can you use phyllo dough for beef wellington

Yes, you can use phyllo dough as a substitute for puff pastry in a beef Wellington. However, it’s important to note that the texture and flavor of the dish will be different when using phyllo dough. Puff pastry is flakier and more buttery, while phyllo dough is delicate and crispy.

Assembling Your Beef Wellington

For all its steps and ingredients, a beef Wellington is really not a difficult dish technique-wise. There are only two real major problems that arise when you bake it. The first is keeping the puff pastry from turning soggy. What with all the fatty ingredients—the foie gras, the duxelles— there are plenty of juices that are trying to escape from within their puff pastry enclosure. These juices need to be contained to prevent the pastry from leaking.

The second problem is one of timing. Puff pastry takes at least half an hour to 40 minutes to properly brown and puff—more than enough time for a tenderloin to overcook.

Lets start with tackling the first problem: moisture.

The Pastry

If you want to be a true food hero, you could make your own puff pastry (you overachiever, you). But I dont find it necessary when there are some excellent frozen puff pastry brands on the market.

Puff pastry (like pie dough) happens to be one of the foods that freezes best, losing none of its flavor or puffing ability during its stay in the freezer. The key to finding a good brand is to check the ingredients—the only fat in there should be butter, and there should be no artificial or natural flavorings of any kind. Butter provides enough flavor on its own, thanks.

I use Dufour brand puff pastry, which is pretty widely available.

can you use phyllo dough for beef wellington

Once the beef is chilled, itll hold its shape very well, making wrapping it a snap. I roll out my puff pastry dough so that it extends a couple inches beyond either end of the beef roll, then brush it with egg wash. The key here is to make sure that the foie gras ends up on top and that the puff pastry seam ends up on bottom.

You can do this by laying the beef roll along the very bottom edge of the pastry with the foie on top, or by laying it in the position seen above with the foie on the bottom. Roll the pastry away from you until the seams meet, then trim off excess with a knife.

If youve ever wrapped a present before, you know how to seal puff pastry dough. I start by folding in the sides, then folding down the top flap before using a knife to trim off the bottom flap. After repeating on both sides, I flip the whole thing over and tuck the flaps over, pressing them down so they adhere. The whole thing gets flipped back over again, then placed in the refrigerator for its final chill before baking. Again, it can be stored in the fridge at this stage for a couple of days, making beef Wellington one of the more party-friendly dishes I know.

can you use phyllo dough for beef wellington

Just before it goes in the oven, I paint it with more egg wash (this will help give it a glossy sheen and deeper color), score it with a paring knife (for looks!), and sprinkle it with plenty of coarse crunchy sea salt to add some pretzel-like crunch to the pastry.

Choosing Your Ingredients

What can we do with the beef? After all, tenderloin is tenderloin, right? Well, thats pretty much true. Of all the cuts on the cow, the tenderloin is perhaps the one that is least affected by grading and the varying levels of marbling (intramuscular fat) that come with it.

can you use phyllo dough for beef wellington

See, with a rich cut like a ribeye or a flatiron steak, the flavor, juiciness, and tenderness are linked closely to its USDA grade. Prime beef will have more fat, be more tender, and (at least to most palates) be more tasty. Choice or Select meat, on the other hand, will be less juicy, tougher, and less flavorful.

A tenderloin, on the other hand, is a very lean cut no matter which steer it comes from. A tenderloin from a Prime-graded steer will not have significantly more fat than that from a Select-graded steer, thus the variance in quality in tenderloin is not that wide. Thats OK. Tenderloin is emphatically not about fat and flavor. Its about tenderness. As one of the least utilized muscles on the steer, the tenderloin, or psoas major, remains small, underdeveloped, and tender throughout the steers life. This translates to a buttery tenderness on the plate.

It also translates to blandness. Theres no two ways about it. A tenderloin is a bland cut. Thats one of the reasons that beef Wellington exists—take a bland but tender cut of beef, and try and pack as much flavor and fat around it as possible.

The start of this process is to sear it. Browning develops tons of new flavorful compounds that dont exist naturally in beef, giving it complexity and meaty depth. Tying the tenderloin at regular intervals with twine will help it keep a nice round shape as it sears, which improves both the appearance of the final dish, as well as leading to more even cooking.

How else can we add flavor? Well, well get to the mushrooms and foie gras, but for now Im going to employ an idea I got from Gordon Ramsays version of Wellington: mustard.

Im not a fan of the famously angry chef, but when hes right, hes right, and mustard adds another dimension to the flavor of the final dish—acidity, lightness, and heat—that enhances and draws attention to its overtly rich primary flavors in a way that I find particularly appealing. I cut my mustard with a ton of horseradish to increase its bite.

Yes, you can use phyllo dough as a substitute for puff pastry in a beef Wellington. However, it’s important to note that the texture and flavor of the dish will be different when using phyllo dough. Puff pastry is flakier and more buttery, while phyllo dough is delicate and crispy.

FAQ

Can I use phyllo dough instead of puff pastry?

Think of phyllo dough as an easy prepared dough you can use instead of reaching for puff pastry or pre-made pie dough, it doesn’t need to be used in solely in these more traditional recipes.

What is the best puff pastry for beef Wellington?

For best results, use a high-quality all-butter puff pastry, such as Dufour.

What pastry is beef Wellington made from?

Remove tenderloin from cling film and place on bottom of puff pastry. Brush the other three edges of the pastry with egg wash, then tightly roll beef into pastry. Step 8Once the log is fully covered in puff pastry, trim any extra pastry, then crimp edges with a fork to seal well.

Can you substitute filo pastry?

As a rule of thumb, if you are using filo for recipes where you just want a flaky pastry, then puff pastry may work instead, such as some appetizer bites, but otherwise I’d suggest you don’t substitute.

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