Holiday Dinner Demystified
By Andrew Zimmern
My version of this classic recipe has all the wonderful flavors you crave without the headache. Seared beef tenderloin with mushroom duxelles, foie gras and puff pastry, in a sauce that perfectly compliments the dish.
Deconstructed Beef Wellington
- 2 sheets puff pastry, frozen is fine
The Mushroom Duxelles
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 shallots, diced
- 8 oz Cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh Tarragon
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted in the oven
- 4 ounces of veal demi-glace… Many local butcher shops sell this product and www.dartagnan.com sells it as well. I make poultry and veal demi once or twice a year and save it in 4oz containers in the freezer. It’s a super easy weekend project, the stove and the pot do all the work.
- 1 minced shallot
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 3 tablespoons sherry or madeira
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons green peppercorns in brine
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
The Foie Gras
- 6 ounces torchon foie gras (I get mine from www.dartagnan.com or locally from Lowry Hill Meats here in Minnesota)
- 4 portions of beef tenderloin 6-7 ounces each
- Salt/Pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 sprigs each fresh thyme and rosemary
- 3 whole garlic cloves, gently smashed
For the puff pastry:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut 4 circles, about an inch bigger than the filets. Spray the bottoms of 2 sheet pans with cooking spray or lightly rub with vegetable oil. Place the dough discs between them and bake for 20-25 minutes, until browned and baked through. Set aside.
For the mushrooms:
Place the butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the shallots, mushrooms, thyme. Saute until mushrooms are browned nicely.
Cool and using a food processor, pulse into duxelles (fine grind, not paste) with the tarragon, toasted almonds, soy and lemon.
Season with salt and pepper and keep warm in a 200 degree oven while the beef cooks.
For the sauce:
Place the butter in a sauce pan and add the shallots and thyme, cook for a few minutes until the shallots are glassy. Add the brandy, sherry and peppercorns.
Cook until well reduced and add the demi and mustard. Bring to a simmer. Add the cream. Simmer briefly. Remove the herb stems and season. If your sauce is too thick add a tablespoon or so of hot water.
For the foie gras:
Take the 6 oz torchon, slice into 8 discs. Lay them on wax paper and allow to come to room temperature. Sprinkle with sea salt and reserve.
For the beef:
In a large preheated cast iron skillet sear and cook the seasoned beef tenderloins in the butter. Add the herbs and garlic when you turn the beef the first time and baste with the seasoned butter as the filets cook.
When cooked to your taste, reserve to a warm spot to rest for 10 minutes and then assemble the plate.
I build it by starting with a few tablespoons of duxelles, then the beef, then the foie, then more duxelles and then the crispy wedge of puff pastry.
Sometimes I like to add a tangle of sauteed spinach next to the Wellington and nap the plate with the sauce before serving. Sprinkle the sauce with the chives on the plate.