tips on making a traditional Beef Wellington?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by jethru isidro, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. jethru isidro

    jethru isidro

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    hey guys need some tips,ideas etc....on making a good traditional Beef Wellington,

    ive searched the net,just asking for more tips from you guys...thanx..sorry for my bad english....cheers!!
     
  2. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    What, exactly, do you want to know?  Do you need a link to a recipe? Or, do you have a pretty good idea of what you're doing? 

    Do you have commercially made puff pastry available to you wherever you are?  If so, use it instead of making your own pastry. 

    BDL
     
  3. Iceman

    Iceman

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    This is a really good vid: 

     
  4. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Spot on Iceman.

    Petals.
     
  5. french fries

    french fries

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    Why that comment BDL? Is it just a time concern, or do you have another reason? 
     
  6. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    The OP was asking for "tips."  Puff pastry is a huge PITA, and home made isn't much if any better.  So, using store bought puff pastry is a good tip.  FWIW, it appears Ramsay used pre-made in his video.

    Another tip for "traditional" or "classic" Wellington, is don't wrap it in Parma ham, or anything else for that matter.  Ramsay's recipe is a modern affectation.  Duxelles and/or pate de porc or pate de foie gras are traditional.  Especially pate de foie gras. 

    Another is cooking the fillet to something more than a mere sear during the searing process.  You want just enough cooking time to brown the croute (aka crust) in a very hot oven and not much more, or the beef will tend to [ugh] steam.  I think Ramsay gets a lot of cooking done in his searing pan, but I wouldn't swear to it.

    Sauce Perigeaux is a good way to bring truffles to the party.  Can't go wrong with truffles.

    BDL 
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  7. french fries

    french fries

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    Thanks, I was wondering what you meant. I agree making it takes time and can be a PITA especially if your kitchen is not cold or at least cool, and I definitely agree with the advice to someone asking for "tips" on making their own beef wellington.

    However I don't agree that home made isn't any better. Homemade is the only puff pastry that can be made with butter, and butter is better.... at least to me it is. As far as I've looked there aren't any commercial butter puff pastries available in supermarkets, not in the U.S., and not in France. That's one of the main reason I like to make my own once in a while. 

    As for the parm (in France some people use a French crepe instead), I believe its role is to form some sort of moisture barrier, to avoid any of the juices from the meat to leak into the puff pastry, which would be good neither for the meat, nor for the crust. I always learned to do wellington without any of them until a few years ago. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  8. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Also remember to put seam side down.
     
  9. jethru isidro

    jethru isidro

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    guys!...thanx for this tips,your very helpful... im from the Phillipines... this is my first time in making this dish,and i wanna use a homemade dough,what should i do about that?coz i dont know anything about what should the flavor and texture should be,,,.i just wanna add this to my arsenal of recipes,i wanna learn this from scratch...

    thnx BDL,French Fries,ICEMAN.and kuan!!...you guys are the best..

    i always seek knowledge in cooking...=)
     
  10. jethru isidro

    jethru isidro

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    guys!...thanx for this tips,your very helpful... im from the Phillipines... this is my first time in making this dish,and i wanna use a homemade dough,what should i do about that?coz i dont know anything about what should the flavor and texture should be,,,.i just wanna add this to my arsenal of recipes,i wanna learn this from scratch...

    thnx BDL,French Fries,ICEMAN.and kuan!!...you guys are the best..

    i always seek knowledge in cooking...=)
     
  11. jethru isidro

    jethru isidro

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    guys!...thanx for this tips,your very helpful... im from the Phillipines... this is my first time in making this dish,and i wanna use a homemade dough,what should i do about that?coz i dont know anything about what should the flavor and texture should be,,,.i just wanna add this to my arsenal of recipes,i wanna learn this from scratch...

    thnx BDL,French Fries,ICEMAN.and kuan!!...you guys are the best..

    i always seek knowledge in cooking...=)
     
  12. jethru isidro

    jethru isidro

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    guys!...thanx for this tips,your very helpful... im from the Phillipines... this is my first time in making this dish,and i wanna use a homemade dough,what should i do about that?coz i dont know anything about what should the flavor and texture should be,,,.i just wanna add this to my arsenal of recipes,i wanna learn this from scratch...

    thnx BDL,French Fries,ICEMAN.and kuan!!...you guys are the best..

    i always seek knowledge in cooking...=)
     
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I make them weekly both whole filets and individual. BDL s is correct ,no ham and coat with pate and mushroom Duxelles(this is your insulator so as beef does not overcook while crust is browning. I have seen in covered with already made puff paste and home made also a type of water dough(saw in Europe) They were all good.  Good thing about anything in dough is you can get away with smaller meat portion because dough acts like a filler as does duxelles and pate. So while labor factor is up slightly food cost factor is down a bit.

    Oh yes in Europe the filets were first larded with a larding needle.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  14. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Is that all that mushrooms duxelles is?  Just mushrooms?  Seems a bit boring, surely it can be spiced up a bit with some herbs and garlic no?  I like the idea of english mustard, but not the proscuitto, I dislike the flavor of it cooked.  I wonder where I can get a nice english mustard around here.  I've always wanted to make beef wellington, perhaps for christmas!
     
