beef wellington
Photo: Lauri Paterson/iStockphoto
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Basement Beef Wellington


For the duxelles:
4 ounces cremini or other fresh   mushrooms
1 shallot
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

   Salt, pepper, and thyme (season to   taste)

For the beef:
1½ pounds center-cut beef tenderloin,   tied with twine to hold its shape
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ounces fine pate, mashed
9 ounces puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten

   Salt and pepper (season to taste)

1. To make duxelles, finely chop mushrooms, shallot, and garlic. Add butter and oil to large saute pan; when hot, add mushroom mixture. Saute over medium heat and stir until moisture evaporates. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Cool in fridge.
2. To prepare beef: Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Sear in hot frying pan, about 1 minute per side. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
3. To assemble: Remove tenderloin from fridge and cut off twine. Spread pate on top and sides of beef. On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry to create a rectangle big enough to enclose beef (about 10 by 13 inches). Spread duxelles on dough, leaving a 1-inch margin. Place tenderloin in center of dough, pate-side down. Fold over the long side of dough and seal with beaten egg. Fold up ends as if wrapping a present, trimming any excess, and seal. Sprinkle with salt and place seam-side down on toaster oven's metal pan.
4. To finish: Preheat toaster oven to 425 degrees F. Bake beef about 25 minutes, then start checking temperature; when it reaches 120 degrees F, for medium rare, remove beef and let it rest 10 minutes so that juices can gather.

Serve upstairs on sparkling plates.

Shown: The fruits of their labor included a mid-redo beef Wellington assembled in an ad hoc cooking space in their basement laundry room.
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