Christmas Dinner - Beef Wellington w/ Port Wine Demi Glace

The holiday season is upon us and with Christmas mere days away we woke up this morning to the most magical dusting of snow to get everyone into a festive mood. I wrapped up my shopping yesterday, way later than usual and am just now putting the final touches on our holiday meal.
I've reached into the archives to create a dinner that that main course can be prepared (almost) entirely in advance. I could have sworn this meal was a holiday tradition in our house but blog posts don't lie, haha, and this recipe first appeared for Mad Men Monday. Any OG Smitten readers remember those? I love myself a good theme and a grand dinner party so the AMC show Mad Men was the perfect backdrop for creating meals and cocktails worthy of that time period. 
This year will be an intimate celebration so this recipe serves 4 but can be easily adjusted to accommodate more.

Creamed Spinach
Beef Wellington w/ Port Wine Demi Glace
Veuve Cliquot
Dante (Boccuzzi) Anna La Divina
Beef Wellington may seem labor-intense but the steps are quite simple and since most of it can be prepared in advance it leaves you with just popping it in the oven and cooking the ravioli and spinach before serving. 
Beef Wellington w/ Port Wine Demi Glace


4 4-6oz filets 
(You may think you need more but you don't. I opted for 8oz steaks once and they were way too big)
 Season w/ salt & pepper on all sides. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a med-high saute or cast iron pan. Turn up the heat. Brown on all sides quickly. You just want to sear the outside not cook it through. Set aside.

1 pound mushrooms, mixed varieties (I used cremini, shiitake, and portabello) cleaned and finely chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 tsp. finely minced thyme
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cognac, brandy or another spirit of choice
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

Heat butter in a saute pan over med-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until they have released all their liquid (about 6-8 mins). Add shallots and thyme to pan stirring frequently (about 4 mins). Add cognac or brandy. Scrape up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Cook until almost all brandy is reduced (a few mins). Add heavy cream and continue to cook until reduced. Add Worcestershire sauce and cook until mushroom mixture forms a wet paste. Refrigerate.

4 sheets puff pastry
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1-2 tablespoons water)
flour to dust workspace

Lightly dust workspace in flour. Roll out puff pastry (or unfold if purchased pre-made) Cut four corner squares off to leave a "plus" shape (+). Spread a quarter of the duxelles onto the middle of each pastry. Place filet on top of duxelles. Brush egg wash with a pastry brush on edges of pastry. Fold each end over the beef, slightly pressing down to seal. Place seam side down on a baking sheet lined w/ parchment paper. You can add add'l puff pastry decorations at this time. Just be sure to seal them with egg wash. Refrigerate at least 30 mins. Can be done a day in advance.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush entire pastry round with egg wash. Bake until browned 20 mins for med-rare and 25-30 mins for medium. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 mins.

Demi Glace
yields 1/2 cup
(can be made a day ahead, refrigerated then reheated)
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cups red wine (I used port, but any variety will work)
1 1/2 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons butter
Heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat and saute shallot and garlic until brown. Add balsamic and stir, cooking about a minute. Add red wine, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until it is reduced by at least half. Add beef stock and boil then reduce heat to simmer and cook until reduced by half. At this point, it will have a thicker consistency and look slightly syrupy. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter.

Beef Wellington with Port Wine Demi Glace
{obviously the above pictures are a previous meal as Christmas isn't here yet so just imagine the asparagus is creamed spinach!}

The Ravioli I cook 1 minute less than package directions and then drain and toss into a saute pan on medium already swirled with 1T. melted butter and 1T. chopped fresh chives. I toss these for an additional minute then plate up.

Creamed Spinach
My creamed spinach go-to will always be this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. This is the downfall of any diet, eating plan or any sense of willpower you will have. Ensure no one is looking when you're licking the pan out. (Because you will be. It's savage, my loves!)

What are you having for the holiday? Do you have traditions that you enjoy from year to year or do you switch it up every year? Do tell!

Merry Christmas! I hope this season has brought you some peace, love, joy and a chance to celebrate the little things in life that we might otherwise be too busy to notice.
Mad love to you!


1 comment

fararsand said...

I found a great deal on hennessy at Zogby.