Classic Beef Wellington

Classic Beef Wellington.  Just the name itself draws ‘oohs’ and ‘awes.’

But trust us, when you serve this particular dish, you’ll get more than just a bunch of ‘oohs’ and ‘awes.’

This is the quintessential “special occasion” feast that is so delicious and impressive, all at the same time.

Classic Beef Wellington on a platter with Christmas holly around it

The beef tenderloin roast is a magnificent cut of meat.  So tender and so flavorful.

But when paired with the rich and incredible Madeira sauce, it becomes truly something magical.

It all starts with made-from-scratch beef stock.  The slow-cooked stock can easily be prepared a couple days before serving the big feast.

Homemade beef stock in a jar

This is the kind of dish you’ll want to go the extra mile for.

Making the chicken pâté and crêpes from scratch may seem like a challenge, but it’s really not difficult and elevates the Beef Wellington to a level it deserves.

The duxelles are simply finely chopped mushrooms that have been reduced with butter to achieve a rich and flavorful taste addition.

These are key ingredients in a Classic Beef Wellington.

Crepes, pate and duxelles for beef Wellington

Combining the duxelles with the pâté into a glorious paste is something to behold.

The homemade crêpes are delicious. but also protect that outer layer of pastry from getting too moist while roasting.

Use a flat edge spatula or a knife to spread the layer of duxelles and pâté onto the homemade crêpes

Knife smearing filling on crepes for beef Wellington

Store-bought puff pastry works beautifully for this recipe, but of course, homemade is wonderful, too.

If using store-bought, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and then seal the two sheets together by slightly overlapping and then gently rolling the edges together.

Then, it’s time to carefully roll the perfectly seared tenderloin in the prepared crêpes and then the puff pastry.

Rolling the classic beef Wellington

This Classic Beef Wellington takes some time, but, boy oh boy, is it worth it.

You can make the stock for the sauce, as well as the pâté, duxelles, and crêpes all a day in advance!

Then everything gets rolled into one gorgeous roast.

Pastry being wrapped around the classic beef Wellington

Egg wash helps to hold the pastry together, and also creates a beautiful golden pastry as it bakes.

Bring the edges of the pastry together, and then add the egg wash to help seal.

Before baking, cover the top of the Wellington with the egg wash.

Egg wash being brushed on a classic beef Wellington

This Classic Beef Wellington is a stunning presentation and is especially wonderful during the holidays.

You can even allow the fully cooked roast sit for up to 3 hours before serving.

You’ll want to finish the sauce off just before serving.

Classic Beef Wellington on a holiday platter

We think a Classic Beef Wellington is best served medium rare.

You’ll want to use an instant-read thermometer to ensure you get the perfect doneness for the meat.

135 F in the middle of the roast will give you a lovely pink center and will be so juicy and so delicious, it’s just incredible.

Sliced classic beef Wellington

What more is there to say about this spectacular Classic Beef Wellington?

Start early, and this is absolutely a dish you can prepare with spectacular results.

We like to serve this with our Balsamic Roasted Potatoes and slow-cooked hericot verts (green beans).

The English know what they’re doing when it comes to roasting beef. This Classic Beef Wellington is fit for a king and queen, and your family, too.

Sliced classic beef Wellington

Classic Beef Wellington

This Classic Beef Wellington recipe is the best I've ever followed.  Which is why I'm sharing it exactly as written from Fine Cooking.  We recommend not taking any shortcuts, and you'll absolutely love the results.  A true show-stopper of a dish. 

Course Entree
Cuisine English / American
Keyword Beef tenderloin
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 2 hours
Stock simmer 6 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 8 people
Calories 398 kcal

Ingredients

FOR THE CHICKEN PÂTÈ

  • 4 oz unsalted butter 1/2 cup
  • 9 oz chicken livers about 1 cup
  • 2 shallots chopped, 1/4 cup
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Madeira
  • 2 1/2 tbsp brandy
  • 2 large eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE DUXELLES

  • 1 oz unsalted butter softened, 2 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup shallots finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups portobello mushrooms from 4 large caps with stems and gills removed before chopping, preferably in a food processor
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley finely chopped

FOR THE MADEIRA SAUCE

  • 6 cups homemade beef stock
  • 1 cup Madeira
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz unsalted butter cold, chopped, 2 tbsp

FOR THE CRÊPES

  • 2 1/4 oz all-purpose flour 1/2 cup
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 oz unsalted butter 2 tbsp

FOR ASSEMBLY

  • 3 lb center-cut beef tenderolin trimmed, side muscle removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup prepared chicken liver pâté or store-bought
  • 1 lb puff pastry thawed overnight in the refrigerator, if frozen
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter melted

Instructions

MAKE THE CHICKEN LIVER PÂTÈ

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 325 F.  Butter two 8-oz. ramekins.

