The Cover Cooking Challenge, Week 3: Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington Patties with Pepper Gravy

Beef Wellington Patties with Brandy Black Pepper Gravy

Duxelles recipes often call for a food processor, but a large knife and a little patience will get the job done just as well.

Duxelles recipes often call for a food processor, but a large knife and a little patience will get the job done just as well.

Beef Wellington is a perfect food: rich filet, earthy mushrooms, and crispy, buttery puff pastry. I really couldn’t ask for anything more in life. However, actually making a Beef Wellington is torturous. I know at the end I’ll be happy, but, in between, there’s the pastry ripping, the duxelles not coating the meat quite right, the constant question of if it’s going to be raw, burnt, or, least likely, perfectly done. It’s too stressful, so I often opt for just ordering it whenever I see it on a menu out.

But Tyler Florence’s version of the dish has been calling my name for a while now. I love how he pairs the decadent protein with a sharp, spicy peppercorn sauce—absolutely inspired. So inspired, that it inspired me to attempt an easier-to-manage riff on his Wellington .

ground beef and duxelles

Make sure to let the duxelles cool before adding to the meat. You don’t want to cook the beef—or burn your hands while mixing!

First, I messed with the meat. As much as I love a good filet, they cost a lot of money, more than I try to spend on protein. Unfortunately, a lot of cheaper cuts of beef are too tough; I didn’t want to lose the satisfying smoothness of the dish. So I opted for ground beef. Ground meats often seem low-quality, but they’re actually great vehicles for getting a lot of flavors across while staying tender. It takes some effort to make a ground meat patty chewy, but to make sure my meat was extra moist, I mixed the duxelles and the other ingredients that would have coated the filet into my patty. The result not only kept my meat from drying out, it saved me extra steps by putting all my ingredients in one place.

Save the extras in a ziploc bag at room temperature. They aren't quite as good after a week, but they're not bad still.

Save the extras in a Ziploc bag at room temperature. They aren’t quite as good after a week, but they’re not bad still.

You can’t have a Wellington without puff pastry, and I didn’t intend to. But instead of battling with the tricky process of wrapping the meat up, I cooked the pastry separately. By doing so, I avoided any potential sogginess and hassle. Plus, the pastry “chips” made a great vessel for scooping up extra sauce.

Speaking of, rather than buying green peppercorns, I turned Florence’s sauce into a cracked black pepper version, to save myself a little money. I still got the spicy, peppery flavor but was able to just use pantry ingredients instead.

The result wasn’t exactly a Beef Wellington. It didn’t have the same decadence and chew. However, it had a lot of the same flavors and was about half the time and a quarter of the agitation. Definitely worth a shot for when you’re craving Wellington but don’t want to spend the time or money.

Also, this recipe calls for setting things on fire—which is always fun!

First ever flambé attempt! #homecooking #fire #apartmentepicurean

A post shared by JTVonClancy (@vonclancy) on

Beef Wellington Patties with Pepper Gravy
Serves 5

For duxelles:
1 lb. white button mushrooms, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For patties:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/3 lb. prosciutto, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 heaping Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 heaping Tbsp. grainy mustard
1 large egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil

For puff pastry:
1 sheet of store-bought puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. coarse sea salt

For pepper sauce:
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 cup brandy
2 cans beef broth
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. corn starch
2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cut the sheet of pastry into 15 pieces and arrange on cookie sheet. Brush with egg and sprinkle with salt. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from sheet and set on wire rack to cool.

To make the duxelles, preheat a large pan over medium heat. Melt butter and olive oil. Add the shallot and mushrooms and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, begin to prepare the sauce. Saute shallot, garlic, and thyme for about 2 minutes. Turn off flame, add brandy, and carefully, with a long match or grill lighter, set the brandy on fire. When flame dies down, return to heat and add broth, cooking until reduced by half. Mix together the milk, mustard, and corn starch, and add to the brandy/broth mixture. Cook until the mixture is thick and creamy, like a gravy. Add the black pepper and cook for about 2 minutes more until the flavor has permeated the sauce.

While the sauce is cooking (it will take longer to for the flame to burn out and to reduce than you think), in a large bowl, combine the duxelles, beef, prosciutto, thyme, Dijon, grainy mustard, egg, and salt and pepper. Mix well and form into 5 patties.

Heat oil in a large, nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Put patties in the pan and cook on one side for about 3 minutes, until brown. Flip and do the same on the other side. Transfer patties to an oven safe dish (if necessary) and cook in oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through. If your pan is oven safe, simply put it in the oven for 15 minutes.

Serve one patty per person, topped with a generous amount of sauce and 3 puff pastry “chips.”


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