Oh boy, I never thought there would be a point in my life when I would even attempt to prepare a beef Wellington! I mean, that’s for fancy folk, and (despite the French(ish) name of this blog) I am not fancy. But after watching this amaze video of Gordon Ramsay preparing one (no yelling involved), I was convinced that I could do this too. But, with an expensive and lean and did I mention expensive cut of meat like this, I didn’t want to take any chances.
With the power of sous vide cooking, I was able to turn out a *masterful* beef tenderloin (if I do say so myself) that was gorgeous enough as-is to serve. But since my goal was to get fancy, I Wellingtoned-up. Guys, it was easy. Seriously, you can do this And once you see how, I hope you do give it a go and tweet at me how it went!
You can find this recipe and more in my new book, The Essential Sous Vide Cookbook:
First, a visual walk through:
Here the tenderloin in trussed and seasoned.
Next, I seared the tenderloin in a cast iron skillet over very high heat.
Then I sealed it and cooked it in the water bath at 138ºF for two hours.
This is a picture I took of mushrooms and chestnuts. They get puréed and sautéed until they form a paste.
Here’s the assembly part. After the tenderloin is done, it’s time to put it all together. First lay down a large sheet of cling wrap. Then layer slices of prosciutto over top of each other. Spread the mushroom paste on top of that, followed by a layer of English mustard. Finally, place the untrussed tenderloin in the center of it all and roll the whole thing up tightly.
This is what it will look like when you’re done. Chill for 30 minutes to help it retain its shape.
Lay down another layer of cling film and place your rolled-out pastry on top. Remove wrap from the chilled log and place it in the center of the pastry. Wrap tightly, using the cling wrap to secure.
Now it should look like this, and go back in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
Brush the outside of the pastry with egg wash and score the surface lightly. Sprinkled with coarse salt.
Look at that crust after it’s been baked at 425ºF for just 15 minutes!
Slice and serve. Wow!
YIELD: 6-8 servings // ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes // TOTAL TIME: 4-5 hours
- 1 Center-cut beef tenderloin, about 2 lb
- Oil, for searing
- 2 Tablespoons Butter, divided
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 cup wild mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chestnuts
- 1 sprig fresh thyme sprig, leaves only
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 2 tablespoons English mustard
- 1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 teaspoons water and a pinch of salt
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat water bath to 138ºF
- Truss the tenderloin with butcher’s twine to help it keep its shape. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a stainless steel or cast iron skillet with two tablespoons of oil over high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the loin and sear on all sides until the outside is dark and crisp.
- Remove the loin from the pan and set aside.
- Add one tablespoon of butter to the pan and sauté the herbs until bright green, 30 seconds to one minute.
- Put the tenderloin in a vacuum seal or zip-top bag along with the herbs and cooking liquids and seal.
- Cook for 90 minutes to two hours.
- Remove beef from bag to paper towel lined plate and pat dry. Discard liquids.
- Finely chop the mushrooms and chestnuts (or puree in a food processor).
- Add 1 tablespoon oil and thyme leaves to a pan over medium high heat. Saute for about 10 minutes until all the excess moisture has evaporated and you are left with a paste.
- Remove the paste from the pan and leave to cool.
- Unfold the thawed pastry and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle large enough to envelop the tenderloin. Chill the pastry in the refrigerator.
- Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface and place four slices of prosciutto in the middle, overlapping slightly, to create a square. Spread half the mushroom paste evenly on top.
- Place the tenderloin on top of the mushroom-covered prosciutto. Using the plastic wrap, roll the prosciutto over the beef, then roll and wrap the plastic film to get a nice, evenly thick log. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge. Remove the plastic film from the beef, then wrap the pastry around the tenderloin.
- Trim the pastry and brush the outside with the egg wash.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to cook the beef Wellington, preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Remove the plastic wrap, score the pastry lightly and brush with the egg wash again. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake 10-15 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
- Slice and serve!