Saturday, January 29, 2011

This Week in Food: Beef Wellington

Some say it's named after the famous Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, known for defeating Napoleon at Waterloo. It's rumored he loved a dish of beef, mushrooms, truffles, Madeira Wine, and pate' cooked in pastry. And some say the Duke of Wellington was indifferent to food, and the dish is actually named after a highly polished Wellington boot. And still others say it was a actually a French dish called "Filet de Boeuf en Croute"renamed by a patriotic English chef--which holds more credibility especially since the recipe doesn't actually show up in a cookbook until 1966. (I'm sure there are more rumors...I think three is enough, don't you?)

But whatever the history may be, the result is a very rich and hearty dish. The meat, a cut of beef tenderloin (aka filet mignon), cost a whopping $14.99/lb. Needless to say, I read the recipe about 3 times through before attempting anything with that beef. It was then seared, covered in dijon mustard, coated with a layer of duxelles (mushrooms, shallots, and garlic), then wrapped with slices of prosciutto; all of which was wrapped in puff pastry and baked in the oven. I know what you're thinking. A dinner right from Cooking Light. Of course there's a side of a creamy (heavy whipping cream to be exact) Green Peppercorn sauce to accompany it. The result was overwhelming for our taste buds and a little thick for our stomachs.

It wasn't really as bloody as the photo looks. The meat was cooked 'just right'. It's just that my camera doesn't think so.

The flavor of this was very unique and interesting, although I can't say it's on our list of food keepsakes. The cut of meat was excellent ( would have been fabulous on its own), but the flavors were a little heavy for us. But it was fun to try!


  1. Great pics! Perhaps you should order it off a menu sometime for a "chef's" comparison. :)

  2. Will do!! I just don't know that I've seen it served at many restaurants. Or maybe I'm just not going to the right restaurants ;)

  3. I'm impressed. I could/would never do that. :) Well done!

  4. Thanks Misty! BUT, this is why you're smarter. You absolutely COULD do it (really, it wasn't that hard), but you WOUDN'T, because you'd already realize the outcome.


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