I have a beautiful beef tenderloin in my freezer that I didn't need over Christmas. Was thinking of making a beef wellington - but never have made one before. Any good recipes or hints? Or any other suggestions for the tenderloin. I don't want to have to just grill it.....
I made for xmas eve and used the recipe from the Joy of Cooking. The duxelles and the gravy I made were sublime. My mom was in charge of slicing and individually wrapping the filets. The filets were cut way too big and we ended up with very rare meat and well done pastry.
If made properly, the Joy of Cooking recipe is a good one. I wish I didn't have a "helper" helping me, but what can you do...it was xmas.
PS - definitely squeeze minced mushrooms through a cheesecloth or thin dishtowel as suggested. It really made a difference. Also, as for the pate, we used goose liver pate. And splurge for a good Spanish Madiera, which is called for in both the duxelles and in the gravy. Lastly, as for mushrooms, I used a mixture of conventional mushrooms and baby bellas.
I made my first one for this Christmas, and I learned the following things:
1. You should cook the beef to the desired doneness and then let it rest and cool before wrapping it. I did not do this. I cooked it the 20 minutes recommended in my recipe, and it was totally raw.
2. Tie the roast with twine. We did not do this, and it was a total mistake. It turned out looking all lopsided.
3. You should chop the mushrooms VERY fine. I was did not, but fortunately, my aunt, who was helping me cook, put them all in the food processor. I was glad she did.
4. Cook the mushrooms until VERY dry. They really should not have any moisture in them at all.
5. Use a very long, sharp knife to cut and serve the wellington. Otherwise, the look is totally ruined.
In summary, mine was not such a success, but with these simple tips, I think you'll do great. Cooks Illustrated has a good recipe that my aunt didn't want to follow (she opted for a junior league recipe from 1949). I did make the Cooks Illustrated sauce, though, and it really made the dish sing. I would highly recommend it.