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Beef Wellington

I'm not sure about this dish having ANY thing to do with the famous Duke of Wellington (Arthur Wellesly), but this is a great English dish that has a lot of good memories.  While growing up, my parents took me nearly everywhere.  Part of this (though they did this more on their own for date-nights), my parents would take me to a 'fancy' restaurant.  

The place was Edwards in the old
Academy Building down town.  While most of my experiences there were their treat, before they closed up their doors I at least had one opportunity to take them to the same place.  With a menu that was several pages long and full of things most would have a difficult time pronouncing, this dish, was about the only thing recognizable as safe (for a late-teen / early-twenties guy).  

What I remember most was the first taste, having the fork slide through this cut of beef and it flake apart without much help at all required from a knife.  The taste... worth even the time spent making it.  
Since I can't say I have seen any restaurant locally that has ever been willing to take on this dish (in the last 20 years), I figured I would give it a try again (can't remember if I made it before or not) and surprise my wife on her birthday. 

Mushroom Duxelles:
2 tablespoons butter
2 minced shallots (half-dollar circumference)
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
1/3 pound shiitake mushrooms (wipe clean to keep dry, stem and mince)
1/3 pound italian / button mushrooms (wipe clean to keep dry, stem and mince) 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons dry white wine

2 minced shallots (half-dollar circumference)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups red table wine
1 beef bouillon cube
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon corn starch

2 pounds beef tenderloin (thick cut into 8-ounce chunks)
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound foie gras (cut into 1-ounce slices)
1 pound frozen puff pastry (sheet style)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons water
Preparation (20min)

Part 1: Sear & Cool Beef
  • heat olive oil in a pan on medium-high
  • when to temperature (but not so hot it is smoking), add the beef
  • sear the beef (approximately 2min on every side
  • set the beef aside to cool, completely
  • turn your oven on to pre-heat at 450-degrees
Part 2: Duxelles
  • add butter, garlic, and shallots to pan and start to render them (shouldn't take more than about 30sec if minced properly)
  • once you start to see the onions render, add the mushrooms, salt and pepper
  • cook these down till almost dry in the pan and then add wine
  • cook this down again till nearly dry in the pan
  • remove from heat
Part 3: Assembly
  • take the thawed puff pastry (use parchment, don't add any flour to mix) and roll it thin cutting into 7-inch squares
  • the making of the duxelles should take long enough that your beef is now cooled properly (important, as you don't want soggy pastry)
  • top each tenderloin chunk with duxelles and then press the foie gras (HINT: if you cannot find this, a good smoked braunschweiger will work fine) over the mushroom duxelles flattening it over the tenderloin to hold the mushrooms onto the meat
  • flip the topped tenderloin over (duxelles and foie gras down) onto your pastry and top with more duxelles (you should use all of it)
  • lastly, pull the corners to the top of the pile of mushrooms and beef you now have and pinch the seams together tightly (though be careful not to make the seams thick)