Arthur Wellesley was the first Duke of Wellington, famous for winning the Battle of Waterloo against Napoleon in 1815. It is theorized that it was in his very kitchen that Beef Wellington was created. He was a supposed lover of beef, mushrooms and truffles; thus the dish was created in his honor.
For a variety of reasons Jacob and I rarely eat beef. We have probably had it a total of three times in the past two years. Because of this, the flavor of beef surprises me each time I eat it. The meat is succulent, rich, deep and flavorful.
A sweet little birdie came by my house today and dropped of $40 dollars for no reason at all. I feel blessed to be so loved. With the gift I made dinner fit for...a duke. It is a simplified version of the classic Beef Wellington of old. Here is the recipe I conjured up tonight:
Mini Beef Wellington Pockets
Serves 3-4 generously
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 medium sweet onion, roughly chopped
5-6 large button mushrooms
1 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 egg white
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (leaves only)
1 pound beef sirloin or tenderloin (grass fed, local)
Mix Seasonings (salt, pepper and dried thyme) together in a small bowl.
In a food processor combine roughly chopped garlic, and onion, the
mushrooms, half of the seasoning mixture, wine, oil, and the rosemary leaves
by pulsing until ingredients are finely minced.
Cook prepped filling in a sauce pan over medium/high heat
until most of the excess liquid is gone (about 10 minutes.) Set aside in a bowl.
Trim away fat. Sear the beef in a skillet.
Remove from skillet, and let the meat cool enough to handle. All the while
being weary of cat thieves!
Cut meat into about 2 inch chunks.
Rub beef with the remaining seasoning, and set aside.
Thaw the puff pastry. If needed, add flour to the dough and roll it
out into a thin, large square. Cut pastry dough into as many squares
as meat chunks cut. Make sure to make the dough squares
big enough to seal later, about 4 inches.
Scoop a spoon full of filling (about 1 tablespoon) and place it in the middle
of a dough square. Spread slightly, leaving at least a half inch border plain.
Place a chunk of seared, seasoned beef on top of the filling.
Fold the dough over the filling and the meat.
Seal all corners, and patch any holes.
Set aside on a stick free surface (I floured mine),
and repeat until all the meat is gone.
To finish, brush egg white over the sealed pockets, then poke holes in the
tops with a fork for venting. Grease a baking sheet with butter,
and place assembled beef wellington
pockets on the prepared sheet.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
***Stone ground Dijon mustard is really yummy in the pockets as well. Spread a thin layer on the puff pastry square before adding the rest of the filling, still leaving a half inch border plain.