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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.