I make this Beef Wellington Recipe every year for Christmas dinner, and it’s one of my favorite dishes ever. Beef tenderloin is wrapped in duxelles, prosciutto, and puff pastry for a delicious and flavorful main course.
When people ask me what my favorite thing is to cook, I tell them Beef Wellington. No joke.
It’s one of the most delicious things I have the privilege of eating and it never gets old.
Beef Wellington is not hard to make, even though it might look intimidating at first glance. You just have to give yourself time to go through the steps, which we’ll go over below.
Why This Recipe Is So Great
It’s fairly foolproof – I know how scary it can be to cook a pretty expensive piece of meat, and for this recipe we go top of the line with a whole piece of beef tenderloin. But if you follow the timing and steps precisely, it will come out well.
It’s outrageously delicious – Here we have the chateaubriand cut of beef, which is the center cut portion of the tenderloin, seared and wrapped in duxelles, prosciutto, and puff pastry. Duxelles is a mixture of finely chopped and cooked mushrooms, shallots, and herbs, and it’s SO delicious.
The sauce is built in to the process, and you can even skip it – I’d argue that the beef wellington is star enough to be enjoyed on its own, but you can also use the beef drippings from the skillet to make a quick sauce.
I love incorporating those leftover juices and brown bits from the pan, which I find helps it taste even more like something you’d get from a restaurant!
How to Make It Step by Step:
Beef wellington is more about assembly, and is not actually difficult to make. Let’s walk through the process.
Make the duxelles
To get started, make the duxelles by pulsing some baby bella mushrooms, onion, garlic, and thyme:
Cook the mushroom mixture for 10 minutes to cook out the moisture.
Spread the duxelles on a layer of prosciutto
Evenly spread the duxelles on a layer of prosciutto spread across a sheet of plastic wrap. Sprinkle some extra thyme leaves on top, for good measure:
Sear the beef
Tie your beef tenderloin with kitchen twine so it holds its shape, then sear all over to brown it:
Tying with twine is especially important if you’re not using the center-cut Chateaubriand, because the ends of a whole beef tenderloin can be a bit uneven. What I’m using above is the Chateaubriand, so it has a pretty uniform thickness.
Wrap the meat, then chill it
Cut the twine off after searing, brush the tenderloin with a grainy Dijon mustard, then wrap it in the prosciutto:
Refrigerate for 30 minutes, to chill the beef. This will ensure that the beef doesn’t get overcooked later in the oven before the puff pastry on the outside has a chance to brown.
If you want to make the beef wellington in advance, you can stop here and leave the prepped beef in the fridge for up to 6 hours.
Roll out the puff pastry
When you’re ready to bake, roll out a sheet of puff pastry:
Please oh PLEASE make sure to use an all-butter puff pastry here. Not that cheap stuff that uses hydrogenated trans fat vegetable oil. I promise you, all-butter puff pastry is worth the cost.
Roll up the beef, and prep the outside
Wrap the beef in the puff pastry, then brush with egg wash and cut Xs in the top:
The egg wash is so important for color, otherwise the puff pastry won’t look golden. The Xs are important for venting.
Into the oven it goes!
Make the sauce while the meat is in the oven
Take the pan you seared the beef in, and add butter, thyme, and garlic:
Add sliced onion as well and cook for 5 minutes to impart the flavors into the butter:
Add Brandy to deglaze, and if you have a gas stove, light the Brandy (and make sure to stand back). If you have an electric stove, you can skip that step.
Add beef stock and reduce, then add heavy cream at the end:
Strain the solids out of the sauce.
Bring it all together
Let the beef wellington rest on a wire rack, which prevents sogginess, then slice it into thick pieces and serve with the sauce:
You can prep the beef up to 6 hours ahead, but I don’t recommend a full day ahead. The instructions are in the post.
First, you should try to eat the dish while it’s freshly made, as it’s definitely not as good once the puff pastry has been refrigerated. But if you reheat it, you can re-warm in a 250F oven for about 12 minutes or even in the microwave at 50% power, as long as you’re heating the beef gently and making sure not to remove all the pink from the inside. You want to warm it, not cook it again.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Honestly it’s best when it’s still warm, when the beef still has heat and the puff pastry is still flaky. Let the beef cool slightly so the juices can redistribute, about 10 minutes, but enjoy soon after.
It is essential to keep the beef wellington on a wire rack after cooking, otherwise the pastry will get soggy.
What to Serve with This Dish:
For the Duxelles:
- 1 lb baby bella mushrooms
- 1/2 yellow onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- the leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the Beef:
- 3 lb chateaubriand center cut beef tenderloin
- salt and pepper
- 4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- flour for rolling out puff pastry
- 12 oz all-butter puff pastry thawed
- 1 large egg lightly beaten (for egg wash)
For the Beef Wellington Sauce:
- reserved drippings and pan from searing beef above
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/3 small onion sliced or chopped
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 26 oz box beef stock (3.25 cups)
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
- For the Duxelles: Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, and thyme leaves to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the oil to a large skillet and set over medium high heat. Pour the food processor mixture into the pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has cooked out. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
- For the Beef: Place a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Using kitchen twine, tie the tenderloin in 4 places. This will help it hold its shape while cooking. Season the beef all over with salt and pepper. When the skillet is hot, add the oil and sear the beef all over to brown the meat. Do not sear the beef for more than 5 minutes total, so just a minute on each side. Remove the beef to a plate, take the pan off the heat, and set aside for later (do not clean it).
- Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap, about 18 inches or so, and evenly space out the prosciutto so that it covers most of the plastic wrap. You want it spread out enough to fully wrap the beef when we roll it up. Spread the duxelles evenly over the prosciutto, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a few extra thyme leaves.
- Trim the twine from the beef, brush the tenderloin with the Dijon mustard, then place the beef on the duxelles. Use the plastic wrap to wrap the entire beef tenderloin in the duxelles and prosciutto, then twist the ends of the plastic wrap tightly so the beef holds its log shape. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry thinly enough so it can wrap around all of the beef, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Remove the beef from the plastic wrap, then set the beef in the center of the puff pastry, and roll it tightly in the puff pastry. Crimp the edges, using egg wash to help you seal the edges and sides. Place the beef seam side down onto a sheet pan. Brush the entire pastry with the egg wash, then cut Xs on top to let the steam escape while cooking. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the beef measures at 125 degrees F with a thermometer, and the puff pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and place the beef on a wire rack to rest for at least 10 minutes while you make the sauce.
- For the Sauce: Add butter to the pan you seared the beef in, and set over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme, and saute for 5 minutes to impart the flavors. Remove the pan from the heat, add the brandy, then if you’re using a gas stove, light the brandy to burn the alcohol off. If you have an electric stove, you can skip that step. After the flame has died down, return the pan to the heat and add the beef stock. Turn the heat to high and reduce the liquid by half. Add the cream and mustard, then strain the sauce to remove the solids.
- Slice the beef wellington into thick slices, about 2 inches wide, and serve with the sauce. Enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Post updated with more tips, writing, and re-edited photos in July 2018. Originally published February 2015.