This is a great special dinner for two, which is really not very hard. I used a sous-vide cooker, which ensured that the steak inside the crust was perfectly cooked, but the steak can also be cooked the old fashioned way, in a frying pan. This is an adaptation from a recipe by Jordan Kenna which I found on Buzzfeed. I have made Beef Wellington for the family a few times using the Julia Child method, which starts with making a brioche dough. That was sufficiently good that my younger son when he was around 6 later asked Carol if he could have again “that beef with bread”. That description also puts Beef Wellington into perspective.
8 oz. mushrooms
1 clove garlic
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 5-oz. filet mignons (such as the ones sold bacon-wrapped)
1 Tbs. oil
¼ lb. liver pate
1 sheet of puff pastry, rolled out, and cut into 7-inch squares
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbs. of water)
If using a sous-vide cooker, seal the filets in plastic, displace the air, and cook for 2 hours at 130 degrees. In this case, I bought the steaks already in vacuum sealed packages, and I just sous-vided the filets in their original packaging. (If you do not have sous-vide equipment, oil a skillet, get it hot, and cook the steaks to medium (internal temperature 130 degrees) flipping the steaks every minute or so until they are done. Flipping them often will help them cook evenly.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
To make the mushroom mixture, use a food processor. First process the garlic, then add the mushrooms, salt, black pepper, and thyme. Process until it is a fine paste. Put the paste in a frying pan, and cook over medium-low heat until the mushrooms have given up all their liquid and have shrunk to about half their original size. The purpose of this step is to concentrate the mushrooms and keep them from making the pastry soggy.
Remove the steaks from the sous-vide cooker, dry them with paper towels. Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the steaks and cook them for about 4 minutes, flipping them after each minute, until nicely browned. Remove the steaks from the pan. Coat both sides of the steaks with the Dijon mustard.
To assemble the Beef Wellingtons, lay out a piece of the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Spread about ¼ of the mushroom mixture on the center of the puff pastry, and cover with about ¼ of the pate. Add the mustard-covered steak, and then top with ¼ of the pate, and ¼ of the mushroom mixture. Fold the puff pastry over the steak, sealing the steak inside, and then invert it baking sheet lined with parchment paper with the seam side down. Repeat with the other piece of puff pastry. Score the pastry with a decorative pattern, being careful not to pierce through the pastry. Brush the two wellingtons with the egg wash.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the pastry is fully cooked and golden. Allow to rest 10 minutes, and then serve.