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Anatomy of Beef Wellington

Anatomy of Beef Wellington

Monika Febriana
15 December 2023

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“Beef Wellington has to be the ultimate indulgence, it’s one of my all-time favourite main courses and it would definitely be on my last supper menu” – Gordon Ramsey.

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December becomes special because it hosts two celebrations simultaneously: Christmas and New Year. This month is brimming with Christmas events, and as someone in the food industry, we are usually invited to attend various gatherings. Among the myriad of events, there’s one dish that always takes the spotlight – Beef Wellington.

Beef Wellington, an English-origin steak delicacy, consists of fillet steak coated with pâté and duxelles, enveloped in puff pastry, and baked to perfection. Certain variations incorporate wrapping the coated meat in a crêpe or dry-cured ham, ensuring moisture retention and preventing the pastry from becoming soggy.

Just at the mention of its name, Beef Wellington becomes synonymous with Christmas feasts. The tender and flavorful meat, enveloped in puff pastry, creates a taste that is eagerly anticipated when the holiday season arrives.

History of Beef Wellington

The story of Beef Wellington traces its origins to the celebration of Arthur Wellesley, an Irish general of the British army, who ascended to become the first Duke of Wellington. Crafted in commemoration of Arthur’s triumph over Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, this dish carries a rich historical significance.

What adds a whimsical touch to Beef Wellington is its distinctive name, derived from its thick, pastry-wrapped form resembling the iconic boots worn by the esteemed Duke Wellington. Quite fascinating, isn’t it?

What’s on Beef Wellington

Tenderloin

Why opt for tenderloin and not another cut? The choice of this particular cut is not arbitrary. Tenderloin, known for its mild flavor, is selected for a reason—it serves as the perfect canvas for absorbing the diverse and robust flavors of Beef Wellington’s various seasonings. Additionally, the tender texture of this cut ensures effortless slicing and indulgence in every bite, elevating the overall dining experience.

Duxelle

Duxelles, a French culinary term, refers to a mixture of finely chopped mushrooms, onions, herbs, and black pepper, sautéed to perfection with butter and reduced into a savory paste. This delectable concoction serves as the flavorful foundation that envelops the meat before it is elegantly swathed in pastry.

Prosciutto

In certain Beef Wellington recipes, Prosciutto is introduced after the Duxelles and before the pastry wrapping. Prosciutto, a type of ham typically crafted from pork, serves a distinctive role in enhancing the dish’s richness and flavor. This thin layer of Prosciutto adds a savory depth to each bite, infusing the Beef Wellington with a tantalizing combination of textures and tastes.

Puff Pastry

Here lies the signature touch of Beef Wellington—the puff pastry. The tenderloin, adorned with its flavorful layers, is enrobed in a puff pastry crafted into an intricate lattice pattern, then baked to golden perfection. The key lies in achieving the ideal balance for your puff pastry—not too thin, not too thick—to ensure a flawless texture. 

Beef Wellington Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay puts a modern spin on the traditional Beef Wellington using his reliable cast iron skillet. The beef filet gets a burst of color, depth, and flavor from the skillet. Dijon mustard is used to tenderize and marinate the filet mignon, adding a subtle kick. With layers of prosciutto, a tasty chive crepe, a mushroom mix, and puff pastry, this recipe becomes your new favorite for impressing others – it literally seals the deal.

Beef Wellington Hack

The optimal way to determine when your beef is perfectly cooked is by employing a meat thermometer. For a medium-rare Beef Wellington, the center of the beef should reach a temperature of 120°F. This typically takes around 40-45 minutes in the oven, but rely on your thermometer for precision.

Furthermore, heed the advice from Gordon Ramsay: when it comes to slicing, avoid cutting the dish too thinly. This precaution is crucial to prevent the integrity of the dish from crumbling upon serving.

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