Served Beef WellingtonOur lovely Monkey Queen of Don’t Make Me Call My Flying Monkeys, was our May Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to dive into the world of en Croute! We were encouraged to make Beef Wellington, Stuffed Mushroom en Croute and to bring our kids into the challenge by encouraging them to create their own en Croute recipes!

Ingredients for Beef WellingtonI watch Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares and of course MasterChef.  There, it’s out!  I do like reality TV cooking shows and while Hell’s Kitchen is not my favorite because I hate how Chef Ramsey’s yells so much, I do like Ramsey.  If you ever watch his shows that he does in England, he’s a completely different person, less in your face.  I think most of it is about doing a good show for the cameras and adding drama for Americans.  After all Americans do like their drama.

Mustard covered TenderloinAnywayyyyy, I’ve always watched everyone get yelled at on Hell’s Kitchen for screwing up the Beef Wellington.  And for some reason I guess I like to try things that others seem to make a mess of.  Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, after all those are experienced chefs.  When the Daring Cooks May Challenge for En Croute came up, I finally knew it was time to try my hand at making Beef Wellington.

While I could have used the wonderful recipe for Classic Beef Wellington from Fine Cooking that the Monkey Queen provided us, I wanted to make Gordon Ramsey’s recipe.  After a little searching online, I finally found the recipe with the proper ingredients (many of the recipes claiming to be his are not) and I found a great video with him demonstrating how to make it.  Here’s the link for the recipe and I posted the video for all you who want to give this a try.

Plastic wrapped for the fridgeAfter watching Hell’s Kitchen, I must admit I was a little worried I was going to screw up a perfectly good center cut beef tenderloin (make sure you get center cut for even cooking).  And for some reason, I’ve never worked with puff pastry before (although I’m not sure why except for the fact I always make my pastry dough which costs so much less than buying puff pastry and tastes yummy).

Eggwashed and ready to wrapI followed Ramsey’s recipe for this without making any changes except that I just used Baby Bella mushrooms (it’s what I had on hand) and Prosciutto because I couldn’t get Parma ham.  One piece of advice I can give is to make sure they slice the Prosciutto or Parma ham thin enough or it does not wrap easily.  The lady that cut mine didn’t go thin enough and it made life a little difficult.

Browned Beef WellingtonDon’t skip the refrigerator part of the process.  You need this to help keep the tenderloin from overcooking.  Next time I do think I’ll change the mushrooms to a mixture of wild mushrooms for more flavor and possibly even add in some shallots, garlic and fresh herbs to the Duxelle.  But it really did have beautiful flavors as made.

Beef WellingtonAfter all my worries, my Beef Wellington was perfectly rare.  The flavors were great and my wonderful hubby loved it.  It really was an easy recipe to make, not at all hard, so don’t let it intimidate you if you’ve thought about giving one a try.  I finished mine off with a red wine sauce and a side of sauted baby squash.  It was completely worth the effort and makes a beautiful special occasion meal.

Beef Wellington Gordon Ramsey Style

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. center cut beef tenderloin

1 lb. mushrooms

1/2 lb. Parma ham or Prosciutto (Serrano ham would work here as well)

English mustard for brushing the meat

1/2 lb. puff pastry

3 egg yolks, beaten

Heat olive oil in skillet on high to medium high heat and sear the tenderloin on all sides.  You’re not cooking the meat here, just browning on every side.

Place the mushrooms in a food processor and process until into a smooth paste.  Place the mushroom purée into the hot skillet with no oil and sweat out all the liquid.  Set aside to cool.

Lay out a large piece of cling film or plastic wrap and lay out the ham in an even layer.  Apply the mushrooms in an even layer over the ham.

Brush the tenderloin with the English mustard and lay into the middle of the ham.  Wrap the tenderloin with the ham and tighten the film around the roll.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and brush the edges with egg yolks.  Remove the plastic wrap from the tenderloin and place in the middle of the puff pastry and wrap, covering the beef completely and sealing it.  Cut off any excess pieces.  Egg wash the top, place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and place back into the fridge for 5 minutes.  Egg wash again and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the thickness of your tenderloin cut (mine took 30 minutes).  Let it rest about 15 minutes before slicing.

For serving, slice in thick slices of about one inch thick.

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0 thoughts on “THE DARING COOKS’ MAY, 2013 CHALLENGE: EN CROUTE”

  1. I am another person who needs to tackle the things that freak me out a little. The wellington scared me but it really was a wonderful dish. I like GR’s version and your wellie looks fabulous! Thank so much for participating in this months challenge.

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