how long do you cook beef wellington

Bake until puff pastry is puffed and browned and a thermometer inserted into center of beef registers 120°F, 40 to 45 minutes. Using 2 large spatulas, carefully lift beef Wellington from baking sheet and transfer to a cutting board. Let rest 15 minutes.

Beef tenderloin, a rich mushroom duxelles, foie gras, and prosciutto, all wrapped in a buttery puff pastry crust. Trending Videos

The prime rib might be the king of the holiday table, but if I had to nominate one roast for the triple threat of Dictator-For-Life, President, and First Tiger, itd be the beef Wellington. Surely, there is no more decadent roast in the history of the post-Roman canon.

The origin of the dish is not exactly known, and theres not much primary research I can add to the wealth of theories that arent already aptly covered by the Wikipedia article on the subject (tl;dr it might be named after the 1st Duke of Wellington, it might be a patriotic English name for a French dish, it might be named after a pair of shoes, or it may be from the land of Hobbits and Nelwyns). But were not after pedagogical discussions of origin or etymology. Were interested in one thing, and one thing only: deliciousness.

Theres no doubt that beef Wellington is delicious. How can it not be? The exterior is a light, crisp, buttery crust, glazed a deep, shiny golden brown, twinkling with crystals of sea salt. You slice through it to reveal layers of some of the finest ingredients in the Western world: slivers of prosciutto, a duxelles of wild mushrooms bound with cream, and finally foie gras, all encasing a core of medium-rare, buttery-soft beef tenderloin.

As the be-all-end-all to decadent roasts and as an absolute classic, is there really much we can do by way of improving the recipe? What exactly is there left to explore?

Well not all recipes need overhauls. Sometimes, a few tweaks here and there to bring out the best in each ingredient is all it takes. Lets go through the Wellington from the outside in.

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.

how long do you cook 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.

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.

how long do you cook 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.

how long do you cook 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.

How to tell when your beef Wellington is done: While you can use visual cues to see when your beef Wellington is done (the pastry should be golden and flaky), the best way to tell when it is fully done is to use a meat thermometer. For medium-rare, the center of your beef Wellington should reach 120°F. This should take around 40-45 minutes in the oven, but rely on your thermometer.

What is beef Wellington? Beef Wellington is a traditional British dish; it’s said to have originated in the 1800s after the Duke of Wellington won a victory in Waterloo. The celebratory dish became a classic that rose to popularity as a fancy centerpiece served at dinner parties and holidays in the mid 1900s. Traditionally, the dish centers around beef surrounded by pâté, mushrooms and some form of ham that is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked in the oven.

The roast turkey is a Thanksgiving classic, but if you’re really looking to impress your holiday guests this year, beef Wellington is the centerpiece you should present. Beef Wellington is a classic on holiday spreads for very good reason. With four components—tender beef tenderloin, a savory duxelle, prosciutto, and flaky puff pastry—this is the centerpiece that will wow from the very first slice. While this dish may seem daunting, weve broken it down step-by-step so you can serve up this holiday staple with all of the flavor and none of the stress. Keep reading on for all of our top tips:

The prosciutto: Speaking of soggy bottoms (or more specifically, how to avoid them) meet your new bestie: prosciutto! Wrapping your tenderloin in prosciutto is a little extra insurance. It provides a barrier for moisture, and on top of that it adds even more delicious meaty flavor. By putting a layer of prosciutto onto a layer of plastic wrap, you can easily spread your duxelle in an even layer and wrap your tenderloin evenly.

The mushrooms: AKA the duxelle, this mixture of mushrooms, shallots, and thyme is SUPER savory. As if beef tenderloin wasnt bringing enough umami, this mixture takes it to the next level. Word to the wise: dont try to speed up the cooking process on this one, you really want to cook out as much of the moisture as possible. If you dont, the mushrooms will continue to lose moisture when youre baking the Wellington, which could lead to a soggy bottom.

Bake until puff pastry is puffed and browned and a thermometer inserted into center of beef registers 120°F, 40 to 45 minutes. Using 2 large spatulas, carefully lift beef Wellington from baking sheet and transfer to a cutting board. Let rest 15 minutes.

FAQ

What temperature should Beef Wellington be cooked at?

Bake in 425°F oven 35 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 135°F for medium rare; 150°F for medium.

How do you not overcook Beef Wellington?

For extra protection from overcooking, do as we recommend in our other tenderloin post, and chill the beef before searing. Kenji’s recipe calls for slices of seared whole foie gras, but that’s not an ingredient that is easy to come by in most markets. We substituted pre-made pâté made with foie gras.

Should Beef Wellington be cooked from room temperature?

*When cooking meat, remove it from the fridge 20-30 before cooking it to allow it to come to room temperature, otherwise the result may be undercooked.

How do you know when Duxelle is done?

Visual cues are the best indicator for when duxelles are done. They’re ready when the mushroom mixture is thickened, nearly all the liquid has evaporated, and the mushrooms are starting to stick to the bottom of the pan a tiny bit. Expect this to take about eight minutes.

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