Beef Wellington

updated Dec 20, 2023
christmas

Learn how to make this showstopper entrée of tender beef wrapped in mushroom paste and crispy, buttery puff pastry.

Serves6 to 8

Prep1 hour

Cook1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes

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Beef Wellington is one of the most luxurious recipes I can think of. With a crisp puff pastry shell encasing mushroom paste and prosciutto and a perfectly pink beef tenderloin center, each slice is a work of art.

Even though it’s fancy, you don’t have to go to a restaurant to have really good beef Wellington. Making it at home is a multi-step process, but it’s not as hard as you’d think. And all the effort is 100% worth it.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

What Is Beef Wellington?

Beef Wellington is a culinary work of art featuring seared beef tenderloin that’s covered in mushroom paste (duxelles) followed by a layer of prosciutto. Puff pastry wraps around the whole thing. It’s then baked and served sliced, sometimes with a sauce. Some versions include pâté or a layer of egg crêpes beneath the puff pastry, but this version keeps it simple.

The Main Ingredients You’ll Need For Beef Wellington

  • Beef tenderloin: Buy a 2 1/2-pound center-cut roast of even thickness.
  • Puff pastry: Puff pastry is the final outer layer of beef Wellington. Get frozen all-butter puff pastry for the best flavor if you can.
  • Prosciutto: The layer of prosciutto adds flavor and asks as a barrier to keep the mushroom paste from making the puff pastry soggy. Get thinly sliced prosciutto, and look for ones packaged with sheets of paper or plastic between each slice so they’ll separate into whole slices more easily.
  • Mushrooms: Use cremini or baby bella mushrooms here for the duxelles.

The Best Cut of Beef for Beef Wellington

A center-cut beef tenderloin is the best cut for beef Wellington. This tender, boneless cut has very little gristle or fat and is fairly uniform in shape. When you’re shopping, look for a tenderloin that has an even thickness, which will help it cook more evenly.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Make Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington is definitely a project, I’m not going to lie. But if you have a plan and take your time with each step, it all comes together beautifully. Here’s the play-by-play:

  1. Sear the tenderloin. Brown the tenderloin in a frying pan just to get some flavor and color on the outside.
  2. Cook the mushroom duxelles: Sauté very finely chopped mushrooms, shallots, and thyme together into a flavorful paste. Chill before using.
  3. Wrap the tenderloin in prosciutto: Arrange cold prosciutto slices (cold is easier to work with) into a rectangle that’s big enough to wrap around the tenderloin. Spread the mushroom paste over it. Then roll the tenderloin up in the prosciutto. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap so it molds onto the tenderloin and refrigerate until ready to bake. You can do this up to a few hours ahead.
  4. Wrap in puff pastry and bake: For the nicest-looking Wellington, use a puff pastry that comes in one sheet, so there aren’t any visible seams. (I like Dufour, which is a very available all-butter puff pastry.) If you can only find a pastry that comes in two sheets, pinch them together before rolling out. Roll out the puff pastry, wrap it around the tenderloin, brush with egg wash, and bake.

What Temperature Should Beef Wellington Be Cooked To?

When baking the Wellington, it’s important to cook the tenderloin to the right temperature. If you have a probe thermometer that can keep track of the temperature while it’s in the oven, use it!

For a medium-rare center, bake the Wellington until 105ºF. This temperature may seem low, but the Wellington will continue to cook and go up in temperature as it rests. Because the puff pastry seals the heat in, it will reach a perfect medium-rare of 125 to 130ºF when it’s time to slice.

What Should I Serve with Beef Wellington?

Beef Wellington is quite a rich dish, so pair it with a side or two of vegetables. Go light or go with traditional richer steakhouse sides such as:

Beef Wellington Recipe

Learn how to make this showstopper entrée of tender beef wrapped in mushroom paste and crispy, buttery puff pastry.

Prep time 1 hour

Cook time 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 (about 16-ounce) package

    frozen puff pastry, preferably all-butter

  • 2

    medium shallots

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 1/4 bunch

    fresh thyme

  • 1 pound

    cremini mushrooms

  • 1

    (about 2 1/2-pound) center-cut beef tenderloin roast

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 6 to 8 cold slices

    prosciutto (about 5 ounces)

  • 1

    large egg

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting

  • Flaky salt, for serving (optional)

Instructions

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  1. Thaw 1 package puff pastry in the refrigerator according to package directions.

