Individual Gorgonzola Beef Wellingtons

June 11th of this year was a really hard day for my family. It would have been my parent’s 45th wedding anniversary. If mom had been able to make it to June, we were going to throw a big party for them, as if it had been they’re 50th, because we knew mom wasn’t going to live to see their 50th. Unfortunately, mom didn’t make it to their 45th. She passed away 4 months shy of it. So, in honor of the anniversary, and the party we would have had, Dad, my sister, and I went out to a really really nice dinner.

We each ordered fabulous appetizers:

From LtoR: Kobe Chili with Filet and Corn Bread, Mini Beef Wellingtons, Scotch Eggs

And an amazing entree:

Filet Mignon and Softshell Crab Cake Oscar, served over Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

My sister and Dad had wine and I had a mixed drink.

We talked about the past.

We talked about the future.

We talked about mom.

We cried.

Later that night, after I got home, my thoughts returned to food. It always comes back to food, doesn’t it?

I couldn’t get the mini Beef Wellingtons out of my head. I was so impressed by them. It had me remembering my 21st birthday in November when Mom and Dad took TJ and I out to a local winery so I could have my first “official” drink and a nice dinner.

 

*tangent so I can talk about my feelings*

I still can’t get over how stupid/selfish/idiotic/similar adjectives I was for what was going through my head that night, and how guilty I feel about it. Mom wore high heels because it was a special night. She hadn’t worn high heels in months, but that night she did it just for me. The walk from the car to the restaurant wasn’t extremely long (for me anyways), but for my mom it might as well have been 5 miles. There was no bench for her to stop and sit to catch her breath, but she kept on trucking. She didn’t want to ruin my night.

And what was it I thought with seeing all of this? How lucky I was that mom was putting in this effort for my birthday? To try to make it special?

Nope.

All I could think of was how I wished she had stayed at home because she was ruining everything.

Looking back at it, I can’t accurately put into words how stupid I feel. Especially since not even 3 months later she was gone and in a better place.

*lets out a long sigh as I try to stop crying*

Okay, sorry. I just really needed to get that out. But, as I said earlier, it always comes back to food!

 

Their special that night was Beef Wellington. Mom and Dad ordered that and TJ and I ordered their filet. I remember sampling some of mom’s beef wellington because it was way too much food for her (although at that point in her illness, almost everything was).

So after thinking and thinking, I finally made a decision.

I was going to make Beef Wellington for Dad for Father’s Day.

 

I found the recipe I used online (the interwebz are my friend!!) at Epicurious, and using some tips from a tutorial at About.com, it turned out amazing!

It was surprisingly easy to put together. The hardest part (for me anyways) was searing the steaks. I had trouble getting them to the right temperature. We ended up with rare filets instead of medium-rare, but other than that it turned out perfectly!

The Gorgonzola was a really nice addition to the typical Beef Wellington, and I highly recommend it. However, if you’re not big on Gorgonzola, or even on adding cheese to the Beef Wellington, feel free to omit it.

 

The filets I picked up at the grocery store to use for this ended up being 12 oz. each, even though I had asked for 8 oz. ones, so there was a LOT of meat. Thankfully these were still great as leftovers.

 

I hope you guys love this recipe as much as I did. It’s a great meal to serve for special occasions, and even though there are a lot of steps, is pretty straight forward and easy. Plus, it can be made a day ahead.

♥ Kate

Individual Gorgonzola Beef Wellingtons                                                                                                                                                       [click to print]

Serves 4 (adapted from a recipe on Epicurious.com and a tutorial on About.com)

Ingredients

4 1 1/2-inch-thick center-cut filets mignons (about 6 ounces each)
4 large mushrooms, morels or white button (about 1/4 pound total)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 large egg
1 puff pastry sheet (from a 17 1/4-ounce package frozen puff pastry), thawed
4 tbsp Gorgonzola cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)

 

Method

1. Season filets generously with salt and pepper.

2. Pre-heat a medium (10-inch) non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add butter and swirl in pan to melt.

3. Cook filets on both sides for about 3 minutes until well-browned, then brown the edges. Note: Regularly check the internal temperature of the filets, they should not be cooked past 120F at the center.

4. Chill filets, covered, until cold, about 1 hour.

5. Finely chop mushrooms in a food processor.

6. Scrape mushrooms out into a clean, cotton towel. (Note: Do not use terry cloth, and choose an old towel as you will stain it.)

7. Twist towel around mushrooms and wring out as much liquid as you can over the sink.

8. Heat a medium (10-inch) non-stick skillet over a burner set between medium and medium-high.

9. Add 1 tablespoon butter and swirl to melt and avoid burning.

10. Add mushrooms, shallot, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until mushrooms are lightly browned.

11. Transfer mushroom mixture to a bowl to cool completely.

12. In a small bowl lightly beat egg to make an egg wash.

13. On a lightly floured surface roll out puff pastry sheet into a 14-inch square.

14. Trim edges to form a 13-inch square and cut square into four 61/2-inch squares.

15. Put 1 tablespoon Gorgonzola in center of 1 square and top with one fourth mushroom mixture.

16. Top mushroom mixture with a filet mignon, pressing it down gently, and wrap 2 opposite corners of puff pastry over filet, overlapping them. Seal seam with egg wash.

17. Wrap remaining 2 corners of pastry over filet and seal in same manner.

18. Seal any gaps with egg wash and press pastry around filet to enclose completely.

19. Place Beef Wellington seam-side up on a plate, and make the other Beef Wellingtons in the same manner.

20. Chill remaining egg wash for brushing on pastry just before baking.

21. Chill Beef Wellingtons, loosely covered, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

22. Place non-stick cookie sheet (or baking pan) in oven and preheat to 425°F.

23. {OPTIONAL} Place Beef Wellingtons, seam-side down on a plate and top with puff-pastry cut outs for decoration.

24. Once preheated, remove cookie sheet (or baking pan) from oven and place Beef Wellingtons on it, seam-side down. Brush tops and sides with remaining egg wash.

25. Bake 20 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown.

Serve Beef Wellingtons with red wine reduction.

Photo Walkthrough:

Everything you will need for this recipe.

(1. Preheat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add butter and swirl in pan to melt. (2. Cook filets on both sides for about 3 minutes until well-browned, then brown the edges. Note: Regularly check the internal temperature of the filets, they should not be cooked past 120F at the center. (3. Place on a plate after steaks are done searing. (4. Cover and place in the fridge until completely chilled, about 1 hour.

(1. Add washed mushrooms to the bowl of the food processor. (2. Chop until fine. (3. Scrape into a clean, cotton towel (do NOT use terry cloth, and use something old as it will stain), and twist the towel around the mushrooms to squeeze out the liquid over the sink. (4. Squeeze, squeeze, and squeeze some more!!

This is how my mushrooms looked after I wrung out the excess liquid.

Heat a medium non-stick skillet over a burner set between medium and medium-high heat. Add your butter and swirl until melted. Then add the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic and cook until mushrooms are lightly browned.

Try really hard NOT to break any eggs when you get them out of the fridge to make the egg wash! LOL