BEEF WELLINGTON

Beef Wellington is a holiday classic, but cooking the priciest of beef cuts— filet mignon— is a challenge. At many butcher counters, filet sells for thirty dollars a pound. Even at the big box stores whole beef tenderloins—the cut from which filet mignons are butchered—are twenty bucks a pound. So improperly cooking filet isn’t like scorching a pot of beans. It’s a pricy mistake. Also, roasting steak in pastry takes a little faith. Who knows what’s going on under that blanket of dough? But no worries! Between my KitchenAid® Convection Double Wall Oven with Even-Heat™ technology and a few tricks of my own, it’s easy to roast holiday Beef Wellingtons to perfection.

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The first step to successful Beef Wellington is getting the right cut. Unpeeled beef tenderloin is cheaper, but it’s a lot of work to trim it, and there’s a lot of waste too. For this reason I buy whole trimmed or “peeled” beef tenderloin. Thick at one end tapering to a thin tail, this is the muscle from which I cut six 6 to 8 ounce filet mignons, the perfect number of steaks for a small holiday dinner party. The leftover thick end of the tenderloin becomes a small roast, which I can roast for another dinner down the pike. I grill up the little tapered end for tonight’s steak dinner.

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Beef Wellington traditionally features duxelle or sautéed minced fresh mushrooms. While I love steak and mushrooms, I don’t especially love how the mushrooms dampen the golden, crisp pastry. For this reason, I grind dried mushrooms to a powder in my KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series 16-Cup Food Processor.

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Once I’ve ground the mushrooms, I season them with salt and pepper and lots of fresh parsley and thyme for bright color. The mushrooms need seasoning, but so do the steaks, so I salt and pepper them too. Then I brush them with Dijon mustard, which not only seasons the steaks, but also helps the mushroom mixture adhere.

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Now it’s time to wrap the steaks in puff pastry. Regardless of the brand, most puff pastry is sold in approximate pound lots. Cut the pastry into 6 equal portions and on a lightly floured surface roll each portion twice the length of the steak and wide enough to wrap the filets. Think wrapping a package. To help the pastry adhere, brush the edges with beaten egg and then press the seams to seal each filet, trimming excess dough, if necessary.

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For a simple, yet decorative look, score the top of each fillet pastry packet and then brush with a little butter to ensure good browning. So that the beef doesn’t overcook before the pastry turns golden, refrigerate the pastry-wrapped steaks for a half hour—or even overnight. Not only does this prevent overcooked beef, it’s great to get all of the preparation done ahead so come dinner, all you have to do is pop them in the oven.

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Because of the KitchenAid® Double Wall Oven’s Even-Heat™ technology, I don’t have to worry that the packets will cook unevenly.

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As you would with a steak or roast, let the pastry-wrapped beef rest a few minutes once it come out of the oven. After that, they’re ready to arrange on a big platter or individual plates for a memorable holiday meal.

Beef Wellington

Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 ounces dried mushrooms (your choice, a mix is nice)
6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Salt and ground black pepper
6 (6-7 ounces each) filet mignons
1/4 cup course grain or regular Dijon mustard
1 box (about 16 ounces) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter

DIRECTIONS

Place mushrooms in a KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series 16-Cup Food Processor and grind to a powder; transfer to a medium bowl and mix in parsley, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Generously sprinkle both sides of each steak with salt and pepper. Pat the mustard all over each steak with a brush, and then roll each steak all over in the mushroom mixture.

Cut puff pastry into 6 even portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each puff pastry portion an inch wider than filet mignon sides and twice its length to completely encase it.

Wrap each filet in the rolled out puff pastry sections, brushing edges with egg wash to seal. Trim excess dough, if needed. Score the top of each filet several times. Lightly brush each wrapped filet with melted butter. Place the filets in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. (Can be refrigerated overnight.)

Preheat KitchenAid® Convection Double Wall Oven to 425 degrees F. Place a wire rack in a rimmed baking pan.

Place the chilled filets on the wire rack. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes and serve.

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