Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Beef Wellington Mini

I don't know why it's called Beef Wellington, or why they're called the Villages of Wellington, but I love them both...
I saw a Beef Wellington for one dish on one of the recent Food Network shows, and I was inspired to make my own.  The dish on the show was served with mushroom duxelles, a side of foie gras, and a thin shaving of truffle.  There was also additional sauce involved.  When I cook, I really like to enjoy food in the simplest form.  I don't really season heavily or drown food in sauce.  So my adaptation is pretty straightforward without all the dramatic extras. 
As I read several different recipes for Beef Wellington online, I decided that the one I liked most was from Rachael Ray Magazine.  She used pate in her recipe.  There are so many varieties of pate, and I chose a mushroom pate.  I would have liked a pate de foie gras, but they are really expensive.  They are considered the king of pate.  If anyone has any hesitation about cooking or eating foie gras, check out David Chang's book Momofuku where he expresses quite articulately that Hudson Valley is a truly respectable farm for ducks.  His book is just great!!  I want to eat at his Noodle Bar if I ever go back to NYC...

On foie gras, I always wondered why restaurants named their menu items specifically with the Hudson Valley name.  Now I know. 
I had some dried porcini mushrooms that I'd picked up at Terry's Finer Foods, so I soaked them in warm water for 30 minutes to rehydrate them.  They have such a rich beefy flavor, they are one of my favorite mushrooms!
Lately I've been researching the farms that raise the food we eat.  I noticed that The Fresh Market serves plenty of Hereford Beef, so I read about them, and I've been enjoying several of their different cuts.  For this recipe, I had a 7 ounce filet mignon steak which cost less than a meal from Firehouse Subs!  (I know The Fresh Market sale days).  I used kitchen twine to tie around the beef to help keep its shape while cooking.
After the puff pastry has thawed (about 40 minutes), cut along the creases to cut out squares from the corners.
I placed 2 thin slices of the mushroom pate onto the puff pastry, then some of the sauteed porcini mushrooms.  SO much flavor in these 2 things alone, who needs anymore sauce?  They are just the right compliment to the puff pastry and the Hereford filet mignon steaks.
Eggwash really gives the puff pastry a nice color.  I know because I accidentally forgot it once.  Not as pretty!  Gianna said that she loves things wrapped in pastry.  So, I may be researching more things to make with puff pastry!  And Sasha just enjoyed the leftover scraps of pastry that I baked for her!

  • 1 Filet mignon steak (about 7 ounces)
  • 1 Sheet of puff pastry
  • Handfull of porcini mushrooms (about 3-4 ounces)
  • Small amount of pate
  • Splash of wine or stock (about 1 half cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon of oil
  • Eggwash
  1. Sesason the filet with some course kosher salt and freahly ground pepper.  Garlic would also be great.
  2. Lay out the puff pastry to thaw.  When it's easy to unroll, do so gently so that it doesn't tear.  Let it continue to thaw about 30 more minutes.
  3. Soak the porcini mushrooms about 30 minutes in warm water.
  4. Remove the pate from the packaging by opening, run a knife around the edges, then gently squeeze while inverted.  Have a plate ready for it to land.
  5. Drain the porcini mushrooms when they're rehydrated. 
  6. Saute them in a tablespoon of oil or butter to warm up.  Add a splash of wine or stock and heat until evaporated.
  7. Trim the puff pastry as shown above.  Lay 2 slices of pate onto the center, then top with some porcini mushrooms.
  8. Heat a cast iron skillet until hot.  Spray some oil on it - away from the heat.  Top with the filet when hot.  Brown all sides about 2 mintues each.
  9. Place the beef onto the mushrooms and remove the twine.  Bring up all sides of the puff pastry and make sure the edges are sealed.  Flip over and place onto a pan.  Brush with eggwash (1 beaten egg and 1 tablespoon of water.)
  10. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden and the beef is medium rare.  Remember to let it rest for 15 minutes before cutting, so that the juices rest and don't run all over that good pastry.

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