This beef wellington recipe combines perfectly seared beef fillets with caramelized mushrooms in a buttery pastry dough. The finished dish is deeply flavorful and makes for a fantastic presentation. It’s a deceptively simple dish that’s guaranteed to impress!
Confession, I was a bit intimidated to make beef wellington for a while.
But now that I’ve done it, I can confidently say it’s much easier than I originally thought. It’s even grown to become one of my favorite beef recipes.
If you’ve tried skirt steak or beef negimaki, I guarantee you’ll have no trouble making this buttery, hearty, and richly delicious beef recipe.
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What is beef wellington?
Beef wellington is an English-based recipe that dates back all the way to the 1800s.
It combines tender beef fillets with a sautéed blend of mushrooms, garlic, onion, and spices called duxelles. The beef and mushroom mix is then layered with prosciutto and wrapped in pastry dough. Then, the dish is baked until golden brown on the outside and deliciously juicy on the inside.
We grew up eating this beef wellington recipe on special occasions, or whenever mom was nostalgic about her time in England. She shared the recipe with me and I reserve it for weekends when I’m entertaining or honestly, when I have a delicious steak on hand!
- It’s incredibly decadent. Buttery pastry dough, caramelized mushrooms, prosciutto, and tender beef fillets are, without a doubt, a winning combination.
- Looks impressive. Just like stuffed chicken breast and stuffed salmon, guests will be blown away by having such a fancy dinner. Only you will know how easy it really was.
- It can be prepped ahead of time. You can work all the way up to the wrapping of the beef the night before, then just pop them in the oven 30 minutes before you want to serve.
You don’t need a ton of ingredients to make this beef wellington recipe work. Here’s everything it calls for:
- Mushrooms. Chopped. Either crimini, white button, or wild mushrooms will work.
- Oil. Preferably olive oil.
- Beef fillet. Also known as filet mignon, it’s the best cut of steak to use since it’s the most tender cut.
Fillet mignon substitute
This works with other cuts of beef as well, like Denver steak, cube steak, or tomahawk. It can even work with pork tenderloin and yield nearly the same results.
- Butter. Preferably unsalted so you can better control the amount of salt in the dish.
- Garlic and onions. For added flavor, chop the onions and mince the garlic.
- Thyme. Fresh is best.
- Flour. Just enough for dusting your working surface.
- Puff pastry. A frozen store-bought pastry is perfect. Allow it to thaw before using.
Choosing puff pastry
There are tons of brands of puff pastry available at most grocery stores. When choosing ones to use for pies, look for ones that have higher fat content and low/no moisture. This will yield a perfectly buttery and flaky crust.
- Prosciutto. For added flavor and to provide a moisture barrier to prevent the beef from drying out.
Not everyone is a fan of prosciutto or can easily find it in a grocery store. You can substitute it with thin slices of bacon or omit it completely.
- Egg. Whisked and used to brush on the pastry dough before baking.
How to make beef wellington
For as fancy as this recipe looks, it’s quite easy. The oven does most of the heavy lifting, so prep time should be fairly minimal.
Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1- Prepare the mushrooms
Add the mushrooms to a food processor and lightly process them until they have the texture of bread crumbs.
Step 2- Brown the meat
Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a large non-stick skillet set over medium heat. Then, add the beef fillet and sear it on all sides until browned. Once seared, remove the beef and transfer it to a rack to cool.
This step imparts a nice caramelized flavor and helps to lock in its juices.
Step 3- Cook the veggies
To the same pan, add the remaining olive oil and butter. Then, add the onions and garlic and cook until fragrant.
Follow this with the mushrooms and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and the mixture is dry. Next, add the fresh thyme and let the mixture cool completely.
Step 4- Wrap the beef
Lightly dust your working surface with flour. Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangular shape, with about ½ cm in thickness. Lay the prosciutto over the dough, with some overlapping.
Add the mushroom mix, followed by the beef fillet. Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg and fold the dough over to cover the beef.
Press the edges down and seal both sides before transferring the beef to a greased baking tray. Brush the rest of the egg wash on the dough, and refrigerate it for 25 minutes.
Step 5- Bake the beef wellington
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F and bake the beef wellington for 22-25 minutes, or until the dough is golden and has puffed up. For medium rare beef, look for an internal temperature of 125°-135°F.
Allow the beef wellington to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Tightly wrap the beef. The tighter the puff pastry is around the beef, the better the shape and the more evenly it will cook.
- Don’t rinse the mushrooms. Mushrooms absorb water easily. Instead, dab the mushrooms with a wet paper towel to remove any dirt.
- Use a sharp serrated knife to slice. So you don’t tear the pastry dough.
- Don’t skip the chilling of the beef. Chilling the pastry-wrapped beef will help seal the dough around the beef and keep its shape.
What to serve with this dish
Beef wellington pairs well with all sorts of side dishes. Since it’s a pretty hearty dish, we usually keep the sides light and make broccolini, carrots, or asparagus.
Try mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, or cauliflower mash if you’re in the mood for something a bit more hearty.
If you end up with any extra beef fillets, you can use them in beef katsu.
To store: Slice the leftover beef wellington and transfer them to an airtight container. Kept in the fridge, they should last for 3-4 days.
To freeze: Slice and cool the beef wellington, then transfer the slices to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
To reheat: Transfer the leftovers to a baking dish and bake them in an oven preheated to 149°C/300°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry dough is crisp and the meat is fully reheated.
More delicious ways to cook beef
The trickiest part of making this dish is that it has many components, each of which is pretty particular. That said, if you take your time and focus on one component at a time, you’ll have no trouble making perfectly cooked beef wellington.
The presentation of this dish is what raises eyebrows in the best way possible. Not to mention it’s loaded with complex layers of rich flavor, making it the ultimate special occasion meal.
You can prepare the wellington up to two months in advance and store it in the freezer, covered, until ready to cook.
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- Place the mushrooms in a food processor and lightly process until the texture of bread crumbs.
- Add one tablespoon of olive oil into a large non-stick skillet and place over medium heat. Add the beef fillet and sear on all sides until browned. Remove the beef from the pan and transfer it to a rack to cool.
- Add the remaining olive oil and butter to the pan. Add onions and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add in the mushrooms and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until soft and dry. Add the thyme. Let the mixture cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
- Lightly flour a kitchen surface. Roll out the puff pastry to rectangles (around a scant ½ cm in thickness). Lay the prosciutto over it, overlapping slightly. Add the mushroom mixture over it. Lay the beef fillet over the top. Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg and fold over to cover the beef. Press the edges down and seal both sides and place on a greased baking tray. Brush the egg wash all over it and place it in the refrigerator for 25 minutes.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until golden and puffed up and the meat is medium rare or reaches an internal temperature of 125F-130F. Let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
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For large crowds and need 16 servings, is it better to make two 2 1/4lb or one 4.5lb? I’m worried that the 4.5lb center will be rare and everything else well done…
Thanks for the simple recipe that looks fabulous!
I’d definitely make two instead of a huge one- for that exact reason!!