Simple gourmet: Beef Wellington

Jul 19, 2010 at 1:34 a.m. ET

Beef Wellington is one of those dishes that just feels fancy. Served by the Kennedys in the White House to foreign dignitaries, it represented the pinnacle of culinary luxury at the time. Today, it remains a fanciful dish with its own mythos, not limited to the fact that Hell's Kitchen chefs get screamed at when they mess it up.

Beef Wellington

Sadly, messing up Beef Wellington is not difficult because of the way it is made. All of the ingredients are put inside a puff pastry, which is then closed and baked. Neither chefs nor cooks have any idea what's going on inside that oven until they cut into the finished product.

The good news is that there is an easier recipe to make beef Wellington. It's not quite as fancy, but it does have all the flavors of a classic Wellington. It's also much easier because the components are made separately and then assembled before serving.

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Simple gourmet beef wellington

1 sheet puff pastry
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 filet mignon
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter (Yes, butter. This is simple gourmet.)
16 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup cream
1 tablespoon English coarse-grain mustard
1 tablespoons parsley
Optional: 2 additional tablespoons English coarse-grain mustard


1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Roll out the puff pastry and poke with a fork thoroughly. Cut into four equal squares and bake.
3. Put a skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the meat with salt and pepper, and cook three to four minutes each side. Put into the oven for three to seven minutes, depending on desired doneness.
4. In the same skillet, melt the butter, then add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms are brown and have lost their moisture, then add the cream and mustard. Bring to a boil and let the sauce reduce for about five minutes before adding the mustard. Stir well to incorporate. Add the parsley.
5. To assemble, start with a piece of puff pastry. If using the additional mustard, spread about half a tablespoon on the puff pastry. Then, add your filet and top with the mushrooms.

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