Wrapped in layers of flaky pastry, savory mushrooms, and prosciutto, this easy recipe for Beef Wellington will show you step-by-step how to make the best beef tenderloin ever! It’s a classic recipe that’s perfect for Christmas, or any special occasion.
The Ultimate Beef Tenderloin Dinner
Have you ever tried Beef Wellington? It’s my favorite dish to make for a really show-stopping main course. A classic from a bygone era, Beef Wellington has all those ritzy Downton Abbey vibes, though hopefully less drama! 🎭
When you take the puff-pastry wrapped tenderloin to the table, everyone will immediately see that you’ve put a lot of care and effort into the meal, with beautiful results.
Plus, Beef Wellington tastes amazing. Each layer adds its own special note, making the perfect combination of medium-rare beef, a gentle lick of mustard, and savory mushrooms cooked down to almost their essence. Wrap all that goodness up in a pretty puff pastry shell, and you’ve got one to-die-for meal! 🍴
What Is So Special About Beef Wellington?
I would say there are three really special things about Beef Wellington that make it such a beloved dish.
First, the luxury ingredients! This unusual dish contains the best, tenderest beef you can buy. Some recipes call for foie gras. Along with the beef tenderloin, we have the classic French recipe for duxelles (creamy mushroom pate), paper-thin slices of prosciutto (like, the tastiest ham ever), and a buttery, flaky crust that would take hours to make by hand (I get mine ready-made, though!).
Also, there’s the presentation. The look of the puff pastry is incredibly tempting, even before you slice into it. This is a visual feast for everyone at the table. Serving the slices just adds to the spectacle, as the thin layers of mushroom, ham, and crust are revealed, along with perfectly rosy beef.
Finally, the recipe is an old one with a lot of staying power. Beef Wellington was “invented” in the 1800s, and has stood the test of time for two centuries. I mean, it’s not the oldest recipe in the world, but it’s still pretty respectable in terms of age and popularity.
Although this is considered a “fancy” recipe, the ingredients are simple! Beef, mushrooms, mustard, and a few basic seasonings are all you need.
- Mushrooms: I use button mushrooms, but you could swap some or all of them for portabella, chanterelles, oyster mushrooms, anything you like.
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil: For sauteing.
- Tenderloin: You will need center-cut beef tenderloin, or chateaubriand, NOT a full beef tenderloin.
- Mustard: A little bit of English mustard cuts the richness of the dish and brings out the meaty flavor.
- Prosciutto: Also called “Parma ham,” we’re looking for extremely thin slices of flavorful dried ham, to help seal the beef and mushrooms in and keep the pastry from getting soggy.
- Flour: Just a bit, for dusting over the pastry to roll it out.
- Puff Pastry: The best puff pastry uses butter only, no oil or shortening, and no artificial flavors. Check the ingredients label for this info. However, any puff pastry will do if you can’t find the all-butter kind. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.
- Egg Yolks: Beat a couple of egg yolks for brushing over the pastry before baking.
- Sea Salt: A sprinkling of sea salt adds crunch and a jewel-like glitter to the pastry.
How to Make Beef Wellington
Before you get started making the dish, make sure you take your tenderloin out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. You’ll get a better sear, and ultimately, juicier meat.
- Make the Mushroom Paste (Duxelles). Clean your mushrooms, washing or brushing away any dirt. Then place the mushrooms in a food processor, along with a bit of salt and pepper, and process until very finely chopped. Heat a swirl of oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and saute the mushrooms gently for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have given up all of their liquid, and the liquid has cooked away. Scoop the mushroom paste out of the skillet and set aside to cool.
- Sear the Beef Tenderloin. Wipe down the skillet, and add a little bit more olive oil. Set the skillet over high heat. Generlously season the beef with salt and pepper, and when the oil is nearly smoking, sear the beef for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. You don’t want to cook the beef, just brown it on all sides. Set the tenderloin aside to cool, for 10 minutes or so, before brushing the beef all over with English mustard. Set aside again to cool while you create the wrapping layers.
- Wrap the Beef in Ham and Mushrooms. Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap on your work surface, and lay overlapping layers of prosciutto over it, like shingles on a roof. The layer of prosciutto should be a rectangle big enough to cover the whole tenderloin. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread your mushroom mixture over the prosciutto. Place the beef tenderloin at the bottom of the prosciutto rectangle, and roll the prosciutto and mushrooms around the beef, using the plastic wrap to get the layers tightly wrapped. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap like a candy wrapper to get a secure, tight barrel shape.
- Create the Puff Pastry Layer. Put the wrapped tenderloin in the fridge, and chill it for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425˚F, and dust your work surface with flour. Roll out the puff pastry, shaping it into a rectangle big enough to cover the beef tenderloin.
