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Jan 31, 2010 03:28 PM

Making Beef Wellingtons out of braised beef - your opinions?

I'm making dinner for 20 people on Saturday and would like to make beef wellingtons w/duxelles, etc. However, our budget for the dinner is low so I was wondering if I could just make a beef bourgignon-type braised beef, thoroughly drain it and cool it, and then use it for the filling for the wellingtons instead of a filet.
Any opinions? Has anyone tried this? Does it sound yummy to you? I'd be calling it Braised Beef Wellingtons. I got the idea from going to Rick Bayless's restaurant for lunch and he had a braised beef dish which he had pressed into beautiful tender squares, so it made for a lovely presentation. I thought adding the wellington idea would work too.

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  1. It might work, but honestly it sounds a bit dicely. The point of doing wellingtons in my mind is to use high quality ingredients cooked nicey in puff pastry. Braised beef would be soggy, and instead of pleasant pink center would be a dull brown.
    So many other grat things you can do with braised beef....cover with rich mashed potatoes and brown on top for a nice Shepard's pie, or you could just cover with the pastry in a pie dish for a beef pie, or you could make some kind of dumplings.

    3 Replies
    1. re: roster

      Sort of had the same thought. A good braise with a wonderful sauce can be just as exciting as a Beef Wellington, and I don't see how you could do this dish successfully, to imitate a Wellington. I honestly suggest you rethink your menu. I like the pastry-topped beef pie idea, add some nice mushroons, pearl onions and use puff pastry for the crust, you'll have a dish that is much more workable, with as nice a presentation.
      A pastry stuffed with a braise sounds a bit like Cornish pasties to me, nice for lunch but nothing special for dinner.
      Don't get me wrong, no slam to pasties, I like them.

      1. re: bushwickgirl

        have a laugh:

        like the pie idea. use large ramekins for individual presentation.

        1. re: alkapal

          Very funny, I always knew food and sex were closely related. Chocolate pasties!

    2. The corner pub by my house does these beef wellies in yorkshire puddings. It's nummy.
      6 ‘Pint’ sized yorkshires stuffed with roast beef au jus, covered in prime rib demi glaze and paired with a horseradish dipping sauce.

      1. I recently made a ground beef wellington, from Jamie Oliver's latest cookbook, and was pleasantly surprised by the result. The recipe calls for sauteing chopped carrots, onions, portabellos, and some spices. Then mixing the veggies with ground beef and stuffing the mixture into puff pastry. It turned out flavorful & moist. Visually, it wasn't as beautifully pink in the center as a traditional wellington, but if you're going for a lower cost version the ground beef might work for you!

        1. what you could do is follow the bayless concept of the pressed, shaped braised beef, then make a little napoleon, with a thin layer of puff pastry, then duxelles, then more puff pastry (like a little cap). serve with the madeira around the base of this presentation on individual plates -- or serve the sauce on the side, and offer madeira sauce and another, say, this green peppercorn sauce:

          all that said, that is a LOT of work that needs to be done last minute. and for 20 people? not very practical.

          make beef bourguignon pot pies with a pastry crust. you can just "pull those out of the oven" without any last minute fussing. i'd be happy to find one of those on my plate! ;-)).

          3 Replies
          1. re: alkapal

            Thank you all so much for your input - I really really appreciate it. We're reconsidering our dish now and will let you know what we come up with. We're considering your Napolean idea, alkapal, thanks! It does sound like a lot of work, but we're used to it.

            1. re: alkapal

              This sounds awfully good. I have never had a beef Wellington in which the pastry was crisp and the beef rare the way it's supposed to be - either soggy pastry and rare meat or crisp pastry and bye bye nice rare filet. I would actually prefer the braised beef version!

              1. re: buttertart

                Ok, so we made these the original way we were thinking - making beef bourgignon first, then shredding the meat, adding duxelles, and putting it all in individual puff pastries. (My husband sells wine to Beast restaurant and he asked the sous chef there and she thought it would work, so we tried it). turned out awesome! The meat was tender, the pastry flaky, the duxelles added that little something. It all went well. Thanks for all of your replies - I really appreciate your help - we thought long and hard after reading your replies.
                - Jenny

              1. re: KTinNYC

                Nah, a cornish pasty usually uses raw skirt. This one sounds more pie-like.