The exact origin of Beef Wellington is not known for sure. The legend goes that this dish was created for the occasion of Arthur Wellesley becoming The Duke of Wellington. I hope that’s true! It is a British dish, but possibly created by a French chef as it has a lot of French cooking undertones.
I remember being a teenager and hearing about Beef Wellington and I thought it sounded like the most fancy and delicious dish ever. My mom made it for Valentine’s Day my senior year of high school and then it kind of became a tradition. It’s not something we do every year. I don’t always have the time and energy to make it, or stomach to spend the money on a beef tenderloin. BUT I often find beef tenderloin on sale in January and February.
Start by prepping the duxelles layer so it has time to cool.
According to Wikipedia, Duxelles is a finely chopped (minced) mixture of mushrooms, onions or shallots and herbs sauteed in butter and reduced to a paste. Duxelles is said to have been created by the 17th-century French chef François Pierre La Varenne (1615–1678) and to have been named after his employer, Nicolas Chalon du Blé, marquis d’Uxelles, maréchal de France.
Once the duxelles is prepared, set it aside and season and brown the tenderloin. After the tenderloin is seasoned and browned, set it aside on a clean plate so it can cool and rest.
Lay out a large rectangle of plastic wrap. Then lay out the strips prosciutto in the shape of a long and wide enough rectangular shape that would fit around your beef.
Next, spread out the duxelles over the prosciutto.
Next rub Dijon mustard all over the beef tenderloin. Then set the beef in the center of the prosciutto and duxelles rectangle.
Next, use the plastic wrap to carefully lift the prosciutto and duxelles up and over the beef tenderloin. Tuck in the ends and wrap tight. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prep and roll out the puff pastry to fit the beef tenderloin. Also, prep the egg wash so it is ready to go.
Remove the wrapped-up beef from the plastic wrap carefully as to not disturb the prosciutto. Place it in the center of the rolled out pastry. Use the egg wash on the edges to help seal the pastry as you wrap it up. Turn it seam side down onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Brush all over with the egg wash. Score the top with a few slices.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Once it golden and done baking, remove it from the oven and let it sit and rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
Serve with roasted vegetables, roasted or mashed potatoes or a salad.
- Food Processor or food chopper recommended
- plastic wrap
- 5 cups mushrooms button mushrooms recommended
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup sweet onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tsp Kosher salt to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 3-3 1/2 lb. beef tenderloin, trimmed filet mignon
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 8 wide slices prosciutto
- 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 lb puff pastry, thawed
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 eggs
- Prep the duxelles first so it has some time to cool. Wipe clean the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms, chopped onion, thyme, garlic in a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped and blended.
- Heat a large skillet then add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted, carefully add in the contents of the food processor. Over medium high heat fold and sauté continuously until most of the moisture has cooked out, and the puree is dry. This takes about 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper then set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425°. I get the puff pastry out of the refrigerator at this time also so it warms a bit and is easier to roll out later.
- Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper. In a hot skillet, add the olive oil. Carefully brown all sides of the beef while keeping it in its shape. Remove to a clean plate and set aside.
- Rub a thin layer of Dijon mustard over all sides of the beef.
- Lay out a large sheet of plastic wrap. Lay out the prosciutto in a rectangular shape that looks like it would fit when wrapped around the tenderloin.
- Spread out a layer of the duxelles, using all of it, evenly over the prosciutto.
- Use the plastic wrap to lift the prosciutto and duxelles on one side to wrap up and over the tenderloin. Then lift up the opposite side using the plastic wrap to help fold it over tightly. Tuck the ends up and fold the plastic wrap up over the ends. Set in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface. I also sprinkle a little flour over the top of the puff pastry also. If your package of pastry has two smaller sheets then overlap on one side and press together. Roll to about ¼ inch thickness.
- Remove the wrapped beef from the refrigerator and carefully peel off the plastic wrap. Place the prosciutto wrapped beef in the center of the rolled out pastry.
- Prep an egg wash by whisking up the eggs till the whites and yolks are broken up, frothy and they are well blended.
- Wrap the tenderloin like a little baby in a blanket. Use the egg wash on the ends and seams to help seal the pastry. Cut off the ends of the pastry if there is too much excess.
- Prepare a large baking sheet by lightly spraying it with oil, or cover with a large sheet of parchment paper. Place the whole, pastry wrapped log onto the baking sheet, seam side down. Brush over the top and sides with the egg wash. Use a sharp, straight edged knife to score the top of the pastry.
- Bake for 45 minutes. The pastry should be nice and golden. To be safe, use a meat thermometer poked through one of the vents slits into the center of the beef. It should be between 125°-130°. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice into 1½ inch wide slices. Serve with roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, green salad etc.