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Don't let the length of this recipe put you off! Practically everything can be done in advance. And, the individual steps are easy. But what a reward! This has been our Christmas Dinner for decades. It is the merger of two recipes: Julia Child's "The French Chef Cookbook", and a local restaurant that published their recipe in our local paper. Last year I made everything up in advance (except wrapping the beef in puff pastry) froze it, packed it in dry ice and hauled it to Colorado where two of our sons live. It was perfect!
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup sliced onion
- 1⁄2 cup carrot
- 1⁄2 cup celery
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sage
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 allspice berries or 3 cloves
- 6 peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dry white vermouth
- 1⁄3 cup cognac or 1⁄3 cup brandy
- 2 lbs mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons shallots, minced
- 1⁄2 cup dry madeira wine
- 4 -5 tablespoons mousse type pate or 4 -5 tablespoons foie gras
- 4 (8 ounce) filet of beef
- 4 slices prosciutto, thin
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1⁄4 cup madeira wine
- Place all marinade ingredients (except salt, vermouth and cognac) in a small saucepan.
- Cook slowly until vegetables are tender.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Season filets with salt; place in ziplock bag; add marinade mixture; pour on the wine and cognac.
- Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.
- Remove from marinade.
- Pat dry.
- Heat 1 T oil in a heavy duty saute pan over high heat.
- Add filet and sear briefly on all sides.
- Return to refrigerator until ready to assemble the Wellingtons.
- Reserve marinade for sauce.
- Mince mushrooms in food processor until very small.
- In the corner of a clean kitchen towel, twist the mushrooms a handful at a time to extract as much of the mushroom juices as possible.
- I usually dampen the towel first so it won't absorb the juices of the mushrooms.
- Reserve the juices for the sauce.
- Saute mushrooms and shallots in butter 7 or 8 minutes or so until the mushroom pieces separate from each other and begin to look dry.
- Add the madeira and boil until liquid has evaporated.
- Season to taste and stir in the pate or foie gras.
- Simmer marinade ingredients and mushroom juices with 2 cups beef broth and 1 T tomato paste for 1 hour or so until reduced to 2 cups.
- Degrease, season and thicken with 2 Tbs.
- cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup Madeira.
- All of these steps can be prepared well in advance and even frozen in separate containers.
- Simply thaw everything before proceeding.
- I usually get two Wellingtons out of each sheet of puff pastry.
- It depends on the size of the steaks.
- Roll out each sheet a little to accomodate the size of the filet.
- Cut sheet in half.
- Lay one sheet of Prosciutto on each half.
- Place a spoonful of mushrooms on top; place a filet on top of mushrooms; spoon a little more mushrooms on top of filet; wrap filet in pastry.
- Pinch to seal.
- If you have any pastry left over, be creative and decorate the Wellingtons to fit the occasion.
- Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until ready to bake.
- Preheat oven to 375^F.
- Egg wash the tops of the Wellingtons.
- Bake until golden brown.
- About 25 minutes.
- Use an instant read thermometer to insure that the meat is done to your liking.
- If Wellingtons start to brown too much before the meat is ready, cover with foil and cook until it is done.
- Serve with the Madeira sauce spooned on top.
WOW! I was looking for something special to serve my extended family for Christmas this year and trialed this recipe. My husband says it may very well be the best thing he's tasted. Excellent step by step instructions for this complicated recipe, but its well worth the effort!
I was with you all the way until you added Prosciutto. I think the steak and froi gras should be the main flavors. Still a great recipe on the original.
We made this to the recipe EXCEPT we had 2 extra filets so we also had to use more puff pastry...despite the fact that we made the mushrooms to the recipe we had tons left over...the pastry didn't brown in the time given so we had to cook them longer which made the filets well done...we prefer medium to medium rare. If we make these again, I think that we will roll the pastry out thinner maybe getting 3 servings from each sheet of pastry and possibly baking them at the temp that the puff pastry box called for instead of what the recipe called for....the gravy had a wonderful flavor...we used foie gras with truffles and that part was great...the meat was just over done.