Thursday, September 18, 2014

Comfort Food

I’m sick with the usual ickiness. So, I’m going to share a recipe with you all. I love cooking, wine, reading foodie magazines. When I shop, I’d much rather shop for kitchen gadgets and household decor that clothes and shoes.
As we leave the bbq’ing season and head indoors for fall and winter (ugh) this recipe is one you might want to give a try. Comfort food. It will challenge you a little bit, but it’s worth the effort.  Each time I make it, it gets better and easier. And when you do serve it, you’ll impress the heck out of your guests :)

Give it a try and enjoy!

Easy Beef Wellington

It really is easy and don’t let it intimidate you.  Have everything ready beforehand and read the instructions first so you know what you’re supposed to do when.  The puff pastry is probably the trickiest part, but don’t sweat it.  Make sure surface is floured just enough to keep it from sticking and the pastry will get sticky if it gets warm, so you do have to move quickly with it. 

2 tsp canola oil
2 lb centre cut beef tenderloin, trimmed and string removed
½ tsp each salt and pepper
1 pk whole bella mushrooms, or portabella finely chopped (the finer the better) in processor or with knife
1 tsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves chopped – hold one end of the stem and run your nails down the stem gently pull against the leaf so they come off in your fingers – easy way to get them off
3-4 slices prosciutto
1-2 tbsp flour
1/g package puff pastry, thaw according to pkg directions
1 egg for egg wash
1 tbs water
½ tsp kosher or coarse salt

Take a deep breath and have a glass of wine handy
·       Heat 1 tsp oil skillet over med-high heat.
·       Season beef with half S&P on all sides and sear in skillet, cooking 2 minutes on each side until brown. Set aside on a towel lined plate and refrigerate to cool
While beef cools
·       Add 1 tsp oil and butter to used skillet – cook shallots til soft and fragrant but not browned
·       Then add mushrooms, rest of S&P and sauté stirring constantly until mushroom give up their liquid and brown slightly
·       Stir in thyme and put in small bowl, cool completely – put in frig if you have to and stir it around to cool
Once everything is cool...probably about half hour to 45 minutes – so have a sip of wine!
·       Lay out a larger piece of plastic wrap and lay prosciutto evenly
·       Spread mushroom mixture – proper term for this is duxelles (pronounced dook-SEHL J)
·       Dry bottom of meat with paper towel and place in centre
·       Pick up one edge of plastic wrap and roll it around the meat to make a cylinder, twist ends and refrigerate
Now the tricky part: puff pastry – which really isn’t so tricky if you RELAX
·       Beat egg and water together to use as a glue for the pasty ends and for a wash and set aside
·       Dust work surface with flour and roll pastry into a rectangle as best you can about 1/8 inch thick
·       NOTE- it has to be big enough to cover the meat completely and extra inch or two around
·       Place meat in centre of pastry
·       Paint ends with the egg wash and wrap around the beef, if it’s too big, trim off but make sure there is a slight overlap
·       Tuck ends in
·       Place seam side down on parchment paper lined baking tray.
·       Cover and chill minimum 20 minutes or up to two hours – this helps to stop the pastry from getting soggy during cooking – note mine still did a bit and I think next time I would put it on a broiler type pan with holes still using the parchment paper and poke holes in the paper so the juices drip through to the catch pan
Time to cook!
·       Preheat oven to 425°
·       Paint chilled pasty with remaining egg wash
·       Cut 3 diagonal slits across the top with a sharp knife and sprinkle with coarse salt
·       Roast on 2nd rack from bottom
·       45 minutes for medium or until thermometer reads 160°
·       Let meat rest for at least 10 minutes and if possible not in its juices because that means a ‘soggy bottom’
·       Cut into 1 inch slices using a serrated knife. Don’t push down the pastry. Put your forefinger and middle finger on one side of pastry and thumb the other lightly and the knife between your forefingers...saw gently until cut through. 
·       Plate it
·       Ta da!

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Tina Donahue said...

Thanks for the recipe, Cristal. :)

Cristal Ryder said...

You're welcome. It's a good one.