  15. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Duxelles is in fact mushroom usually domestic , herbs ,shallots, garlic, wine spices and fresh bread crumbs to bind.
     
  16. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah I agree with the prosciutto.  It is not necessary.  You don't have to use a puff pastry, you can use a tart crust recipe or pie crust recipe.
     
  17. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Yes,

    and you can also use crêpes.

    another thing you can add to the duxelles is duck liver paste, or any other liver paste for that matter if you were looking for a different spin.

    Madeira sauce is  the classic sauce for beef wellington but there are other sauces you can tweak according to your taste.

    Petals.
     
  18. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    If you're making at home, you want to use either a crust type called pate brisee or an ordinary pie crust (without sugar).  There are good recipes all over the net, and in CT too; as well as some good threads here.  I prefer to use lard, rather than butter or vegetable shortening as the fat in the crust because I feel it gives a much better texture.  No matter what type of shortening you use,  the major technique points to making crust are very little water, as little as possible; not over handling; and keeping everything chilled as much as possible.

    Making puff pastry is time intensive and learning to make it is even more so and somewhat problematic.  It's going to be even more difficult if your kitchen is hot or humid.  If you want to use puff pastry, you can buy from practically any good bakery.  Just try to let them know the day before.  FWIW Chinese bakeries make great puff pastry; same stuff they use for their curry rolls.

    I didn't say don't use "Parma ham" or prosciutto or a crepe or anything else; I said their use wasn't "traditional" or "classic."  It's a modern adjustment, but there's nothing wrong with it. 

    Duxelles is just mushrooms.  Restaurants used to save mushroom trimmings just for the purpose; but the economics of mushrooms and home cooking are different.  If you add anything but a little salt, they cease to be straight duxelles.  But, what's in a word?  If you want to season them, you certainly may.

    Instead of duxelles you can smear the inside of the croute with a layer of pate de foie gras, preferably truffled.  You can, if you like use the pate smear, then the duxelles over -- that was a "traditional" luxury version and would be my recommendation.  Getting more modern, I've used a pate of chicken livers with huitlacoche, but doubt huitlacoche is available in the Phillipines.

    When you make Wellington, you want to cook that fillet as much as possible outside the croute, or it will steam inside the crust -- not the best thing for the meat or the cruts.  That means a hot oven for the final cook.  It also means allowing them a sufficient rest before slicing. 

    A tenderloin roast is tapered.  You want to cut off the large and small ends and reserve them for something else.  You want to cut the remainder into at least two, possibly three or four pieces for separate Wellingtons.  You want the shape of each piece to be as evenly cylindrical as possible, so it cooks at the same rate and so the pastry can make a neat package.   Don't try jamming the whole fillet into a single crust.

    While I can make them as well as anyone (not including Ramsay), I'm not a big fan of Wellingtons.  When they fell out of popularity in the seventies, that was a good thing in my opinion.  All of the stuff is better without the crust, I prefer to simply grill or pan broil and (sometimes not so simply) sauce. 

    I've got a recipe floating around CT for steak with pan sauce which is quite elegant and might better suit your skill level.

    BDL
     
  19. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Wha?? But you like old fashioned things BDL!  I've never had beef wellington so I don't know what there isn't to like.  It looks so darn pretty can't wait to make it now.  Thanks for the tip about making a couple of small ones rather than one large wellington, I imagine that can turn out to be a nightmare.  Even Ramsay's looked a bit soggy on the bottom to tell the truth.  I'm now imagining an elegant christmas dinner with beef wellington, pan roasted potatoes in duck fat, and something green... asparagi?
     
  20. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    It's true.  I've been trending retro for a few years now.  My passions last a few years, then change.  Yours?

    How about lightly smoked (oak, of course), roasted tenderloin roasts, cooked to a perfect rare on the large side, and a perfect med on the small?  Much better than beef Wellington.  Speaking of retro, that was one of the buffet courses I made for my 1980 wedding reception (we'd "eloped" to exotic Minden, Nevada and got married by the JOP; reception was a month later.)

    Root vegetables roasted in duck fat, check.  Include baby carrots with tops, trimmed down to about 1/2" to get that bit of green on the plate.

    Asparagus for a luxury, out of season starter, not as a side.  Don't overcrowd your elegant plates.  Unless it's a buffet, stop with two items (preferably one leaning on the other) and sauce. 

    Take a "big food" holiday dinner course for an example:  Prime rib, jus, mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, creamed spinach, horse radish.  Jus on the plate first, then the potatoes, then the rib.  Jus underneath the roast, on top, puddling all around, and separately passed; potatoes on the plate, the jus lapping up the sides; slice of beef, touching the potatoes, more jus on the beef; large Yorkshire pudding brought whole to the table, sliced and served with tongs (or two spoon style) on top of the meat; or individual size puddings, passed; spinach in side dishes; horseradish sauce separately passed. 

    Elegance is not meat and two veg; that's "homey."  Nothing wrong with homey, but it's different.  Elegance means, among other things, a lot of "negative space" on the plate.  It also means a lot of help clearing the plates and keeping the kitchen clean, efficient and running smoothly between courses.  Make the men clear and clean at least two courses, says I. 

    Buffets aren't as elegant as plated, but are a heckuvalot easier. 

    Boar's Third Law of Entertaining:   Easy is good.  Enjoy your own party.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011