As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been haunted by Cole Wagoner's Beef Wellington recipe since he posted pics of it in the Anova Foodnerd Fam group that my bud Chris got me wrapped up in. You can see his recipe here: (Cole Wagoner's Wellington Recipe)
This post is going to be mainly pics of my attempt at making Beef Wellington, and I'll pepper in the comments when I'm feeling good about it..
Here we GO!
First off - remember this fat tenderloin roast from my tenderloin break down post? Well that was for this recipe!
I dropped it in the 3 hour 129 degree waterbath - ! (pic was taken 1 hr deep)
And of course, after beef comes out of a sous vide cook, it's gotta get dabbed off with paper towels and prepped for a sear - and it looks super gross! Like a damn roasted badger calf (as my one bud likes to say)
So when you sear off a big bastard like this, you need to start with the ends.
Once you get a good sear on both ends, you just roll that thing until it all looks delicious.
Add more butter and spoon it on top as it cooks - it helps make you feel like a pro!
This thing is starting to look good!
And Done! Honestly, I could have just gobbled this perfectly cooked piece of beef as it was and it would have been a delight.
Like Boom - here's your dinner, a 24oz filet mignon cooked in butter... yes please! But we're doing Wellington, which means there's another hour and 20 minutes of fucking around before you can eat this thing.
Next, you lay down some plastic wrap, and lay down a sufficient amount of prosciutto.
You have to imagine that this thing is going to wrap all the way around your beef, so try to visualize it the best you can - you'd hate to not have full coverage - for posterity's sake.. yeah?
Now it's time to spread out some duxelles - I kind of reviewed that in my previous 'Wellington Bites' post - so go check that out if you want.
It was actually easier to use my hands than it was to use the spoon.. judge me all you want.
Time for BEEF!
A sight to behold - a trifecta of tastebud stimuli!
Then you bundle everything up and shove it in your freezer - yeah I know - sounds weird.. but it will slow the cooking down from your sear, and help tighten everything up for the next process.
It took a couple tries to close it up, but I eventually got it...
Note: Cole's recipe suggested a slathering of mustard, but I opted out because I added red wine to my duxelles, and I tested it with my wellington bites from last post and found it to overpower the duxelles flavor.
While the bundle chilled in the freezer for a half hour, I pulled my puff pastry out so it could start thawing.
At the half hour mark, I started rolling it out, to prepare it to receive the bundle of flavor!
Once I rolled it out as thin as I could get it - It was time to unwrap my bundle and slap it in the middle
The process of bundling everything up wasn't documented that well. It was a struggle, but I was slow and methodical. I ended up with about a 3/4" gap between the edges of my puff pastry - but I was heavy on the ends, so I cut a strip of of one side to bridge the gap and called that my wellington's 'bottom'.
This ended up getting wrapped in plastic wrap and tucked into the freezer as well! Very fun stuff - a challenge, but fun!
Now if you look at Cole's recipe, you'll see he pulls out his fancy lattice cutter and gets to work making a sweet puff pastry design to go on top. I'm kind of poor and low on kitchen storage space, so I don't have a lattice cutter. But I DO have a PIZZA cutter - so I did my best to replicate Cole's design using my art skills. All freehand cutting!
This took me about 15 minutes to get it to this level:
I felt pretty good about it, but I also know that I wasn't sure how I was going to get it on the bundle in the freezer because I couldn't pick that shit up, it would fall apart - I didn't do it on plastic wrap because I figured my pizza cutter would have destroyed it and make it impossible.. So I used egg wash and applied it with my finger to most of the surfaces of the lattice work. Yes - it was a pain in the ass.
But I was able to pull my bundle out of the freezer - unwrap it, and roll it up! This also took time and slow, methodical labor.
But it worked, and looked awesome! It's right around this point that I probably got salmonella poisoning from playing around with my naked hands in a pile of raw egg and not caring a ton about it. I probably only wiped my hands off rather than washed and that's why I got unbearably sick the day after I had this thing then threw up all the soup I ate at the Buffalo Soupfest, but whatever - look at how Bomb this lattice turned out!
I covered it in the rest of my egg wash.
Then I called an audible from Cole's recipe and blasted the top of this thing with Everything But the Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe's.
Then it was time to bake - 475 until it looked like a damn fine treat!
How good does that look! Just a little work of art, brimming with flavors galore!
NOW - the moment we've all been waiting for: The CUT! (Click to watch video)
Flavor was through the roof - puff pastry perfect, meat done 100% perfectly - rare side of mid-rare, ultra tender as one would expect from a piece of beef tenderloin - huge punches of flavor from the duxelles. Highly recommend giving into the labor of love and doing this one gang, a great challenge for someone who just enjoys tinkering in the kitchen!