Certified Piedmontese Beef Wellington
by Johnny Loua, Chef, Seattle, Washington
- 1 pound button mushrooms, roughly chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil, for cooking
- 32-ounce Certified Piedmontese beef tenderloin roast
- 1 to 2 tablespoons English mustard
- 6 to 8 slices Parma ham or prosciutto
- 1 sheet ready-made puff pastry
- Flour, for dusting
- Egg wash (2 egg yolks, beaten with about 2 tablespoons water)
Add the mushrooms to a food processor with a little bit of salt, pepper, and thyme and pulse until a rough paste forms. Scrape the paste into a pan, add garlic and thyme, and cook over high heat for about 10 minutes, tossing frequently, to cook out the moisture from the mushrooms. Spread onto a plate to cool.
Heat a frying pan and add a little olive oil. Season the beef and sear in the hot pan for about 30 seconds on each side, until seared. Remove the beef from the pan and let cool. Once cooled, brush all over with the mustard.
Lay a sheet of cling film on a work surface and arrange the Parma ham slices on it, in slightly overlapping rows. With a palette knife or spatula, spread the mushroom paste over the ham, then place the seared beef fillet in the middle. Keeping a tight hold of the cling film from the edge, neatly roll the Parma ham and mushrooms around the beef to form a tight barrel shape. Twist the ends of the cling film to secure. Chill for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the beef to set and keep its shape.
Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface into a large rectangle, about ¼-inch thick. Remove the cling film from the beef, then lay in the center. Brush the surrounding pastry with egg wash. Fold the ends over, then wrap the pastry around the beef, cutting off any excess dough; turn it so the seam is on the underside, and place on a baking sheet. Brush the whole pastry with egg wash and chill for about 15 minutes to let the pastry rest.
Heat the oven to 400ºF.
Lightly score the pastry and glaze again with the egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes, then lower the oven setting to 350ºF and cook for another 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving. The beef should still be pink in the center when you serve it.