Beef Wellington? Really?

We joke that we have a mixed marriage when it comes too food. Hubby had grown up trying and liking most foods. Foods that I won’t go near. Seafood, calf brains, fresh vegetables, mushrooms to name but a few. I am very much meat and potatoes, although I am doing better at trying new foods and even eating some foods that I used to avoid, such as broccoli. When our son arrived 23 years ago we made a conscious effort to expand his culinary horizons.

I started this by making all of his baby food from scratch, no jars allowed. It also meant that I wasn’t allowed to show just how picky I am, at least not until he was older, and as he grew older we did the ‘three taste’ rule. He had to taste a new food three times before he was allowed to say he didn’t like it.

How did this work? Very well. At two we went to an all you can eat crab leg night with his grandparents and they could not shuck the legs fast enough for him. At one point we looked over and he had a crab claw danging from his mouth. Grilled portabella is just as likely to be ordered as a hamburger. Before he turned ten he was reading Bon Appetit magazine and picked out what he wanted for his birthday dinner, Crab and Cremini Bisque. (Seafood and mushrooms, neither of which I eat so I’ve always enjoyed a PB&J.) This had been the staple until this year…

This year, a couple of months before his birthday, he said “Mom, I would like Beef Wellington for my birthday dinner.” Huh? Beef Wellington? That thing that Gordon Ramsay screams at chefs because they all screw it up? And he wants ME to make it? Ok. I’m up to the challenge and being married to a retired sailor and working in construction I should have a enough swear words in my vocabulary to go toe to toe with Gordon Ramsay on this.

First on the agenda, the recipe. First look up is Gordon’s recipe. Being British it was all in metric but looked easy enough. Then someone suggested I look at Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Wellington recipe. Very similar but not in metric. Ok, recipe is checked off the list.

Next on the agenda, the grocery list, $45 beef tenderloin at the top. Yikes. Beef has really gone up on price lately. Good thing this isn’t an every day meal. Next on the agenda was to ask all my foodie friends if they have any tips for me. “Start early”. So I started early in the day. Good thing I did as it was an all day adventure. No step was difficult, but every step was time consuming and there were points where it needed to rest. I actually had it ready to go except for the puff pastry about 2 so it was in the fridge and I could time it just so. The recipe called for 45 minutes but we like our beef very rare so I took it out at 35 and it was perfect.

Served with a cognac sauce, roasted asparagus, and roasted garlic potatoes. I had two men telling me it was amazing and asking me to make it again. I went to bed.


  1. Eric Schwab says:

    That was fascinating. I’ve always wanted to cook a Wellington but never had the noive. I didn’t know you had a blog. Been a while since I came to your site but I had a bread question and came on in. I’ll have to look more often.

  2. Administrator says:

    Thank you :) I’m still figuring out what I’m doing, but it’s getting there.

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