Beef Wellington is a preparation of beef tenderloin coated with pâté (often pâté de foie gras) and duxelles, which is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. The origin of the name is not clear, although it is commonly accepted that Beef Wellington is named after Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington, a Brittish general that defeated Napoleon at Waterloo (Belgium), bringing an end to the Napoleonic era of European history.
My recipe today is a variation of this traditional British dish (which some indicate would be inspired by the French Boeuf en crôute): I have used pork tenderloin, and wrapped it in a French baguette dough. I do not know what Napoleon would think of this recipe that is named after his defeater, but I am sure that he would take his hand out of his jacket to pick one piece of this Wellington baguette.
Prep time: 30 min (plus dough resting time)
Cooking time: 20 min
Serves: 4 people
- 250 g bread flour
- 5 g fresh yeast
- 165 ml water
- 5 g salt
- Decoration (optional): lace and cornstarch
- 25 g butter
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1/5 cup Madeira or Oporto wine
- 1 pork tenderloin
- foie gras, 50 to 100 g
- Put flour and yeast in a bowl and combine. Add water and salt. Use a large spoon or pastry scraper to mix everything together. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead. You will feel the dough become elastic after kneading for about 5 minutes. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is soft, pliable, smooth and slightly shiny. Put the dough into a lightly floured bowl and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise in a warm place until its size doubles (1 hour depending on the room temperature)
- Prepare the duxelle. Heat a frying pan and melt the butter. Add shallots, and cook gently, stirring from time to time. Finely chop the mushrooms, and add them to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms appear dry and are beginning to brown; about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper, and then Oporto wine. Cook, stirring frequently, until the wine has evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool.
- When our baguette dough is ready, place it on a lightly floured surface, and shape it to a large oval, the size of your pork tenderloin. Spread the duxelle and pâté down the centre of the dough, and place the meat on top in the centre. Fold the dough over lengthways and turn the parcel over a baking sheet with parchment paper, so that the join is underneath.
- Let the bread rest for 30 minutes, whilst preheating oven to 400 ºF (200 º C). Decorate your bread placing a large lace over the bread, and then sprinkle with cornstarch. Remove carefully the lace, and bake your Wellington baguette for about 20 minutes
- Remove from the oven, and let it cool about 15 minutes before slicing it
- I did not sear the meat before placing it in the dough, because searing does not “seal” the juices. Although often said to “lock in the moisture” or “seal in the juices”, searing has been demonstrated to result in a greater net loss of moisture versus cooking to the same internal temperature without first searing. Nonetheless, it remains an essential technique in cooking meat for several reasons:
1- The browning creates desirable flavors through caramelization and the Maillard reaction.
2- The appearance of the food is usually improved with a well-browned crust.
3- The contrast in taste and texture between the crust and the interior makes the food more interesting to the palate. Source: Wikipedia
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