Beef Wellington with Mushroom Sauce

This is recipe for a single serving Beef Wellington that is perfect for date night or when you really really need to make a meal that impresses. In the name of full disclosure, however, I have to warn you that this is a very expensive meal to prepare so best if reserved for special occasions. While many people mistakenly think beef Wellington is a British meal, it’s actually French which shouldn’t be a surprise since the British haven’t really contributed anything of this caliber to cuisine. While a lot of Beef Wellington recipes use frozen pastry dough, I say yuck to that and you should be embarrassed just for entertaining such thoughts. Other recipes also suggest making everything the day before to which I again say “yuck.” I mean why would you create such an impressive meal just to have the main entree be warmed up left-overs?

Beef Wellington is basically a cut of beef brushed with mustard, encased in a grilled mushroom paste, wrapped in prosciutto and encased in a pastry crust and baked. It uses beef tenderloin, which is the softest, most tender cut of beef. It is also the most expensive. I you are on budget, you can substitute fillet Mignon, which while pricey, is a lot less than beef tenderloin. This recipe also calls for prosciutto, you will need about 8 thin slices. Finally, as we will discuss later, make sure you get meat that is at least 1.5″ thick and that you properly sear the meat and vent the wellington to allow vapors to escape while baking, otherwise you will get a soggy crust with over-baked meat. While this recipe seems both involved and complicated, it really is not, just relax and take your time. In spite of what the top TV talent chefs scream, your recipe is what it is and will always be tasty if you follow your instincts.

I recommend serving this with a nice steamed or roasted broccoli floret and a scoop of Chantilly potatoes (mashed potatoes with whipped cream). For plating I like to keep on Wellington whole to make an impressive table item and slice the other. I then top the beef and potatoes with the roux-based mushroom sauce. This nice thing about this recipe is that if things go south on you, you are only out the $40 for a pound of beef tenderloin rather than much more for a whole tenderloin.


