Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Poor Man's Easy "Beef Wellington" Appetisers

OMG Quick and Easy Beef Wellington Appetizers
(Relatively speaking of course)

Lets be honest, while Beef Wellington is absolutely delicious, the time and expense of creating a duxelle, pate, crepe, puff pastry and lovingly seared hand-cut tenderloin, with a red wine reduction drizzle make is unreasonable for a weekly (even yearly) “event”. This is even if you purchase the truffle or goose liver pate and puff pastry from your favorite gourmet market.

My quest to create a quicker, easier and reasonably priced version began with recreating what is important here. The overall flavor of course!

I began by making a list of ingredients I would include. This of course means mushrooms, shallots, beef stock, butter, beef, brandy and garlic.

Now for the herbs and spices, thyme, nutmeg, paprika, sage, salt and pepper were what the flavors of the pate should include. Simplified, poultry seasoning, nutmeg, salt and pepper would be the flavor vehicles of choice,

For the puff pastry, the easy choice is crescent rolls or puff pastry – browned, puffy and yummy.

I would replace the pate with a cream cheese mixture, capturing the essence of pate through the herbs, and mixing the cooled duxelle into my “pate”.

The wine reduction I will replace with savory beef stock and wine gravy.

My first attempt was a Mini-Beef Wellington application using real cubes of tenderloin. Great idea, great flavor profiles, but too hard to eat and my lovingly seared beef overcooked, even in the short 18 minute time span.

So, I slept on it and had a revelation, enlarge slightly, use deli roast beef and dip in a beef and wine reduction and add just prior to serving.

Wow! This really worked. Here is my recreation with crescent rolls (puff pastry version to follow soon...

Duxelle/ Cream Cheese “Pate”
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp shallot
8 ounces sliced button mushrooms – chopped fine
8 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms – chopped fine
3 cloves pressed garlic (about 2 tsp)
1/2 cup beef stock
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Cream Cheese Pate
4 ounces cream cheese
1 egg yolk
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp Brandy

The Crust
2 Packages Crescent Rolls
1 Package Crescent Sheet
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp water
Non-stick baking spray

“The Gravy”
3 cups low sodium beef stock
1 cup red wine
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp butter

The Beef
1 lb shaved deli roast beef chopped fine (I used top round)

Here we go….

Heat butter and olive oil in a very large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and stir around for 1 minute. Shake the pan to distribute the shallots evenly and add the mushrooms. Set the timer for 3 minutes and don’t touch the pan. There will be a lot of liquid at this point, stir and shake to distribute, set the timer again and don’t touch. Repeat this one more time. Add the garlic, stir and add in the beef stock. Leave alone until all stock is evaporated and remove from heat to cool.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, whip the cream cheese until beaten into submission (until light and fluffy). Scrape down and add the egg yolk and beat until thoroughly combined. Scrape down again, add the spices and, beating on medium-high speed, drizzle the brandy in down the side of the bowl and beat until thoroughly combined. Fold in the cooled duxelle and cover and refrigerate your “duxelle pate” until ready to use.

Spray the cups of 18 cups of your muffin tins. The base - cut the Crescent sheet into 16 even circles (mark in half, then half, then half again before slicing). Whisk the egg, water and milk until thoroughly combined to create your egg wash. Take each circle and rub a little of the egg wash over the top only. Place each circle egg wash side up in a muffin tin.

Now we are going to create a “vessel” for our pate. Work on one roll at a time. Unroll your crescent roll dough. Using the perforations as a guide, slice through to create 8 pieces.

Take a deep breath and relax. Turn the long edge of the roll towards you, with the point facing right. Roll the left edge up and fold the point to overlap the bottom edge by about 1/2 an inch. Place the rolled edge over the round in the bottom of the cup, centering over the base dough. Curl the top point backward and place in the cup. When all eight of these are formed, lightly rub a little egg wash in the inside seams of your “vessel”.

Refrigerate until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 365 degrees F. Place a heaping teaspoon of your pate in each cup. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, until golden and puffy. When they are done remove them carefully from the pan, unto a rack so the crust doesn’t steam in the cup.

In the mean time, in a medium saucepan bring your beef stock and wine to a boil and reduce by half. Make a slurry with your cornstarch and 2 Tbsp water and whisk into the sauce. Boil for at least a minute, until thick and translucent, stir in butter.

To assemble, place each “Wellington” onto a serving plate, stir in a heaping 2 Tbsp of the beef into reduction and quickly remove the beef onto the top of the Wellington, and drizzle a little sauce over the top.

You know the next step. Enjoy!!!


  1. "OMG Quick and Easy Beef Wellington Appetizers"

    You make me smile.....what is quick and easy in your mind, takes hours in the kitchen for others LOLOLOL......... :)

    Love you! xoxoxo

  2. Oh! Wouldn't they look beautiful in MY NEW DISHES!!!!! xoxoxo