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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Beef Wellington for Christmas Dinner

1 beef tenderloin, 2 1/2 - 3 lbs., trimmed
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb. baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 lb. frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Tie beef tenderloin with kitchen twine in 1-inch incrments to form a nice, even piece. (Kitchen twine will keep beef holding it's shape while cooking.) Sprinkle 1 tsp. kosher salt over tenderloin, then season with black pepper; let tenderloin rest for 1 hour. After tenderloin has rested for 1 hour, heat a large saute pan over medium high heat; add olive oil. When oil is hot, add tenderloin to the pan, searing on all sides, and ends until very well browned.  Place tenderloin onto cutting board with drainage well and let rest until cooled.  Chill tenderloin for 1-12 hours or until ready to assemble and tenderloin is well chilled.

Add onions to pan juices and saute until softened, approx. 5-6 minutes; add mushrooms and sherry and cook 10 minutes longer, or until all sherry has incorporated or evaporated..  Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Let mixture stand until room temperature or refrigerate up to 2 days.

On a lightly floured surface, roll puff pastry sheet into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick and large enough to encase beef tenderloin. (You may need to use 2 puff pastry sheets, overlapping them slightly, and pressing into 1 large piece.) Plaace puff pastry over the bottom of a shallow baking sheet.

Cut strings from chilled beef tenderloin, then place on top of the prepared puff pastry sheet.  Spread prepared onion/mushroom mixture over tenderloin.  Fold up long sides of the pastry to enclose the tenderloin, brushing edges with beaten egg to seal.(Trim any excess puff pastry dough as you go, if needed, reserving this dough.)  Turn encased tenderloin carefully so thata the seam side is on the bottom. Roll out any remaining puff pastry dough and cut into holly or other holiday shapes and place on top of Beef Wellington.  Brush entire Beef Wellington with beaten egg.  Chill for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Make 2 -3 slits in the top of the Beef Wellington for venting steam. Bake, uncovered, for 40-50 minutes or until Beef Wellington is golden brown and beef registers 135 degrees at center when testing with an instant-read meat thermometer, for Medium Rare.  Cover Beef Wellington during last few minutes of baking time if puff pastry becomes too brown.  Let Beef Wellington stand for 10 minutes before slicing to serve.  Delicious served with you favorite Horseradish Sauce!!

Serves 8-10

Hope this makes the perfect centerpiece at Christmas Dinner for your friends and family!

Merry Christmas,
Chef Alli