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  1. #1

    Calling all cooks; Beef Wellington question

    I'm attempting a Beef Wellington for Chrismas dinner. All the recipes I see call for medium rare, which makes sense, but I know some of my guests will be put off by the redness. So the question is, how can I cook the meat to medium without burning the pastry? I had two thoughts of my own: cook the beef after searing it for 15-20 minutes to give it a head start. Or cook it for an extra 15-20 at the end with an aluminum tent on top.

    Any Shef's Chefs with an idea out there?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    St. Louis
    Quote Originally Posted by Eakane View Post
    I'm attempting a Beef Wellington for Chrismas dinner. All the recipes I see call for medium rare, which makes sense, but I know some of my guests will be put off by the redness. So the question is, how can I cook the meat to medium without burning the pastry? I had two thoughts of my own: cook the beef after searing it for 15-20 minutes to give it a head start. Or cook it for an extra 15-20 at the end with an aluminum tent on top.

    Any Shef's Chefs with an idea out there?
    I would go the head start route here, because even with the foil tent, you risk the pastry.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    semi relevant aside: don't ever rely on the wording on many meat thermometers...some years ago I kept throwing out what I thought were good quality meat thermometers, because they clearly noted that beef medium rare was 145 degrees...I'd get to that temp (after letting a roast sit for 10 minutes or so), slice open the roast, find it was overcooked.

    Finally realized that beef truly done medium rare is 135 degrees (the thermometers' temperatures were entirely accurate). I think it has something to do with old USDA nomenclature/calibration...

    I've been cooking a series of bone-in rib roasts...cook them to 130 degrees, let them sit, watch temp rise to 135, perfect medium rareness .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    semi relevant aside: don't ever rely on the wording on many meat thermometers...some years ago I kept throwing out what I thought were good quality meat thermometers, because they clearly
    noted that beef medium rare was 145 degrees...I'd get to that temp (after letting a roast sit for 10 minutes or so), slice open the roast, find it was overcooked.

    Finally realized that beef truly done medium rare is 135 degrees (the thermometers' temperatures were entirely accurate). I think it has something to do with old USDA nomenclature/calibration...

    I've been cooking a series of bone-in rib roasts...cook them to 130 degrees, let them sit, watch temp rise to 135, perfect medium rareness .
    Meats also have carryover heat, so they continue to get warmer inside for awhile even if pulled from the heat source. Pulling at 135 might end up with 145 meat for a large cut, especially if tented/wrapped/covered.
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  5. #5
    DO NOT cook the meat beyond medium rare in the middle. A piece or two on the end will be a bit more done. (We have Wellington every Christmas Eve...have for a couple decades).
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Richmond, Va
    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    DO NOT cook the meat beyond medium rare in the middle. A piece or two on the end will be a bit more done. (We have Wellington every Christmas Eve...have for a couple decades).
    The end cuts will always be more done than the middle, for sure. Another thought: Prepare two (yes, more work, but might work well), one thicker than the other and take them out close to the same time. Temp them and I'd have the smaller ten degrees higher than the larger, prolly the larger at 125, the smaller at 135. Just a thought, then plan on plenty of leftovers. Not sure how many you're cooking for. I'd also use a digital thermometer. Calibrate it first by temping it in ice water, should b right on 32. If u need to correct it, there should be a nut that u can adjust. Good luck!! I have yet to attempt this dish.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC area
    Quote Originally Posted by duketaylor View Post
    The end cuts will always be more done than the middle, for sure. Another thought: Prepare two (yes, more work, but might work well), one thicker than the other and take them out close to the same time. Temp them and I'd have the smaller ten degrees higher than the larger, prolly the larger at 125, the smaller at 135. Just a thought, then plan on plenty of leftovers. Not sure how many you're cooking for. I'd also use a digital thermometer. Calibrate it first by temping it in ice water, should b right on 32. If u need to correct it, there should be a nut that u can adjust. Good luck!! I have yet to attempt this dish.
    Calibrate thermometers in both ice water and boiling water whenever possible - a couple relatively solid standards... </geek>

    -jk

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by duketaylor View Post
    The end cuts will always be more done than the middle, for sure. Another thought: Prepare two (yes, more work, but might work well), one thicker than the other and take them out close to the same time. Temp them and I'd have the smaller ten degrees higher than the larger, prolly the larger at 125, the smaller at 135. Just a thought, then plan on plenty of leftovers. Not sure how many you're cooking for. I'd also use a digital thermometer. Calibrate it first by temping it in ice water, should b right on 32. If u need to correct it, there should be a nut that u can adjust. Good luck!! I have yet to attempt this dish.
    Hah, my wife does it, and she nails it every time. But I was kind of taking a dig at anyone who would pay the money for tenderloin, then ruin it by over cooking. I mean, we have a name for beef that's cooked past m-rare...called pot roast.