  2. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment as you complete it: Coarsely chop 2 medium shallots and 2 garlic cloves. Pick the leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme until you have 2 teaspoons. Trim and halve (or quarter if large) 1 pound cremini mushrooms. Add half the mushrooms to the food processor.

  3. Pulse the mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and thyme until finely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, in 10 to 12 (1-second) pulses. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the remaining mushrooms to the food processor, pulse until finely chopped, and transfer to the bowl. (Alternatively, very finely chop everything by hand.)

  4. Trim 1 tenderloin roast of any surface fat or silver skin. If one end is thinner, tuck it under the roast. Tie kitchen twine around the roast crosswise at 1 1/2-inch intervals. Tie kitchen twine around the roast lengthwise so that the whole roast is of an even thickness. Pat dry with paper towels and season all over with 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

  5. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the roast and sear, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate.

  6. Pour off and discard any fat in the pan. Add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter to the pan and return to medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the mushroom mixture and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture appears dry and the mushrooms and bottom of the pan starts to brown, 10 to 20 minutes.

  7. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a large plate and spread into an even layer. Refrigerate until chilled, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  8. Lay a 2-foot long sheet of plastic wrap horizontally on a work surface. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap the same length above the first sheet, overlapping by about 1 inch. Arrange 3 to 4 slices of the prosciutto vertically along the bottom edge of the plastic wrap so that they are the same length as the roast, centering and slightly overlapping the slices. Arrange the remaining prosciutto slices above the first slices to make a rectangle that will completely wrap around the roast in one even layer, trimming as needed and slightly overlapping each other and the first slices.

  9. Cut off and discard the kitchen twine from the roast. Spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the prosciutto, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the top.

  10. Place the roast horizontally on the bottom edge of the mushroom mixture. Use the plastic wrap to help you completely roll the roast up tightly in the prosciutto and mushrooms. If needed, trim off any excess prosciutto hanging off the ends.

  11. Arrange the plastic wrap so it is flat again. Move the wrapped roast back to the bottom of the plastic wrap seam-side down, then tightly roll it up in the plastic wrap. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap and roll the whole bundle along the work surface a few times to tighten it up further. Knot each end of the plastic wrap or tie with kitchen twine. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

  12. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat 1 large egg in a small bowl.

  13. Lightly dust a work surface with all-purpose flour and unfold the puff pastry onto it with a shorter side closer to you (if your pastry comes in two sheets, place one above the other and pinch together to form one sheet). Roll the pastry out from side to side (do not roll from top to bottom) into a rectangle that is 6 to 8 inches wider than the roast.

  14. Unwrap the roast and place seam-side down on the bottom edge of the pastry, centering it. Roll the roast up tightly in the puff pastry until completely wrapped with one layer of the pastry. Right before it’s completely wrapped in pastry, brush the pastry where the seam would be with egg wash. Trim off the remaining pastry at the top and save for another use. Press the seam to seal the pastry together around the roast.

  15. Arrange seam-side up if needed. Fold the pastry at each end to completely cover the ends of the roast, then fold over the top, brushing the pastry where it folds over with egg wash to help seal; trim off any extra pastry. Transfer to the baking sheet seam-side down. Brush all over with the egg wash.

  16. Bake until the center of the roast registers 105ºF for medium-rare and the pastry is golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. (Loosely cover the top with aluminum foil if needed if the pastry is browned before the roast is ready.) Let rest for 20 minutes on the baking sheet (the internal temperature will continue to rise as it rests).

  17. Slide a large, stiff spatula under the Wellington and transfer it to a clean cutting board. Cut crosswise with a serrated knife into 1-inch wide slices. Sprinkle the meat of each slice with flaky salt if desired. Transfer the slices to plates or a serving platter with a bench scraper.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The roast can be wrapped in the mushrooms and prosciutto up to 8 hours ahead.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.