When we lived in the US our traditional Christmas Eve dinner was Prime Rib / Standing Rib Roast, Yorkshire Pudding and Asparagus with Hollandaise.
We’ve tried to replicate that here but it just can’t be done.
We came close to the prime rib one year, with a friendly butcher doing his best with our explanation, but it wasn’t quite right. Asparagus is wonderful and plentiful in the spring, but neither in December.
So, rather than having a ‘traditional’ dinner each year we now discuss it and try to come up with a new tradition.
This year mon mari requested Beef Wellington.
I’ve never made Beef Wellington, but why not? It can’t be that hard!
And it’s not….. But I will do it differently next time.
As a side note – when I was asking the butcher for the meat and describing what I wanted it for I realized that telling him I was making Beef Wellington might not be the best way…. what with Wellington, Waterloo and all that history.
He understood when I said ‘en croute’ (in a crust).
And smiled when I said with foie gras….
Total time: 1 hour
- 2 slices filet mignon, 6oz (180gr) each
- salt, pepper to taste
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 large or 2 smaller sheets of puff pastry
- 2 slice foie gras pâté, about 1/3″ (1cm) thick and roughly the size of the steak
- 1 medium shallot, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4oz (120gr) mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tbs red wine
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Lightly season the beef on both sides.
- Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a skillet.
- Add beef and sauté for 1 minute on each side.
- Remove and allow to cool.
- Add remaining 1 tbs oil to skillet along with shallots. Sauté until tender.
- Add mushrooms, garlic and sauté until mushrooms are well-cooked and starting to dry.
- Add red wine and cook until it’s almost completely evaporated.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Lightly roll puff pastry dough if needed. It needs to be just large enough to cover the beef with enough overlap to seal.
- Divide mushroom mixture, spreading half on each piece or pastry to the size of the steak.
- Lay the foie gras on the mushrooms and top with the beef.
- Fold the pastry over, pressing edges together to seal.
- Bake at 400F (200C) for 15 – 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
- Remove and let rest 10 minutes before serving.
What would I do differently?
Only one thing, really….
Mon mari‘s steak was thicker than mine and his was perfectly done. Mine, which is in the photo, was closer to medium well than medium rare, although it was still very tender and delicious. Next time I would either do 2 thicker steaks and plan on leftovers or I would do a big one for the two of us and slice it to serve, rather than serving the entire package.
It was easy and the part I liked best, especially for a special occasion, is that it can all be done in advance. The beef and the mushrooms can be cooked earlier and refrigerated. Then it can be assembled, wrapped in the pastry and refrigerated again until it’s time to bake.
If you’re looking for a special Valentine’s Day dinner this could be it.
Or even an ‘I survived inauguration week-end’ dinner……
That really seems like it would be worth a nice steak and a really good bottle of wine.