- Wrap, Chill, and Bake. Remove the chilled beef from the fridge, and take off the plastic wrap, leaving just the ham and mushrooms, and lay the tenderloin at the base of the pastry rectangle. Brush egg yolk all around the edges of the puff pastry, and then tightly roll the pastry around the beef. Brush the seams with more egg yolk. Chill for 15 minutes more, before placing on a foil-lined baking sheet, seam-side-down. Brush the pastry all over with egg yolk, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The Beef Wellington is done when the pastry is golden-brown and the beef’s internal temperature registers 120˚F. (Insert a thermometer discreetly through the pastry on the side.)
- Rest and Serve. Remove the Beef Wellington from the oven, and let it rest for about 15 minutes before cutting, so the juices redistribute. Slice thickly, and serve warm.
Tips for Success
I hope you try making this recipe—you’ll be glad you did! It is a bit time consuming, but the savory taste of well-cooked Beef Wellington just screams “holidays,” and while it is a bit involved in terms of chilling and wrapping, it’s totally worth it. Here are just a few more helpful tips to get you off on the right foot!
- Swap the Mustard: You can use Dijon in place of the English mustard, or use any kind you like. Each type of mustard brings its own fun to the party!
- Watch the Gap: For best results, make sure to wrap the roast beef completely in the pastry, with the seams totally sealed, and no gaps or holes.
- Roll the Pastry Thin: To ensure a flaky, crispy crust without overcooking the beef, roll the pastry out thinly, like a pie crust.
Serve Beef Wellington with your favorite sides, especially cozy classics like mashed potatoes, or a crisp green salad. Other great side dishes include:
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Beef Wellington
- To store, slice the Beef Wellington into serving portions. Then wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap, or place in freezer bags, pressing out as much air as possible before sealing.
- Refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, place slices of Beef Wellington in an ovenproof baking dish and cover loosely with foil.
- Bake at 300˚F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through. Do not overcook or the tenderloin will dry out.
Can I Make This Ahead?
- Beef Wellington can be assembled up to 24 hours in advance! Just follow the recipe as written, but instead of brushing the assembled Beef Wellington with egg yolk and baking it, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it instead.
- Bake your prepared and chilled Beef Wellington directly from the refrigerator, brushing it with the egg yolks before putting it in the oven. It will take longer to cook from a chilled state, so be sure to use an Instant Read thermometer to check for doneness.
PERFECT BEEF WELLINGTON
Wrapped in layers of flaky pastry, savory mushrooms, and prosciutto, this easy recipe for Perfect Beef Wellington will show you step-by-step how to make the best beef tenderloin ever! It’s a classic recipe that’s perfect for Christmas, or any special occasion.
Remove beef tenderloin from fridge and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
Place mushrooms in a food processor and season with salt and pepper; pulse to a rough paste.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and heat it up over medium-high heat. I use my 12-inch cast iron skillet.
Transfer the mushroom paste to the skillet and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until all liquid has evaporated.
Remove mushroom paste from the skillet and transfer to a plate to cool.
Meanwhile, wipe down the skillet and add remaining olive oil; set the skillet over high heat.
Season the beef with salt and pepper; when the oil is nearly smoking, sear the beef for about 1 to 2 minutes per side, or just until browned.
Remove beef from the pan and put aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Using a pastry brush, brush the beef all over with mustard. Set aside to continue to cool.
In the meantime, lay a sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface.
Shingle the prosciutto on the plastic wrap, slightly overlapping, into a rectangle that is big enough to cover the whole tenderloin.
Spread previously prepared mushroom mixture over the prosciutto.
Place the beef tenderloin at the bottom of the prosciutto slices.
Roll the prosciutto around the beef, keeping a tight hold on the edges of the plastic wrap. Form a tight barrel; then shape and twist the ends of the plastic wrap to secure it.
Put in the fridge and chill for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425˚F.
Dust your working area with flour; roll out the puff pastry on your work surface and, using a rolling pin, shape it into a rectangle large enough to cover the beef tenderloin.
Remove beef from the fridge.
Remove the plastic wrap from around the beef, then lay the beef at the bottom of the rolled out pastry.
Brush the perimeter of the pastry with a bit of the beaten eggs.
Tightly roll the pastry around the beef.
Brush the seam with a bit of the egg yolks.
Transfer the beef to a foil-lined baking sheet, seam-side down, and brush the beef all over with the egg yolks.
Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Remove from fridge and again brush all over with the remaining egg yolks.
Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until pastry is golden and the beef’s internal temperature registers at 120˚F.
Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes before cutting.
Cut and serve.
PERFECT BEEF WELLINGTON
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 432
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 16g80%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 23g
Vitamin A 69IU1%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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