I am one of those people that love doing themed foods. Don’t hate me for it. I fully embrace making heart shaped pancakes for Valentine’s Day and eating corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. Before I dragged my husband to see Julie and Julia, the movie about a blogger who cooked her way through Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, we stuffed ourselves silly with escargot and souffle at a little French bistro near the theater.
So, when the last season of Downton Abbey was going to start on PBS, I knew I had to find a good, classic English dish to prepare to celebrate the show. While the exact origins of beef Wellington are in dispute (as I discovered when I did some poking around), it felt solidly British enough to make it my new challenge.
I adapted a recipe from a couple different recipes I found online, but I won’t include my full recipe and instructions here as my final product was a bit overcooked, due to an errant thermometer probe. As is, this beef wellington was really so delicious that my husband and I were texting each other about how awesome it was while we were both eating the leftovers the next day. Since this was a fair bit of work to put together, it might take some time before I tackle this kind of project again, but if I do, I’ll hopefully be able to provide an accurately timed recipe.
However, I thought I’d provide an overview of the process of putting it together with pictures. And, next time, I’d make sure my knife was a bit sharper before trying to slice through the puff pastry and beef!
You will see very few recipes on this blog that feature mushrooms, as I don’t care for them, but felt they were essential enough to the dish that I got over my fungus fears to include them here. My beef Wellington was made with a beef tenderloin, about 2.5 pounds, topped with a layer grainy mustard, then a layer of sauteed mushrooms and shallots and then I smeared a 5 ounce slab of truffled mousse pate on top of it all, before wrapping it all up in puff pastry. Rich? Yes. Delicious? Absolutely.
For celebratory effect, I added a pastry champagne flute added on top as a “cheers” to the final season of Downton Abbey. I served each carved slice with the delicious and beautiful Cauliflower Steaks with Cauliflower Puree.