My friend Julie is an amazing amateur cook. She’s got a fabulous kitchen in the basement of her 1880’s era townhouse in one of Baltimore’s most elegant neighbourhoods, Bolton Hill. So when she and her husband Mike, invited me to join them for a New Year’s Eve dinner with some college friends, how could I say no!
Especially after I learned that the main course was going to be Beef Wellington! If you don’t know, Beef Wellington is basically rare roast beef tenderloin, topped with sautéed mushrooms and pâté, encased in flaky puff pastry and baked until golden brown. OMG!
Then Mike started to assemble the Beef Wellington. First the pâté and then a layer of duxelles, which is a mushroom mixture, are placed over the beef tenderloin. Then the piece is covered with a layer of puff pastry, and I can’t recommend enough buying this pre-made. Paint with an egg wash and then chill for a half an hour. Et voila!
When you cut slices, you see the croute or puff pastry which has risen, the duxelles and pâté layers and then the tenderloin. Amazingly, Mike also made a sauce with a base of oxtails which cooked for hours. We also had sautéed spinach, mashed potatoes and home-made apple sauce.
with hand-whipped crème on top. It was fabulous! Really!
This dinner with good friends was the perfect way to end one year and begin a new one!