Individual Beef Wellington

“This impressive dish is a lot easier than it looks.” — Kerry Loutas

INGREDIENTS:

4 filet mignon steaks, 5 oz. each, well chilled
8 oz. mixed wild mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 small shallot, minced
1 thick slice of pancetta, chopped (or 2 slices of smoked bacon, blanched and chopped)
3/4 oz. Malmsey Madeira or sweet Marsala
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 slices of proscuitto
2 sheets puff pastry dough
1 egg plus one yolk, well mixed

METHOD:

Season the well chilled steaks with salt and pepper.

To a very hot skillet, add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter and quickly sear the filets for about 40 seconds per side. Remove and place in refrigerator.

To a medium hot skillet, add bacon or pancetta, 1 tablespoon butter, minced shallots and chopped mushrooms. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes or until the mushrooms have released their moisture. Add the Madeira and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes or until the bottom of the skillet is nearly dry. A few drops of truffle oil is optional.

Put the mushroom mixture in the food processor and pulse until finely minced. Set aside to cool.

Place the pastry dough on well chilled, floured surface. With round cutter, cut eight 5- inch discs from the dough. Using a rolling pin. roll the dough to reduce the thickness while increasing the diameter of all the discs to about 6 1/4 inches.

ASSEMBLY

Place four pastry discs on well-floured dusted sheet pan, keeping the other four discs chilled.

Take two slices of proscuitto and place them in an “X” in the center of each pastry disc, with the arms of the X extending beyond the pastry disc.

Place the filets on the pastry and top with 1 tablespoon of mushroom, shallot, bacon mixture.

Fold the proscuitto “arms” over the mushroom topped steaks.

Take the remaining four pastry discs and drape them over the assembled steaks, dampen the edges of the bottom disc with a pastry brush dipped in a little ice water. Fold the lower disc edge over the top around the bottom to seal the two pastry discs.

COOKING

Preheat oven to 425°F.

It is important to cut a vent in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape from the package. This vent should be about the diameter of the tip of your middle finger.

Brush egg wash over pastry and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until pastry is a glossy golden brown and internal temperature of the steak is 110°F. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes.

TO SERVE

A sauce made from red wine, shallots and heavily reduced veal stock often accompanies this dish. I suggest serving with a simply prepared vegetable, such as swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, green beans, etc.

SOURCE: Chef Kerry Loutas, L’Escargot, Carmel, CA

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