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Poor Man’s Beef Wellington

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I am calling this “Poor Man’s Beef Wellington” because instead of having to use an expensive cut of filet Mignon cut from the beef tenderloin, the replacement is eye of the round. Rolling your eyes are you? Well there is a little preparation to the round of beef that will make this really tasty and will help tenderize the meat.  It’s the only time (when marinating) that you will be allowed to stab the meat!

Despite my figures below I think this meal is not overly expensive and would be one of those “special occasion” type dinners. It is rather elegant looking in addition to tasty.

When you purchase the beef ask the butcher to add on some fat cap if it’s been trimmed to lean. A 2 3/4 pound roast cost us $13.07. For this dish, you leave the roast whole, then cut it down into equal portions about 1 inch or so thick at serving time. My roast is going to yield about 6 portions at a cost of $2.17 per portion of beef. Adding in the rest of the ingredients the total price of just the Wellington comes to $24.55 divided by six people is $4.09 per person. Add in a vegetable and starch it comes out to $4.97.

Your cost will be lower if you get an on sale price of $2.99 or $3.49 which happens once in a while at our local grocery store – however that was not the case when we shopped today.

  • Eye Round Beef  2 1/2 to 2 3/4 pound roast with a nice fat cap
  • shortening
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • London Marinade (my original recipe follows)
  • 1 pkg. mushrooms (porcini, aka baby bellas work best)
  • olive oil
  • water
  • cider vinegar
  • chopped garlic
  • ground black pepper
  • Montreal steak seasoning from McCormick
  • 1-2 sheets of Puff Pastry (found in the frozen food section)
  • mustard of your choice
  • 1 egg and a touch of water for an egg wash

Begin by making the marinade

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Montreal steak seasoning (McCormick manufactures this spice)
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic (from the jar is fine)
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper (fine or coarse)
  1. In a large bowl combine all of the above ingredients and whisk well.
  2. Transfer the ingredients to a zip lock bag if you have one. If not, make sure the bowl is large enough to hold the marinade and the beef.
  3. Take your eye of the round and stab it a number of times all over then add it into the marinade.
  4. Due to the fact that the eye round can be “more tough” than some other cuts, I suggest that you marinate the beef at least two hours in the refrigerator. This is a strong marinade and should do the trick within that time.
  5. Be sure to turn your beef if you have it in a bowl or dish to allow the marinade to penetrate all sides. Do this as well if you have it in a zip lock bag.With the bag you can toss the beef around in it.

Take your meat out 30 minutes prior to cooking. Take the meat out of the bag or bowl and pat it dry with paper towels. If you don’t dry the meat, you may not get a good sear on it.

 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  • Season the beef on all sides with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat some shortening (about 2 tbsp.) in a pan over moderately high heat.
  • Sear the meat on all sides until it’s deep and nicely seared. Takes about 2-3 minutes per side. Use tongs to move the beef. Don’t use a meat fork – making holes in the beef will loose some of the juices. 
  • After searing the beef remove it to a waiting dish or platter.
  • At this point you can brush the beef all over with some of your favorite mustard.
  • Slice the mushrooms and place them in a food processor. Pulse until small.

  • Place the mushrooms in a hot pan over medium high heat with a touch of olive oil and let the water evaporate from the mushrooms.
  • Lay out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out to be sure you have enough to cover the beef.
  • Whisk together an egg with a touch of water and egg wash all the edges.
  • Spread the mushrooms on the puff pastry leaving room on all sides. (About 1/2 inch.)
  • Center the beef in the middle of the puff pastry and mushroom mixture.
  • Fold the pastry around the fillet, cutting off any excess at the ends. If your pastry is more than 2 layers thick, the beef will not cook all the way.
  • Place the Wellington on a small plate, seam side down, and brush beaten egg yolks all over the top.
  • Chill for 5-10 minutes.
  • Score and add some coarse salt on top.
  • Stick in a preheated 400 degree oven for approximately 25-35 minutes.

For checking the beef use an instant read thermometer. Insert through the puff pastry to the center of the beef and if you get a reading of 125-130 you should have perfectly cooked medium rare beef.

Allow your beef to rest at least 10 minutes before cutting individual portions.

I ended up using one full sheet of puff pastry and part of the second one after rolling it out. With any left over pastry, I made a butter and cinnamon/sugar roll up for a simple dessert item.

An additional note and photo. It’s day two for us and so I took the wellington out and let it come to room temperature for about 3 hours. Then placed it on a foiled lined baking sheet (uncovered) and put it in a 275 degree oven for 20 minutes then turned the oven down to 250 degrees and continued to warm it for about 45 more minutes. Below is a photo of the results.

 

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