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Beef Wellington – It’s Not So Hard After All

Beef Wellington, as often is the case with my creations, started with a tweet.

The Beef Wellington inspirational tweet came from @freerangecookie. “Hey, Cupcakes Wellington might be fun. Just a random ‘thought’.” Random and genius, I say!

I couldn’t make Cupcakes Wellington without first familiarizing myself with the ins and outs of the classic Beef Wellington.

I turned to Simply Recipes for the Beef Wellington Recipe and I was not disappointed. It was surprisingly easy to make – and the juicy meat, plus the salty prosciutto, earthy mushrooms, and flaky, buttery pastry would be sure to impress any guest.

Beef Wellington Recipe

I am reprinting the Beef Wellington recipe from Simply Recipes with my notes.

Yield: The Beef Wellington recipe claimed that it served four. This would be true if you had side items. But, if you are like me and can only manage to make one course for dinner, it will probably just feed two people.

  • 1 lb beef tenderloin fillet (Get the best you can afford. I got a grass-fed fillet from Whole Foods.)
  • Salt and pepper (You’ll use these to taste, but be careful not to over-salt. The prosciutto adds a lot of salt and my only complaint about the dish was that it was a bit too salty.)
  • 2-3 T Canola, grapeseed, or olive oil (I used olive.)
  • 1 lb mushrooms (I used a gourmet mushroom blend, but I think you could go cheap on this one and it would still be good.)
  • 4 thin slices ham (Parma ham if you can get it) or prosciutto (I used prosciutto.)
  • 2 T yellow mustard (I used whole-grain mustard.)
  • 7 oz puff pastry (needs 3 hours to defrost in refrigerator if using frozen) (I used Dufour on Strawberry Toast’s recommendation and it puffed to perfection! I debated making my puff pastry from scratch, but got scared when I read that it was an activity particularly suited to anal-retentive chefs – so not me!)
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  1. Sear the beef

  • Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large pan on high heat.
  • Season the fillet generously with salt and pepper.
  • Sear the fillet in the pan on all sides until well browned (hint: do not move the fillet until it has had a chance to brown).
  • Remove the fillet from the pan and let cool.
  • Once cooled, brush the fillet on all sides with mustard.
  1. Prepare the mushrooms.

  • Chop the mushrooms and put them into a food processor to purée.
  • Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat.
  • Scrape the mushroom purée into the pan and let cook down, allowing the mushrooms to release their moisture.
  • When the moisture released by the mushrooms has boiled away, set aside the mushrooms to cool.
  1. Lay out the beef, mushrooms, and ham or prosciutto.

  • Roll out a large piece of plastic wrap.
  • Lay out the slices of ham on the plastic wrap so that they overlap.
  • Spread the mushroom mixture over the ham.
  • Place the mustard-covered beef fillet in the middle.
  1. Roll it up!
Yup, that’s Myles in the background. He’s 7 months now!
We roll him up in his high chair to get a closer look at us cooking.
I’ll be sharing a non-blurry picture of him soon!
  • Roll the mushroom and ham over the fillet, using the plastic wrap so that you do this tightly.
  • Wrap up the beef fillet into a tight barrel shape, twisting the ends of the plastic wrap to secure.
  • Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  1. Wrap in puff pastry and bake.

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheet to a size that will wrap around the beef fillet.
  • Unwrap the fillet from the plastic wrap and place in the middle of the pastry dough.
  • Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten eggs.
  • Fold the pastry around the fillet, cutting off any excess at the ends (pastry that is more than 2 layers thick will not cook all the way, so try to limit the overlap).
  • Place on a small plate, seam side down, and brush beaten egg yolks all over the top.
  • Chill for 5-10 minutes.
  • Place the pastry-wrapped fillet on a baking pan.
  • Brush the exposed surface again with beaten eggs.
  • Score the top of the pastry with a sharp knife, not going all the way through the pastry. Sprinkle the top with coarse salt.
  • Bake at 400 F for 25-35 minutes.
  • The pastry should be nicely golden when done. (To ensure that your roast is medium rare, test with an instant read meat thermometer. Pull out at 125-130°F for medium rare.) (I didn’t have an instant read thermometer. I used a normal one and it worked just fine.)
  • Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Slice in 1-inch thick slices.
  1. Admire your work and eat!

Check back soon for Cupcakes Wellington!

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