Fancy-Dancy Beef Wellington

1 Jan

This is what I made for dinner this past Christmas Eve. I’ve never made Beef Wellington before and can now check it off my ‘culinary bucket list’.

We wanted to have something special for the holidays, but didn’t want the more traditional turkey dinner. We thought about Beef Bourguignon, which I’ve made before – but we wanted to try something new and different. That’s where the idea of making a Beef Wellington came from.

Grazing in The City - Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Image from

All the recipes I saw online called for basically encasing a beef tenderloin in a rich, chopped mushroom mixture, wrapped in a layer of prosciutto strips and then baked in a puffed pastry. Honestly, the idea of prosciutto wasn’t very appealing and was almost a deal breaker. That’s when I looked at Julia Child’s recipe from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. I bought the 2-volume set awhile back, but haven’t gotten around to trying any of the recipes.

Julia’s recipe is actually more like 3 separate recipes – but she doesn’t call for prosciutto. It was a little ambitious for me, but the more I read the recipe, I slowly realized I was going to have to make it.

Her recipe calls for slicing the beef tenderloin and filling each of the slices with the deliciously rich mushroom wine mixture, binding the tenderloin back together and wrapping in twine and cheesecloth and roasting it quickly at 425. Then I cooled it completely and refrigerated it. While in the fridge I made her Sauce Brune to go with it- a brown, roux-based sauce reduction which ended up being, hands down, one of the best things I’ve ever made.

Grazing In The City - Beef Wellington

Then I brought the tenderloin back to room temperature and wrapped it in puff pastry. This recipe also called for using a Brioche dough, instead of puff pastry. I have to admit the recipe for Brioche was a little more than what I wanted to get into, so that’s where I drew the line.

Grazing In The City - Beef Wellington

The puff pastry worked great and everything came together beautifully.

Grazing In The City - Beef Wellington

The end result? Amazing. Beef Wellington, while a little extravagant, is meant for celebrating and perfect for the holidays.

Grazing In The City - Beef Wellington

Topped with Sauce Brune – Heavenly!

Here’s to a great 2013 ahead of us!


12 Responses to “Fancy-Dancy Beef Wellington”

  1. sugaredpecan January 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    Wow, this is a biggy! Looks beautiful!!!!

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide January 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    Oh yes, my wife hates reading a recipe in there and having to flip back and flip back. This looks worth all the flipping. It’s beautiful. Welcome back by the way. I need to try this one!

    • billpeeler January 1, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

      Thank you kind sir, it’s good to be back! Happy New Year to you guys!

  3. egg me on January 1, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    I’m sure it didn’t seem like it at the time (all those steps!) but it looks 100% worth the effort. Way to go, man!

    • billpeeler January 2, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

      Yep – it was totally worth the effort. Thanks!

  4. Eva Taylor January 3, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    That does looks like a celebratory meal and I love the mushroom sauce. I haven’t made beef wellington for more years than I care to mention, it used to be a company’s coming staple in our home when I was a child. I’ve never tried it with puff pastry, Mom used to use the brioche dough as well, but the puff pastry sure would cut out a lot of effort. And the presentation is incredible. I must put this on my list of dinners for 2013, thanks Bill.

  5. Karista January 3, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    Welcome back Bill! The beef wellington looks fabulous and delicious. Happy 2013!

    • billpeeler January 3, 2013 at 11:16 am #

      Thanks, Karista! Happy New Year to you as well!

  6. thewindykitchen March 3, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    WOW! I still haven’t attempted it, but it is on my to cook list…Julia’s recipes are awesome!

    • billpeeler March 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

      Yeah – Julia is awesome. Her books are great to read through and her recipes are a little out of control, but results are always fantastic.

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