This delicious Beef Wellington for two is ideal for sharing. It’s perfect for anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and other celebrations. And what could be more romantic than sharing something for dinner that you’ve made with your own hands? Well, maybe cooking something that’s inspired by one of your most special memories.
As I’ve written about before, I love how food can remind you of moments in your life. In fact, I started this blog to share my attempts at recreating delicious food that is so memorable, you want to eat it again.
So that brings me to the Beef Wellington that we enjoyed at the Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe on our wedding day, one year ago today. Your wedding breakfast is easily the most important meal you will ever plan and I’m so glad we plumped for the Beef Wellington. Individual slices were served with savoy cabbage, glazed carrots and a sticky Madeira Jus. I don’t think there wasn’t a single scrap left behind.
Traditionally, Beef Wellington contains a large strip of beef fillet for a group to share. But, when it’s just you and your partner, something smaller and more intimate is a great option for any special occasion.
How to make Beef Wellington for two
Don’t be daunted, but we’re going to start by preparing the duxelles; a boozy, herby mushroom mixture. To begin, slice half a punnet of chestnut mushrooms until finely chopped but not mushy. Fry the mushrooms over a medium heat with butter, white wine and a sprig of fresh thyme. After about 10 minutes, remove the thyme before thinly spreading the duxelles across a plate, so that more of the moisture evaporates.
To make life easier, I use readymade puff pastry when making Beef Wellington. Simply, remove it from the pack and cut into two circles, one an inch larger than the beef fillet and one that’s about two inches larger. Meanwhile, pat the beef dry with kitchen paper before searing the sides in a hot pan.
Place the fillet onto the centre of the smaller circle. Spread the duxelles on the top and sides of the beef. Drape the larger circle over everything and pinch the sides together. At this point, you can use the remaining puff pastry for decoration. Finally, brush with a beaten egg and chill for at least 30 minutes.
When you’re ready for dinner, place the Beef Wellington directly on to the oven shelf and bake for about 20 minutes. This is unconventional but should help you to avoid the dreaded soggy bottom. Once crisp and brown, remove from the oven and rest for five minutes. Serve with a splash of Madeira jus and a generous portion of seasonal veg. I suggest honey-glazed roast carrots, potato dauphinoise and savoy cabbage.
Madeira Jus – a special gravy for Beef Wellington
Making my simple Madeira Jus is really easy. Simply place a glass of Madeira into a pan with the same amount of beef stock and add a knob of unsalted butter. It’s important to use unsalted butter so that the jus does not become overly salty as it reduced and the taste intensifies. Bring the mixture to the boil, before reducing the heat and simmering for about 15 minutes. Stir the liquid regularly until it has reduced to about one-third of the original volume. Season to taste with salt and pepper, before dribbling the sticky sauce around the Beef Wellington.
Dinner for two: a simple Beef Wellington recipe
- 150 g chestnut mushrooms
- 25 g unsalted butter
- 125 ml white wine
- A sprig of fresh thyme
- 300 g puff pastry
- 200 g beef fillet
- 1 egg
- 125 ml Madeira jus
- 125 ml beef stock
- 25 g unsalted butter
Finely chop the chestnut mushrooms and fry over a medium heat with butter, white wine and a sprig of fresh thyme. After about 10 minutes, remove the thyme before thinly spreading the duxelles across a plate.
Cut the puff pastry into two circles. The first should be an inch larger than the beef fillet and the second about two inches larger.
Pat the beef dry with kitchen paper before searing the sides in a hot pan.
Place the fillet onto the centre of the smaller pastry circle. Spread the duxelles on the top and sides of the beef. Drape the larger circle over everything and pinch the sides together. Decorate the Beef Wellington with the remaining puff pastry if desired. Lightly brush the pastry with a beaten egg and chill for about 30 minutes.
Place the Beef Wellington directly on to the oven shelf and bake for about 20 minutes. Once crisp and brown, remove from the oven and rest for about five minutes before serving.
Pour equal measured of the Madeira and beef stock into a pan and bring to the boil, with a knob of unsalted butter.
Once the liquid starts to boil, reduce the heat straight away and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir regularly until it has reduced to about one-third of the original volume.
Season the Madeira Jus to taste with salt and pepper, before dribbling the sticky sauce around the Beef Wellington on the plate.