The origin of the Christmas beef Wellington recipe is a mystery. Some people have traced it back to Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington and a military hero of 19th-century Britain. Nicknamed the “Iron Duke,” his victories during the Napoleonic Wars catapulted him to fame, and the Battle of Waterloo earned him the Gold Medal.
It is said that the British soldier was a fan of the culinary combination of foie gras, puff pastry and beef, which he asked to have served as the main dish at all of the meals at which he presided.
However, numerous chefs around the world have tied the dish to Irish or even Polish cuisine, although the recipe’s earliest mention in a newspaper was in October 1903 in the Los Angeles Times. Click here to read the article!
In any case, for more than a century, beef Wellington has been captivating the taste buds of families around the world, becoming a classic thanks to chef Gordon Ramsay, whose globally renowned recipe has served as our inspiration for making this dish.
Christmas beef Wellington recipe
Ingredients (makes 6 servings):
You can also follow the recipe in this video by Gordon Ramsay.
- 2 lb. beef tenderloin
- 1 puff pastry sheet
- 2 spring onions
- 2 tbsp Italica EVOO
- 4 tbsp mustard
- 1 lb. mushrooms
- 12 to 14 very fine slices Serrano ham*
- 4 oz. foie gras
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper to season
- Plastic wrap and parchment paper
*Pre-packed Serrano ham from the supermarket is best for this. Hand-cut is too thick and makes it hard to stick to the beef. Otherwise, substitute pre-packed Parma ham.
How to make the beef Wellington recipe:
First, clean the beef tenderloin by removing any excess fat. The piece of meat should fit inside the puff pastry sheet, but don’t worry if the beef tenderloin is larger because we can roll it in two sheets.
Season the meat with salt and pepper, and sear it in a skillet with a drizzle of virgin olive oil so more of its juices are released when baked. Once the piece has been browned, set it aside to cool. Cover the beef tenderloin with a layer of mustard and set aside.
Use the same skillet to prepare the filling. Heat the olive oil and sauté the spring onions that have been chopped into small pieces. Cook for several minutes and add the mushrooms (finely minced with the garlic), sautéing until soft. Add the foie gras and mix well to create a uniform paste.
- In this Christmas beef Wellington recipe, Gordon Ramsey suggests adding a handful of ground chestnuts, “because Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without chestnuts,” along with fresh thyme, for added flavor and texture.
Next, place the Serrano ham slices on the plastic wrap, making a bed on which to evenly spread the mushroom and foie gras filling using a spatula.
Assemble the tenderloin by placing it on the layer of ham and filling. Carefully roll everything together tightly, using the plastic wrap to help, into the shape of a wrapped candy. Place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Lastly, lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and spread out the puff pastry. Place the filled meat on top and roll the puff pastry around it. Cut any excess at the corners and make sure the ends are completely covered. Roll everything together again and set aside in the refrigerator for 5 minutes. Brush the pastry with an egg wash and place in a preheated oven (400°F or 200°C).
Bake for approximately 30 minutes until crispy. Wait 10 minutes before serving and it’s ready!