The first part of the year usually finds my better half working out-of-town. He has been travelling from one coast to the other for the past several weeks leaving very little time for kitchen creations. Luckily, this year Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday, and we took complete advantage of that to try out this wonderful recipe for Mini Beef Wellington. It isn’t a complicated recipe, but it is time-consuming.
Each step must be prepared, and then refrigerated prior to wrapping it all together in puff pastry. It is important to chill the meat and filling in order to work more easily with the puff pastry sheet. The finished product is absolutely worth the effort. A beautiful golden brown pastry surrounds an especially tender, juicy filet mignon that is topped with a delicious cremini mushroom filling. Served here with Sautéed Spinach and Tomatoes.
INDIVIDUAL BEEF WELLINGTONS (Serves 2)
- Two 2 ½-to-3-inch-tall pieces beef tenderloin (filet mignon), about ¾ pound
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 ounces finely chopped baby bella mushrooms
- 1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- 1 large sprig fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 sheet (1/2 box) puff pastry
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Egg wash (1 beaten egg + 1 tablespoon milk)
- Heat a stainless steel pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and heat until just starting to smoke.
- Rub the meat generously with salt and pepper.
- Once the pan is very hot, sear the two filets very briefly on each side. You don’t want to cook the interior of the meat at this point, so it shouldn’t be more than a minute or two per side. Remove the filets from the pan and place on a plate in the freezer while you make the filling.
- Let the pan cool slightly and turn the heat down to medium. Add the butter, mushrooms, onion and garlic to the pan, and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms release all their water and the onion is translucent.
- Add the sherry and thyme. Cook until the sherry evaporates. Taste for salt and pepper, and season as necessary.
- Remove from the heat and refrigerate until cold, then stir in the chopped parsley.
- Roll out one puff pastry piece and cut in half, so you have two rectangular strips of dough.
- Remove the steaks from the freezer and brush with the Dijon mustard on both sides.
- Put a quarter of the mushroom mixture in the middle of one piece of the puff pastry. Top with one steak, then add a quarter more of the mushrooms. Repeat with the other steak, puff pastry piece and mushrooms.
- Fold the long sides of the pastry over the steak, tucking in and tightly sealing all the edges so the juice doesn’t escape. Wrapping it all in plastic wrap can help!
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a sheet pan. While the oven preheats, put the wrapped beef in the freezer.
- Once the oven is hot, remove the beef from the freezer and put on the lined sheet pan. Coat with the egg wash.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the middle of the steak reads 135 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (medium-rare) and the pastry is a deep golden brown.
- Cut in half so you can see the intersection of steak, pastry and mushrooms, and serve.
Cooking Tip: You can make this recipe ahead of time by following it up to step 9, then freezing until ready to bake. When you’re ready to cook, just put it in the oven directly from the freezer without thawing, and cook until the interior temperature of the meat is 135 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (for medium rare), which may take longer than the 25 minutes.
~ from TipHero.com