Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Being Elegant and Refined in the Ozarks

In the Midwest, we often hear that we are not as cultured as those on the West Coast or East Coast. We lack the upbringing to show true elegance. “Patooie”, I say. We are just as noble, elegant and refined as any of those fancy-pants show-offs. And just to prove it to you, I present Harter House World Flavor’s own recipe for Beef Wellington. Cooking does not get any fancier than this majestic steak dinner from Europe, except maybe Sauteed Duck Breasts with White Bean Ragout and Escarole, but come on, we’re Harter House, we do steak.

You will need:

2-8 ounce filet mignon (no bacon, however, we have not tried it with bacon)
2 Portobello mushrooms
4 slice prosciutto
2 minced shallots
1 teaspoon chopped flat leaf parsley
Grey Poupon or some other English mustard
1 package puff pastry
2 Egg yolks

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. As you do so, you might regale your guests with stories of Oscar Wilde.

Heat some oil in a large pan and sear the steaks on each side. Remove and allow to cool.

Once cooled, brush generously with the mustard, while bantering about how hilarious the old Grey Poupon commercials used to be.

Coarsely chop the mushrooms and blend in a food processor into a paste. Scrape the paste into a hot, dry pan and add the shallots in, cook until all the liquid is gone. When sufficiently dry, set aside and cool, and mix in the parsley.

Pull out the Saran Wrap, and spread out on a flat surface. Now, lay out the four slices of prosciutto (that you purchased from Harter House World Flavors) each one slightly overlapping the last. Spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the prosciutto.

Set the filets in the middle and keeping a tight hold of the plastic wrap from the outside edges, neatly roll the prosciutto and mushrooms over the beef until it is tightly rolled. Twist the ends to secure the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 10 -15 minutes. As it refrigerates, you might mention that there has been debate over whether this dish came from the Duke of Wellington or if it came from Ireland, with a dish called “steig Wellington of Ireland”. Your guests will be amazed at your knowledge. Then blow their minds with reference to “fillet de boeuf en croute.”

Roll out the puff pastry to a size which will cover your beef. Egg wash the edge of the pastry and place the beef in the middle. Roll up the pastry, cut any excess off the ends and fold neatly to the ‘underside’. Turnover and egg wash over the top. Chill again to let the pastry cool, approximately 5 minutes. Egg wash again, and using a knife, score the pastry. Roast in the pre-heated oven until the internal temperature of the meat reaches between 120 and 125. Rest 8 -10 minutes before slicing. This will be medium-rare. This is the way civilized society eats beef.

As you eat this fine dinner, banter with you guests about your last trip to the Riviera, your knowledge of 18th century fine wines, or who you think will be on the next Celebrity Apprentice. Bon Appetit (that’s French for something) and remember you can buy all these ingredients at your local Harter House.

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