Ground Sirloin Wellington

Serves 4

Beef or filet Wellington is one of the best known British dishes, though the British are not known for great cuisine. English chefs would shudder, I’m sure, at this bastardization of one of their great contributions to fine dining. Real filet or beef Wellington has a layer of pâté foie gras, here we are using a mushroom pâté. I believe the British version is served with perigourdine sauce, a complicated, rich sauce that uses more pâté foie gras and red wine. However, it should be pointed out that Worcestershire sauce, which is a British invention, is one of the ingredients in this version. Oh, well, jolly good and all that rot…let’s get on with it and let’s try bloody hard not to muck it up.

2 lbs Ground Sirloin
2 tsp Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
¼ tsp White Pepper
1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
1 TBS Olive Oil
2 TBS Unsalted Butter
1 lb Button Mushrooms, chopped
2 Shallots, minced
¼ tsp Ground Thyme
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Black Pepper
2 TBS Dry Red Wine
2 Full Sheets Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed
2 Egg Yolks
1 tsp Water

1. Preheat the oven to 425°.

2. Put the ground sirloin into a large mixing bowl and season with 2 tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp white pepper and the Worcestershire sauce. Using your hands, mix well and form into four half pound patties, about 1” thick. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown all 4 patties. Place on a large un-greased cookie sheet.

3. Add the butter to the skillet and cook the chopped mushrooms and shallots for three to five minutes. Add the ground thyme, salt and pepper, then the wine and cook two minutes more. Divide this mushroom mixture into fourths and top each patty with ¼ of mixture.

4. Meanwhile on a lightly floured surface, roll out each sheet of puff pastry and cut in half. Place a patty on each half and bring up the sides, completely covering the top. Pinch to seal tight. Put back on cookie sheet.

5. In a small bowl beat the egg yolks with the water until bright yellow. Use a pastry brush and brush egg over all 4 patty-filled puff pastries. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for 15 – 20 minutes, until puff pastry is lightly browned. This will be for medium rare. If medium, medium well or well done is requested, the Wellingtons must be cooked from 2 to 8 minutes more, in the pan at the time of browning. Too long in the oven will cause the puff pastry to become tough.

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