Ha, I just called it that right now, the recipe IS for beef wellington, but its actually called “No Nightmare Beef Wellington”, and my friend Jen found the recipe on Epicurious and made it back when we watched the first episode of “Master Chef” (which is a terrible show and I’m highly disappointed by the way!)
I’ve never had beef wellington before. It did always sound too fancy to make or even eat, but Jen assured me it wasn’t too bad to make at all. It was really quite tasty too! I think traditional beef wellington is baked inside a puff pastry shell, but this one, to make it less stressful I guess, is just plated over a puff pastry shell, which you can buy right out of the freezer, so it’s less work on that front at any rate!
“No Nightmare” Beef Wellington (from Epicurious.com)
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 pounds sliced button mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup duck or goose liver pâté
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme plus 6 sprigs for garnish
6 frozen puff pastry shells (one 10-ounce package)
1 tablespoon canola oil
6 4-ounce filet mignon steaks
Coarse kosher salt
2 5-ounce bags fresh baby spinach**
Bring first 3 ingredients to boil in heavy medium saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 14 minutes. DO AHEAD: Sauce can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.
Using on/off turns and working in 2 batches, finely chop mushrooms in processor. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Cook until almost all liquid evaporates, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add pâté and chopped thyme; stir to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place pastry shells on baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake until puffed and deep golden brown, about 23 minutes. Cool.
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steaks generously with coarse salt and pepper. Cook steaks until browned and cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to plate; let rest 10 minutes.
**Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add spinach, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss just until spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. (I don’t think we did this part, I don’t recall there being spinach in my portion….we made asparagus on the side instead!)
Rewarm sauce and mushroom mixture. Halve puff pastry shells horizontally. Place 1 pastry shell bottom on each of 6 plates. Top with rounded tablespoon mushroom mixture. Divide spinach among shells, then top with steak. Place thyme sprig atop each steak. Drizzle sauce around and over steak. Prop pastry shell top alongside.
The results? Really good! The steaks were perfectly cooked and tender, the sauce was really delicious, and the puff pastry and mushroom really added flavor. Mike and I were chickens and made Jen make our portions without the pate, so if you are scared of that part, you can leave it out too. Jen loved it with it, but I didn’t feel like anything was missing without it. And trust me, I’m adventurous with food, but duck livers just sceeve me out!