  2. Inspect the chicken livers and trim and discard any green-yellow patches.  Cut each liver in half.

  3. Put the shallots, garlic, thyme, Madeira, and brandy in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Simmer, checking frequently, until reduced to about 1 tbsp of liquid, 2 to 3 minutes.  Strain and reserve liquid.

  4. Put the chicken livers in a food processor.  Add eggs, the reserved liquid, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Process until smooth, about 30 seconds, gradually pouring in the melted butter while the motor is running.  Strain the mixture into the ramekins. 

  5. Put the ramekins in a 9x13-inch baking dish and pour in enough hot water to come about 1 inch up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until puffed, golden brown, and set, about 30 to 35 minutes.

  6. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and let cool completely, if not using immediately, cover tightly with place wrap once it is cool.  You will use one of the ramekins for the beef Wellington.  Enjoy the other with crackers. 

MAKE THE DUXELLES

  1. Heat the butter and oil in a 10-inch skillet over low heat.  Add the shallots, and cook, stirring often, until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. 

  2. Add the mushrooms, stir well, and raise the heat to medium.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms have cooked down to a thick, almost black mixture, about 15 minutes. 

  3. Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Stir in the parsley, then transfer to a small bowl and let cool completely.  (The duxelles can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months). 

BEGIN THE MADEIRA SAUCE

  1. Bring 6 cups of the beef stock to a boil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and boil until reduced to 2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.

  2. Add the Madeira and continue boiling until the liquid is again reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes. 

  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  (The sauce can b prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead.  Finish the sauce just before serving the Wellington.)

MAKE THE CRÊPES

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.  Make a well in the center, break in the eggs,  and add 1/4 cup of the milk.  

  2. Gently whisk the eggs and milk, gradually incorporating the flour.  Slowly whisk in the remaining milk to make a smooth better.  (The batter can be covered and set aside for up to an hour at this point.)

  3. Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat.  Swirl the pan to coat with the butter; pour the excess butter out into a small bowl.  Whisk 1 tbsp. of the melted butter into the batter.  Reserve the rest for greasing the pan between crêpes.

  4. Increase the heat to medium-high and pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet.  Swirl so the batter thinly and evenly coats the base of the pan. 

  5. Cook until the crêpe is spotted with brown on the underside, about 1 minute, then flip and cook the other side until lightly browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute more.  Repeat with the remaining batter, greasing the pan off the heat as necessary. 

  6. Transfer the crêpes to a plate, separating them with sheets of parchments, and let cool. You'll need 4 crêpes.  (The crêpes can be made 1 day ahead.  Wrap well and refrigerate.)

ASSEMBLE AND BAKE THE WELLINGTON

  1. Remove the beef from the refrigerator about an hour ahead so it has time to lose its chill.
  2. Pat the beef dry and season all over with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until very hot.  Sear the beef until it is evenly browned all over (don't worry about the ends), 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Transfer the beef to a baking sheet and let cool.

  3. In a medium bowl, mash the pâtè and the duxelles with a fork until they form a soft paste. 

  4. Lay 4 crêpes on a clean work surface, overlapping them just enough to give you a 13x13-inch roughly square surface.   Dot the pâtè mixture over the crêpes, then use an offset spatula, or a knife,  to spread it evenly across the crêpes' surface.

  5. Place the tenderloin in the center of the crêpes and carefully wrap them around the filet, pressing and molding them into place.  Trim off any excess crêpe at the ends. 

  6. Fuse the two puff pastry sheets together by slightly overlapping them and lightly rolling over the seam until adhered.   On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a 13x16-inch rectangle. 

  7. Transfer the wrapped beef to the center of the pastry and tuck any crêpes that have come loose back into place.  Bring the pastry up around the beef, smoothing out any air pockets. 

  8. Brush some of the beaten egg along the bottom edge of the seam and then press gently to seal; trim off any excess puff pastry.  Seal the pastry similarly at the ends. 

  9. Lightly grease a large baking sheet with the butter.  Lift the Wellington onto the sheet, seam side down.  Refrigerate for at 15 minutes and up to 3 hours. (If refrigerating longer than 1 hour, let the Wellington sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.)

  10. At least 20 minutes before baking, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425 F. 

  11. Brush the Wellington with the remaining beaten egg.  Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the pastry with 3 diagonal lines:  IMPORTANT: Be careful not to cut all the way through the pastry.

  12. Put the Wellington in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 425 F. Roast for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400 F and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the Wellington registers 135 F for medium-rare, 20 to 25 minutes.  Transfer to a carving board and let the Wellington rest for 10 minutes. (The Wellington can rest up to 3 hours before cutting). 

  13. Meanwhile, finish the sauce by heating it in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  When it begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time.  Do not allow it to boil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

  14. Thickly slice the Wellington and serve it with the sauce. 

This recipe is adapted from https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/classic-beef-wellington

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