    Anyway, to get the majority of it an aggressive med rare...at least a couple servings will be medium.
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  9. #9
    Is sous vide an option here?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Meats also have carryover heat, so they continue to get warmer inside for awhile even if pulled from the heat source. Pulling at 135 might end up with 145 meat for a large cut, especially if tented/wrapped/covered.
    which is why I pull a small one (two ribs) at 130.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
    I know it's beef wellington and not steak, but the sentiment remains the same...


    kMsPmHf.jpg
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    "Hey, that's Duke LaMere. You know what his name is? His name is Duke LaMere." - Dick Vitale, 12/2/2008 https://youtu.be/B9G9zFzi7Is

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by thedukelamere View Post
    i know it's beef wellington and not steak, but the sentiment remains the same...


    kMsPmHf.jpg
    preach!
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  13. #13

    Beef Wellington redux

    Thanks to all that offered suggestions. In the end, I just followed the recipe, and cooked to an internal temp. of 125, and it rested 15 minutes before serving which added a little more. It was great! Those who wanted medium got end pieces, and those of us more cultured folks got medium rare. Pastry was crisp but not burnt, and meat was juicy, tender, and packed with flavor. A winner!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by Eakane View Post
    Thanks to all that offered suggestions. In the end, I just followed the recipe, and cooked to an internal temp. of 125, and it rested 15 minutes before serving which added a little more. It was great! Those who wanted medium got end pieces, and those of us more cultured folks got medium rare. Pastry was crisp but not burnt, and meat was juicy, tender, and packed with flavor. A winner!
    I won't believe it until you send a sample.

    (Congrats, glad it came out great!!!)
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    I won't believe it until you send a sample.

    (Congrats, glad it came out great!!!)
    Our son tried this same, shameless ploy before Christmas after I sent him a photo of a Kentucky bourbon barrel-aged pound cake someone had gifted to our office. Didn't work for him, either.
    [redacted] them and the horses they rode in on.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Eakane View Post
    Thanks to all that offered suggestions. In the end, I just followed the recipe, and cooked to an internal temp. of 125, and it rested 15 minutes before serving which added a little more. It was great! Those who wanted medium got end pieces, and those of us more cultured folks got medium rare. Pastry was crisp but not burnt, and meat was juicy, tender, and packed with flavor. A winner!
    Very nicely done. As far as meat temps go, I long ago learned that the best approach is to listen to your guests and give them what they want, instead of trying to dictate the right way to eat. It is great when you can figure out one item that will please different tastes.
    Carolina delenda est

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by devildeac View Post
    Our son tried this same, shameless ploy before Christmas after I sent him a photo of a Kentucky bourbon barrel-aged pound cake someone had gifted to our office. Didn't work for him, either.
    "Shameless?" Moi?!?


    (I mean, yeah, but you didn't need to call me out like that!)
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    "Shameless?" Moi?!?


    (I mean, yeah, but you didn't need to call me out like that!)
    All in good fun, of course.

    PS-Did you get to taste any yet? ()
    [redacted] them and the horses they rode in on.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    I'd like to claim a DBR record (if I may humbly do so) for "Grillage of two inch thick lamb chops outdoors at lowest temperature, Fahrenheit." It was nine below zero when I did it last night, results very nice, the grill was a bit balky (knobs a bit stiff at that temperature) but it ended well.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    I'd like to claim a DBR record (if I may humbly do so) for "Grillage of two inch thick lamb chops outdoors at lowest temperature, Fahrenheit." It was nine below zero when I did it last night, results very nice, the grill was a bit balky (knobs a bit stiff at that temperature) but it ended well.
    Only counts if you were out there is shorts, a “Kiss the Chef” tee shirt, and a natty light.
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

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