The moment I saw this little tart on Delish, I knew I would be making it for Valentine’s Day. I adore beef wellington (chicken wellington is good, too) and it’s an easy way to make an elegant presentation for a special occasion. Still, if it can be made even easier by not having to fuss with wrapping the dough, then I’m all for it.
My interpretation was a bit more rustic but elegant nonetheless. I paired it with some roasted asparagus (Alan’s favorite) and some fingerling potatoes, Jacques Pepin style. And instead of a Valentine’s dinner, we had a Valentine’s lunch – the lighting is better for shooting in the middle of the day so that’s often the way it goes around here. Luckily we had enough left for a dinner, too, so don’t feel too sorry for him!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to buy high-quality ingredients for this dish. Because there aren’t many components you really can’t “hide” anything, so purchase the best beef, mushrooms and pastry you can find. The good news is that you only need 8 oz of beef and 8 oz of mushrooms so it’s not too costly. I bought our beef at Trader Joe’s (of all places!) and it was melt-in-your-mouth tender. I also bought a liver mousse with truffles that worked nicely. A very easy dish and worth every penny!
Beef Wellington Tarts
Adapted from Delish
- 8 ounces beef tenderloin
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 T canola or vegetable oil, divided
- 1 sheet thawed frozen puff pastry
- 1 T unsalted butter
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 t fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 ounce foie gras mousse (about 1/4 cup)
Thirty minutes before you begin cooking, take beef out of fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 400F.
Cut puff pastry into four squares. Using a paring knife, score a 1/2-inch border around each square. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (or lightly spray your pan) and refrigerate until ready to bake.
Heat heavy stainless steel skillet (anything but non-stick) over high heat. Season both sides of beef with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add 1 T oil; when it shimmers add beef (make sure to leave space between filets; never crowd your pan). Leave it alone! Don’t poke or prod it – just let it do its thing. If you try to flip it and it’s still stuck to the pan, it’s not ready. Once it releases on its own, flip and brown the other side.
When both sides are seared well and have a nice brown crust, place the skillet into the preheated oven. Cook for approximately 8 minutes for med-rare; 10 minutes for medium. Remove from oven, then remove beef from skillet. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Put puff pastry squares in oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 400, then reduce heat to 375 and bake for 10 minutes more, or until golden brown.
Put the same skillet (be careful – it’s been in the oven and it’s still hot!) back on the stove on high heat. Add another T of oil and a T of butter, and scrape up all the browned bits left from cooking the beef. Add mushrooms, and do the same thing here that you did with the beef: leave them alone and let them get nice and brown. Once the first sides are browned, stir them up and brown the rest of the way. Add the wine and let it cook off for one minute. Mix in garlic and thyme, then remove from heat and put mushrooms in a small bowl; cover to keep warm.
Place the same skillet back on the stove, reduce heat to low and add mousse; stir just until melted. Remove from heat.
Using the back of a spoon, flatten inside portion of each pastry square. Thinly slice beef (against the grain) and arrange slices on top of pastry. Top with mushroom mixture, and drizzle with sauce. Serve immediately.
Notes: my mousse didn’t melt nicely as described in the original recipe. It would not have looked pretty on top of the mushrooms so I added mine first and just spread it directly onto the pastries.
The reason I used vegetable or canola oil instead of olive oil is because it has a higher smoke point, meaning that you can cook with it at higher temperatures without burning.