The Sunday roast, a quintessential British meal, is really a thing of beauty. For me, every mouthful just reminds me of my childhood home. I have memories of impatiently pottering around the kitchen as scents of roast meat, potatoes, and vegetables wafted through the entire house. Our busy lives of running between school, sports, dance, and music lessons were briefly forgotten on Sunday afternoons. It was a time for our family to get together and share wonderful food.
Everyone can benefit from a relaxing afternoon spent cooking with friends and family every now and then!
Without a doubt, the ultimate indulgence is Beef Wellington. It’s one of my all-time favourite meals. Luxurious beef tenderloin wrapped in a buttery puff pastry – what more could you want? I first made this a few years ago and ever since it’s always been on the table when my whole family gets together once or twice a year. It’s a special occasion dish that’s sure to impress your guests. It may seem intimidating but it’s actually quite straightforward, especially if you use store-bought puff pastry. You can use you’re own puff pastry if you’re so inclined, but that’s an art form of its own that I haven’t quite mastered yet.
One crucial step to pay careful attention to is to ensure you have a great sear on your beef. Although beef tenderloin basically melts in your mouth, it can be less flavourful than other cuts because it’s so lean. It’s super important to get a good sear on all sides to caramelize the surface and to get that deep, savoury flavour we all crave. A brush of Dijon mustard all over the tenderloin will give you even more deliciousness. As the beef starts to cool down it will absorb all that great flavour. And of course the layer of mushrooms – called a duxelle – really adds another depth of flavour.
Be careful not to season your meat with too much salt because the slices of Serrano ham are already quite salty. They also act as a barrier and prevent the puff pasty from getting soggy. Then everything is sealed with the pastry and a quick brush of egg wash. Place your little parcel of goodness in the oven and you’re well on your way to enjoying a great meal.
- One 18-ounce beef tenderloin
- 1 lbs of a variety of mushrooms
- 2 thyme springs, leaves only
- 3 gloves of garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1 package of frozen puff pastry
- 1 package of Serrano ham (or 8-10 slices)
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- Dijon mustard
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Season the beef with salt and pepper and sear in a hot pan with a little olive oil until browned on all sides. Remove from heat and immediately brush Dijon mustard over the filet. Let rest while you prepare the mushroom duxelle.
- In a food processor, blend mushrooms and thyme until the mushrooms almost resemble a paste. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté onions and garlic until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms to the hot pan to release all of the water. Once all of the moisture has been released and evaporated off, remove from the heat and set aside to cool. The duxelle should be quite dry at this point.
- Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface. Lay out the slices of Serrano ham, overlapping at the edges in order to create a square-shaped layer. Make sure there are enough slices to entirely cover the beef tenderloin. Spread an even layer of the mushroom duxelle over the Serrano ham. Place the beef in the middle of the duxelle. Using the plastic wrap, roll the ham over the beef, then roll and tie the plastic wrap to get an even log. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Lay another sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface and thinly roll out the puff pastry into a square shape large enough to wrap the beef. Unwrap the plastic from the beef and place in the middle of the puff pastry. Brush egg wash all around the puff pastry.
- Using the plastic wrap, roll the puff pastry over the beef, and then wrap and tie the plastic wrap to create another log. Chill for 30 minutes. Everything up until this point can be done ahead of time. When you are ready to cook your Beef Wellington, brush the pastry with egg wash and lightly score and salt the top.
- Bake at 400ºF for 25-30 minutes until the crust is a golden brown and the internal temperature reads 85ºF. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.