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A "Wellington" is basically a filet of beef,  covered with a potted mushroom paste ("duxelles"), and baked in a puff pastry crust (filet de bœuf en croûte). Sometimes the beef is first covered with duck or goose liver pâté (pâté de foie gras). The "duxelles" consists of finely chopped mushrooms, onions and/or shallots, and herbs, that are sautéed in butter and reduced to a pasty consistency. It all dates back to the 17th century. Wellingtons are also made with other meats or even fish, such as my duck breast wellington  and salmon wellington - though with a paste not made of mushrooms.

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Baking time: 5 minutes
  • Makes 4 servings.

INGREDIENTS

  • Ingredients for the potted mushrooms:
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots
  • 1/3 cup minced leeks, white parts only
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1-2 teaspoons of minced garlic paste)
  • 500 grams (18 oz) of cleaned regular white button "Parisian" mushrooms, stems removed, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon finely snipped fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Ingredients for the beef:
  • 4 tournedos, or pieces of tenderloin steak or filet mignon of beef - about 175 grams (6 ounces) each
  • "filet mignon" is a French term, but in France typically only used for pork.
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Potted mushrooms (see list of ingredients above)
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry dough (round or rectangular, at least 30 cm / 10 inch wide or across)

EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES

  • frying pan or skillet
  • baking sheet / over tray
  • small bowl
  • medium size bowl
  • brush (for putting egg wash on the puff pastry)

PREPARATION / DIRECTIONS

  • Instructions for the potted mushrooms:
  • Melt 3-4 tablespoons of the butter in the frying pan or skillet
  • Stir in the shallots, leeks, and garlic
  • Cook over low heat until translucent (5 minutes)
  • Add the mushrooms and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally until the mushroom liquid has evaporated and the mixture is barely moist (10 minutes)
  • Season with the chives, salt, and pepper
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl
  • Important: make sure to get rid of all the juices, or the puff pasty on the beef won't cook right. You may have to put the mushroom mixture in a cheese cloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

  • Instructions for the beef:
  • Pre-heat the oven to 220 °C (425 °F)
  • In a small bowl, mix the pepper, salt, and thyme
  • Rub the beef on all sides with the mustard, then sprinkle with the spice mix
  • Melt the butter in the frying pan or skillet
  • When the butter is quite hot, sear the tournedos on all sides (4-5 minutes)
  • Cool to room temperature
  • Arrange the tournedos on a baking sheet
  • Cover them with potted mushrooms
  • Cut two circles of 10-15 cm (4-5 inch) of puff pastry dough - big enough to drape over the meat, but not all the way down
  • Drape a pastry dough circle over each tournedos, and pinch the edges in four or five places to enclose the tournedos
  • Blend the egg and milk, brush this glaze over the pastry
  • If desired, decorate the tops with cutouts made from pastry trimming
  • Bake 5 minutes for medium-rare
  • Serve immediately!

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