Assembling a classic beef Wellington is a bit of a dramatic process. There’s a hectic rolling procedure, long bake time, and when you slice it to serve, all of the delicious goodies fall out. As with my outlook on 2023, I’m choosing to take the drama out of it, and turn this giant meat centerpiece into a bite-sized snack.
Make beef dumplintons
If you haven’t run into beef Wellington yet, it’s a rather impressive meal. It starts with searing a luxurious cut of beef, the tenderloin, smothering it in dijon mustard, and wrapping it in layers of pâté, duxelles (finely chopped mushrooms, shallots, and herbs), prosciutto, and puff pastry. Sounds delicious, and it is, but it’s a pain in my tenderloin. The layering and rolling process is the most difficult part, because anything can go wrong. The dijon and pâté can get sticky in an unhelpful way, the prosciutto can rip apart, the can duxelles tumble out, and puff pastry has a short window before “flexible” turns into “sloppy mess.”
I want nothing to do with that, so bite-sized Wellingtons it is! Instead of fussing with that wrapping and rolling nonsense, I chose a more dumpling-esque appearance. Not only are they much less stressful to put together, but the preparation and the cook time are reduced by a long shot. Similarly to preparing the traditional version, you’ll start with cooking the duxelles and set them aside to cool.
Sear, rest, then portion the meat
Normally you’d truss the steak, and pan sear the entire tenderloin for about 15 minutes to get nice color on each side, but since you’re making minis, searing a smaller cut of beef will only take a couple minutes. It’s very easy to overcook smaller pieces, so just try to get color on two sides. I cut the steak into cubes first so the searing would be quick. Although the speed was there, I would have liked them to be less well-done. To avoid my fate, pan sear the whole cut of steak, set it aside to cool in a small bowl, then cut it into individual bites.
Wrap and bake
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut a sheet of thawed puff pastry in half lengthwise, then cut each strip into three squares, so you have six equally sized squares. Egg wash the perimeter of each pastry square. Lay a square of prosciutto in the center (or a shredded layer because prosciutto never does what you want), spoon about two teaspoons of duxelle on top, along with a dab of pâté. Add a tablespoon of dijon mustard to the bowl of beef, and toss the cubes around until they’re all lightly coated in mustard. Place a cube in the center of each prepared pastry square. (Alternatively, you can skip the mustard tossing and serve it on the side for dipping, which is what I did, but the picture above gives you an idea of the assembly.)
Pull all four corners of the puff pastry up and over the filling to meet, and pinch the egg washed seams securely. Lightly egg wash the outside walls for a little aesthetic browning (you can do some decorative, light scoring, but it’s not necessary). Bake at 415°F for 10-15 minutes, or until the pastry has fully puffed, and browned.
The result is a high-end, beef pastry pocket that tastes every bit like the classic, large-scale beef Wellington. A plate of these would fit equally well as an appetizer on date-night, or for watching the football game. The dumpling shape ensures all of the components stay inside for every bite, no slicing necessary. Make some with pâté and some without, or take out the dijon and put it on the side for dipping (my preferred style). This miniature iteration makes it easy to save a few pennies, just use a different cut of meat. Tenderloin is fantastic, but you can use a small, pan-fry-friendly cut of steak like sirloin, ribeye, or New York strip.
Mini Beef Wellingtons
- 6-8 ounces duxelles, cooled
- 8 ounce cut of steak (Tenderloin, sirloin, or strip steak)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 slices prosciutto
- 1 ounces pâté
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
- Egg wash
Preheat the oven to 415°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Pan sear the cut of steak in the olive oil over high heat. About 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside to cool. Cut the steak into six equal sized pieces, and set aside in a small bowl. Once the beef has cooled slightly, add the dijon and stir to coat.
Cut the thawed sheet of puff pastry into six equal squares. Place them on the prepared sheet pan, and lightly egg wash the borders of each piece. Rip or cut a small piece of prosciutto and lay it in the center of the pastry. Layer a teaspoon or two of the duxelles on top. Place a dab of pâté on the mushrooms. Place one piece of dijon-coated beef in the center of the filling. Pull all four corners of the pastry square together, up and over the filling. Pinch the seam securely. Using a toothpick or paring knife, make a tiny vent hole at the top of each pastry. Lightly egg wash the outside walls.
Bake at 415°F for 10-15 minutes, or until the pastry has fully puffed, and browned. Let cool slightly before serving.