Daring Cooks – Beef Wellington

I did it – I joined the Daring Cooks! Since I have had to put the culinary portion of my Food and the Media Certificate on hold whilst I complete a couple of PhD courses, I am missing the weekly challenge of cooking something new. I thought the Daring Cooks was a great way to keep my hand in the kitchen and challenge myself to make new dishes.

The 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Simone of Junglefrog Cooking. Simone chose Salmon en Croute (or alternative recipes for Beef Wellington or Vegetable en Croute) from Good Food Online.

Variations were allowed: Mandatory for this challenge was to cook with pastry! If you do not like fish or are allergic to salmon, you were allowed substitute the salmon for the Beef version, which is Beef Wellington.

I felt I lucked out a bit since I have made Beef Wellingtons before – in Culinary II. Anyway- here goes, my first Daring Cook’s “reveal”:

Preparation time: 
Total prep time is 3 hours
Equipment required:
Blender or food processor
Frying pan
15 cm crepe pan or small frying pan or griddle
cling film

Ingredients for Beef Wellington (serves 4)

Button mushrooms – 17.6 ounces/500gr (stalks removed and finely chopped)
Olive oil – 2-3 tbsp
thyme – 1 sprig
Beef fillet, center cut piece – 21.16 ounce/600 gr
English mustard – 1 tbsp
puff pastry (all butter pastry pack) – 17.6 ounce/500 gr
parma ham (prosciutto) – 3 slices
egg yolk – 1 pcs, beaten

For the herb crepes:
plain (all purpose) flour – 0.3 cup/1.76 ounce/50 gr
milk – 0.5 cup/125 ml
mixed herbs – 1 tbsp (chopped, use herbs such as cervil, chives and tarragon)
butter – 0.5 tbsp


1. To make the crepes, whizz the flour, egg and milk with a pinch of salt in a blender or processor until smooth. Pour into a jug and stir in the herbs and some seasoning. Leave to rest.

2. Fry the mushrooms in a little oil until they give up all their moisture and it has evaporated, leaving you with a thick paste. Add the thyme leaves and some seasoning and keep cooking for a few minutes. Cool.

3. Stir the melted butter into the crepe batter, heat a 15 cm crepe pan and oil it lightly. Pour in enough batter to make a thin layer on the base of the pan, cook until the top surface sets and then turn over and cook briefly. Remove and repeat with the rest of the batter. This will make a couple more than you need so choose the thinnest ones for the recipe.

(ahem – yes, a few crêpe mishaps…)

4. Sear the beef all over in a little oil in a very hot pan. Brush with the mustard, season and allow to cool.

5. Lay a large sheet of cling-film on a kitchen surface and put two crepes down on it, overlapping a little. Lay over the parmaham (prosciutto). Spread the mushroom mixture over the ham and put the beef in the centre. Roll the cling-film up, taking the crepe with it, to wrap the beef completely into a nice neat log. Chill for 1 hour.

6. Heat the oven to 200°C/390F. Roll out the pastry, remove the clingfilm and wrap the beef in the pastry like a parcel, with the ends tucked under. Trim to keep it nice and neat. Brush with egg, score with shallow lines across the top and chill for 20 minutes.

7. Cook for 20 minutes. The best way to test if the meat is done to your liking is to neatly and carefully stick a skewer into the beef, count to three and then test it against your inner wrist. If it is cold, the beef will be raw, if it is warm then the beef will be rare and if it’s hot, it’ll be cooked through. Leave to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

These were GOOD! Thy were even good reheated in the oven a day later (they were SO big, even though we only had the equivalent of a normal steak each). The pastry was a little thick on the bottom – must work on my folding technique – but overall I was impressed with this recipe. Even though there are a lot of steps, it is actually pretty simple. Next time, I might even make my own pastry!!!

Tenderloin Beef Wellington on Foodista

42 thoughts on “Daring Cooks – Beef Wellington”

  1. Well done! I have joined but not done any dishes because of the reno! Next one for sure.I can have the whole lot… looks really really good.

  2. Congratulations on your first daring cooks challenge!! And you did really well on this challenge too! I love your beef wellington. I so have to still make it myself. I did the salmon now twice, but the beef is next on the list!

  3. Well done. Being a Daring Cook should keep you out of mischief.I've never made or eaten beef wellington before, I didn't realise it had crepes layers as well as the pastry. Could you make a salmon version for me? I promise to bring a nice bottle of wine and more tim tams.

  4. Thanks everyone for your kind comments! It is such a great idea to motivate people to try different things in the kitchen. Conor – the crepe is supposed to keep the pastry from going soggy which it did (except in the part where there was too much pastry). I suppose I *could* make you the salmon but it would require copious tim tams as payment!!!