  • Pastry
  • Mushroom Paste
    • 8 ounces brown mushrooms, rinsed and dried
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • 0.25 tsp Kosher salt
    • 0.125 tsp black pepper – ⅛ tsp
  • Beef
    • 2 – 8 oz beef tenderloin cuts – 1.5″ to 2″ thick
    • 2 TBL vegetable oil – higher smoke point than olive oil
    • 1 TBL Dijon mustard
    • 8 slices prosciutto – ~3 oz.
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 TBL whole milk
    • Kosher salt and pepper to taste – be generous
  • Mushroom sauce – roux based
    • 2 TBL butter – for roux – optional if not using drippings
    • 1 TBL flour – for roux
    • 2 oz dry red wine – Cabernet
    • 0.25 cup shallots – diced fine (0.25″ cubes)
    • 12 oz beef stock – divided
    • 4 oz. fresh mushrooms – 0.25″ slices
    • Kosher salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mise en Place – measure and prepare the ingredients prior to starting.
  2. Make Pastry
    1. Start this at least five hours before serving time and keep in mind the trick to working with pastry dough is to keep it cold and to use plastic film when rolling.
  3. Make Mushroom Paste
    1. Put fresh mushrooms into a food processor and pulse until the texture is similar to coarse breadcrumbs – do not process into a paste.
    2. Heat a SS saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil.
    3. After oil warms, add chopped mushrooms and sauté ~5 mins until the mixture is soft and most of the moisture evaporates.
    4. Season salt and pepper when done sauteing – never during sauteing.
    5. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and refrigerate until completely cooled.
  4. Prepare and sear the Beef
    1. Trim fat from edges of meat.
    2. If meat wants to break into pieces tie together for this searing process.
    3. Heat a heavy cast iron pan or Dutch oven on Med/High.
    4. Add oil and let warm to just at smoking point.
    5. Add beef and sear without moving for ~2 mins.
    6. Turn and repeat for all six sides.
    7. Brush all six sides with Dijon mustard while still warm and set aside to cool.
    8. Reserve oil, fat, and fond for mushroom sauce.
  5. Make Wellington Wrap and Bake
    1. On a cutting board or counter, lay down a large piece of film and place 4 slices of prosciutto making sure to leave plenty of margin space for wrapping. Overlap prosciutto but make sure you have enough area to completely cover the beef.
    2. Spread half of the mushroom filling over the prosciutto, leaving about 0.5″ border along the sides.
    3. Place the filet in the center of the prosciutto and mushroom layer and use the plastic wrap to draw the prosciutto around the fillet, covering all sides. Roll up and twist the loose ends of the film to tighten.
    4. Repeat the process with the remaining filet and refrigerate ~5 mins. to let prosciutto conform to the wrap.
    5. Roll the pastry dough into an 11″ by 11″ square and cut in half so you have a wrap for each fillet.
  6. Wrap fillet in pastry
    1. Wrap method 1: Place a fillet in the center of each pastry aligning the long side of meat with the long side of the pastry.
      • Lightly brush the pastry edges with water, then starting at the longer sides, bring opposite corners of the pastry over, gently stretching the dough if needed.
      • Press seams to seal tightly.
      • Fold the shorter sides up to enclose the other portions. If they do not reach the center, just press the sides to seal the pastry.
      • Use a piece of film to tightly seal each pastry-wrapped beef filet.
      • Refrigerate for ~5 mins. to allow the pastry to firm up again – it bakes better when cold.
    2. Wrap method 2 – traditional French method:
      • cut a section of each pastry piece large enough for the fillet to sit on top with about 0.75″ extra around each edge.
      • Roll out the remaining dough so that it can drape over the fillet like a blanket with about 3/4″ extra.
      • Fold the extra top and bottom pastry dough and press around base with a fork or spoon to create a pinched edge effect and place in fridge to cool
  7. While dough cools, whisk egg yolk and milk together.
  8. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and lay the fillets seam-side down on the baking sheet (with film removed).
  9. Brush the top and sides of each puff pastry with the egg wash.
  10. Score the top of the pastry in a cross diagonal pattern (or any pattern you want – sometimes I use a toothpick and to write an initial with dots). Make sure not to cut/poke through the dough. Sprinkle the top of each pastry with kosher salt.
  11. IMPORTANT: use a small hole cutter to cut a vent/chimney into the top of the dough to allow moisture to escape during baking. This will help prevent the dough from getting soggy.
  12. Bake
    1. Bake fillets until the pastry is golden brown, and the internal temperature reaches 125°F (52ºC) for medium-rare or 130 (54ºC) for medium. This will take ~20 – 30 mins.
    2. Test using an instant thermometer stuck through the top vent.
    3. Remove the beef wellingtons from the oven and allow to rest on the sheet pan for at least 10 mins before slicing. Make the sauce while the meat is resting.
  13. Make Mushroom Sauce
    1. Using the searing pan with the oil, fat, and fond, reheat over medium heat. You can also use a new pan and 2 TBL butter.
    2. Once warm, add red wine to the pan and whisk to de-glaze the fond (the brown bits), which has a lot of flavor.
    3. Add diced shallots, stirring until the wine has reduced by half ~1 to 2 mins. Add flour and whisk for ~1 min. or until flour browns and develops a nutting aroma.
    4. Slowly add the beef stock by whisking in about a 2 oz. at a time until 8 oz. is added. Simmer the sauce until it has slightly thickened (sticks to back of a spoon), ~2 mins.
    5. Add sliced mushrooms and simmer until tender, ~5 mins.
    6. The sauce will continue to reduce and thicken during this time so if needed, whisk in additional beef stock to thin. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm on low heat until ready to serve.
  14. Plate
    1. Slice one of the fillets into four equal slices and place two on each plate. I like to lay one flat with the meat showing and lean the other against it.
    2. Place scoop of potatoes Chantilly on the plate and cover both the meat and potatoes with the mushroom sauce. Then place the vegetables on the side of the plate.
    3. Place the remaining fillet a serving plate surrounded by the left over vegetables and a bowl with the left over mushroom sauce. This makes a nice center piece and invites your guests to have seconds.