Christmas Eve Feast: Beef Wellington

For my family, it’s not Christmas Eve if it’s not Beef Wellington.  This is an indulgence my siblings and I look forward to all year, and now we’ve brought two husbands along.  This year, my mom finally gave me the recipe…though she marked the recipe card “SECRET.”  And then asked me if I was planning on posting it to Dinner Chez Nous (and now, also on The Novice Gardener).  I’m confused, Mom, but I guess at least I’m well fed.

from the top secret photo stash.
from the top secret photo stash.

Beef Wellington

  • about 4 pound beef tenderloin (figure about 1/2 pound per person) – tied with twine
  • 2 packages frozen puff pastry (Pepperidge Farms is optimal)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound chicken or goose or other form of paté or liverwurst (NOTE: the stronger tasting, the better, as it will get a little bit absorbed in the puff pastry/tenderloin. Liverwurst is a better bet.)
  • 1 egg
  • flour, for rolling out the puff pastry
  1. Defrost the puff pastry – takes about 40 minutes; don’t let it sit too long or it will get sticky.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Liberally season the tenderloin with salt and pepper and then pop it in the oven for 20 minutes or so.
  3. Prepare your puff pastry work space with a light dusting of flour; unfold all four sheets of puff pastry on the counter and connect them in a square shape by pinching the dough together at the seams.
  4. Using your hands or a knife, spread out the paté across the puff pastry square.
  5. Beat the one egg in a small bowl with a little bit of water.
  6. Remove the meat from the oven and place it in the middle of the puff pastry dough.   Carefully wrap the tenderloin all the way around; cut off the extra.   you can also use a cookie cutter to cut little shapes into the dough and place them on top of the filet for decoration.).
  7. Brush the dough with the egg wash, reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and put the entire thing back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes.  The last couple of minutes, turn the heat up to broil, just to make the puff pastry nice and brown.  Take it out when a meat thermometer hits 125 degrees (rare) – the tenderloin will continue to cook as you let it rest and plate it up.
  8. After letting it rest about 5-10 minutes, serve with carrots, parsnips, asparagus, mushrooms, whatever you fancy.
  9. BONUS SNACK: Use the extra puff pastry and paté and cut it into 1-2 inch strips, roll them up, and pop into the oven for about 15-20 minutes for a little extra something.

A very Merry Christmas to you and yours.  Around here, it’s time to go cook + eat some more.