  5. Ahhh of course, non-sogginess crepes!Oh never mind, I'll just console myself with the freshly caught crays I snaffled off my brother-in-law yesterday 😀

  6. Mardi I LOVE Beef Wellington! Yours looks delicious! I haven't made it in awhile & I'm going to have to change that ; )

  7. Welcome to the cooks' challenge! and wow you are just so creative. You really went all out and created your own recipe within the obligations. Looks yummy!

  8. Congrats! I'm a first-timer too! Woohoo! It was fun – I definitely plan to tackle the wellington soon. I made the salmon. Yours looks gorgeous – that beef is perfectly cooked!

  9. Very cool! I've never seen the crepe in between the duxelle and the pastry — is this just for flavor, or to help absorb the meat juices when cooking?I'm TOTALLY Joining. I have to do everything you do! You are my online idol! 🙂

  10. I've never had Beef Wellington with a crepe in it, but it sounds and looks lovely! Do make your own puff pastry! It is really easy and freezes well. I love making laminated dough!

  11. Hi there! I recently stumbled across your blog- Great post and photo!I work for Foodista.com and I’m not sure if you have heard but we just announced a call for submissions for a food blogger cookbook contest last week!For the next three months, food bloggers can submit their photography, writings, and original recipes to Foodista.com. The public can view all submissions on the website and vote for their favorites. That feedback and editors at both Andrews McMeel Publishing and Foodista.com will determine 100 entries chosen for inclusion in "The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook." More info available here: http://www.foodista.com/blogbook.You should totally enter! Good Luck!You've got a great blog- and a great chance to win.

  12. This is quite a feat. And that's why they call the challenges daring! You did a great job though. Did you take the pics with the new cam??? 🙂

  13. Duo – noooo I took these pics a couple of weeks ago actually. Some new camera photos are coming up later in the week though :-)Simply Life – it's so motivating to know you're not the only one out there struggling with the damn pastry!

  14. Conor – yeah yeah, rub it in!
    Megan – I can’t wait to see your salmon.
    Neil – yes yes….
    Paula – thank you
    Evelyne – I didn’t change it that much…
    5 Star – thanks very much!
    tastyeats – Yes, it’s not often I get beef right, especially in pastry but this was spot on!
    Dawn – yes, the crepe is to absorb the meat juices when cooking so the pastry does not go soggy. “online idol” – LOL!!!
    My Man’s Belly – it’s actually not as difficult as it looks!
    Linda – you should – it’sfun!
    Kelly – Nope – did not make my own puff pastry. Next time… Pastry and I do not get along so well!
    Melissa – I have every intention of submitting a couple of recipes to your competition – thanks for commenting!

  15. Brave woman!! Well, I am certain that Gordon Ramsey would find absolutely nothing wrong with this beef Wellington, and you would go on to win the Wellington challenge in Hell's Kitchen. (It's no Top Chef, but I like a train wreck as much as the next chick, and those contestants CANNOT make this dish!)

  16. Oh my goodness — are you manufacturing hours, or has time just stopped up there in Canada? The Wellington looks terrific, esp. that meat, but I'm not trying this recipe out. I barely have time to defrost these days, so maybe the PC party would be more my speed. (That's if I don't invite people over at all and skip pushing the cloves into the oranges. I just "invented a drink the other day: Maker's Mark and cider. Maybe I'll just drink that. And how cool is the personal invite to the foodista competition? Go, Mardi!

  17. Congrats on joining the Daring Kitchen & for for accomplishing this dish – fantastic job!!! I had hoped to have time this month but did not and I have always wanted to try making this. Next year!!

  18. I'm so happy you substituted beef- salmon this time of year is just crazy talk! this came out beautifully and i bet it tasted even better! love the crepe addition, may have to incorporate that into my own recipe… you are so inspiring 🙂

  19. Rebecca – it's so much easier than you think!Tasty Trix – that's so sweetKablooey – I made this a few weeks ago actually…Thanks for your continued support :-)Susan – thanks so much.Chez us – I know re: the timing – it waa a bit tight… Just scraped in by the skin of my teeth!Fresh Local – thanks so much!Taste Traveller – yours looked pretty good too!Carol – I KNOW!Linda – I just followed the recipe 😉

  20. Mardi, I just joined as well but didn't have time to participate this month 🙁 Your beef wellington looks great!! Magnifique!!

  21. Mardi – I can make the pastry. You know pastry and ME get along just fine. He he he.Also everyone, I want you to know that I signed up to be a Daring Taster. Just to help ELTW, of course.

  22. Diana – I know, there's never enough hours in the day, right?Neil – yup you can be in charge of the pastry, you.Kate – thanks so much for your sweet comments!


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