crushed peppercorns and sauté over medium heat for a few minutes. TAKE THE PAN OFF THE HEAT, and then add the bourbon and flambé using an extended flame lighter. Once the flame dies down return back to heat and add the stock and reduce the liquid by about half. We like to leave the shallots and all the yummy bits of
peppercorns etc in the mixture, but you may strain and then bring back the liquid to the pan. Add the cream and reduce by half again. Add salt to taste if needed and serve.