Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Individual Beef Wellingtons
This was our homemade Valentine's meal this year. Every year we usually go out together as a couple before or after Valentine's Day and then celebrate on Valentine's Day at home with the kids, by eating a special dinner and dessert. I found this recipe in the Rachael Ray Look+Cook Recipe book, and it sang to me a song of taste bud desire. All week, I thought about this meal and how it would turn out. I purchase the meat from the "meat man" behind the deli counter which I never do. And do you know what, this meal knocked our socks off! It was absolutely, 100% fantastic. It definitely tastes like something you would order at a high end restaurant and pay lots of money for. The second it hit our mouths we were both like "Oh man...sigh,sigh...this is delicious!" It is surprisingly easy to make too! Definitely a great dish for special occasions or company.
So I did cook my meat a little longer than the recipe called for, and I used Fontina cheese instead of mousse pate. That was a great substitution for us. As for cooking the recipe longer, I like my meat cooked medium well usually. I can do medium, but medium rare, not so much. The pictures I've seen of Beef Wellingtons were making them look really medium rare almost to the point that in one pic I swear the Beef Wellington was moving off the plate. So I made the decision to cook mine just a bit longer. The meat turned out perfectly for me and the hubs, and still super juicy, succulent and all those other words to describe delicious meat. It was just our preference. I included what I changed, but also left the original instructions too. Seriously, TRY THIS AT HOME!
Individual Beef Wellingtons
4 (1 1/2 inch thick) filet mignon steaks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound button mushrooms and stems, cleaned and finely chopped in food processor
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3 to 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup dry cooking sherry
8 ounces of fontina cheese (This is my version. Rachael Ray used 8 ounces of mousse pate instead.)
1 sheet frozen prepared puff pastry, 11 by 17 or two smaller sheets (depends on brand), defrosted
1 egg, beaten with a splash of water
1. Bring the steaks to room temperature. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Heat the oil and butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When the butter melts into the oil, add the mushrooms and cook to darken for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the shallots, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes more. Add the sherry and stir, cook for a minute or two, then remove the mushrooms from the heat and let cool.
3. Drizzle the steaks with olive oil to coat and season with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over high heat. Add the steaks to the very hot pan and caramelize it for 2 minutes on each side. From this point, I cooked my meat a little longer (5-10 minutes) in the pan on low.
4. Cut cheese (or pate) into 4 pieces, 2 ounces each slice. Spread the puff pastry sheet out on to a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. If using one large sheet of dough, quarter it with a sharp knife, or half two smaller sheets of dough. On each rectangle of dough, place 1/4 of the cooked mushrooms. Top mushrooms with 2 ounces cheese (or pate) and 1 steak. Wrap dough up and over the meat, trim the excess dough (if any). Seal the dough with egg wash, using a pastry brush. (Use leftover dough bits to make decorative garnishes for the tops of your Wellingtons, if desired.) Turn the wrapped Wellingtons over on the lined baking sheet and brush evenly with egg wash. Cut small vents into the tops with a knife. I cut an x into the top center of the dough. Bake Beef Wellingtons 10-15 minutes or until fluffed and golden. (I cooked mine for 20 minutes.) Let stand 5 minutes, then serve.
Recipe Source: Rachael Ray's Look+Cook
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