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Beef Wellington with Cabernet Reduction

Serves 4

This is an elegant dish with a presentation that makes it worthy of a special occasion. The fine tannins and dark fruit flavors in the Amici Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley provide a lovely balance to the rich pastry, and layers of mushrooms and pâté in the Wellington highlight the earthy notes in the wine.

For the Beef Tenderloin:

  • 4- 4 oz. portions beef tenderloin, trimmed of all fat, refrigerated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Heat a large sauté pan over high heat (this same sauté pan will be used for this step and the following two steps.) Season tenderloins with salt & pepper. When the pan is very hot, add the olive oil, and then the beef tenderloins. Sear both sides just until caramelized, remove and refrigerate. This step should be performed as quickly as possible, to keep the meat from cooking internally.

For the Spinach:

  • 1 Tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 oz. spinach, cleaned and stemmed
  • pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the sauté pan from above over medium-high heat. Add the butter, and when melted, add the garlic and nutmeg and sauté until an aroma develops. Immediately add the spinach and sauté until wilted, season to taste. Remove from the pan and place into a colander to cool. When cool enough to handle, squeeze to remove moisture from the spinach until it is as dry as possible. Set aside.

For the Mushroom Duxelles:

  • ½ lb. cremini mushrooms, washed, stemmed, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 shallot, halved
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 4 Tbsp butter, unsalted
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place the half of the quartered mushrooms, one of the garlic cloves, half of the shallot and all of the thyme in a food processor. Pulse the ingredients until the mixture is chopped into small, individual pieces. Do not pulse to a paste; the mixture should be light and aerated. Add butter to the same sauté pan used to cook the spinach and set over medium-high heat.

Place the pulsed mixture into the sauté pan to start cooking. Then, repeat the food processor step with the other half of the ingredients. Add the second half of the mushroom mixture and cook until the mushrooms begin to separate into individual pieces and the mixture is dry and light, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and cool to room temperature.

For the Beef Wellington:

  • 1- 1 lb. box prepared puff pastry, 1 sheet (box contains two)
  • all-purpose flour, as needed
  • 4 oz pâté (chicken liver or mushroom)
  • Beef Tenderloin from above
  • Spinach from above
  • Mushroom Duxelles from above
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400°. Dust a work surface with a small amount of flour and lay the puff pastry on the flour. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to ⅛th of an inch, or about half of its width out of the box. With an approximately 6-inch biscuit cutter or bowl cut four rounds out of the sheet of puff pastry. Spread one ounce of the pâté onto the beef tenderloin and place the pâté face down in the center of the puff pastry. Place ¼ of the spinach onto the tenderloin followed by ¼ of the mushroom duxelles, being careful to keep the ingredients cleanly layered and not letting much, if any fall off onto the puff pastry. Carefully pull and stretch the sides of the puff pastry to begin to cover the mushrooms. Continue folding around the entire Wellington until the pastry has been sealed, then flipping it over so that the sealed side is on the bottom. There should not be much pastry left at the bottom, but if there is, trim any extra with kitchen shears, being sure to seal any holes in the bottom. Repeat until all are built. With a pastry brush, egg wash the tops and sides of each Wellington, leaving the bottoms untouched. Place the Beef Wellingtons on a greased rack on a sheet tray, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Place into the preheated oven and immediately drop the temperature to 375°, and cook for approximately 20 minutes. With a probe thermometer, check the temperature of the meat by inserting it into the Wellington. When a reading of 125° is reached remove the Wellingtons from the oven. Let rest for 5 minutes. Slice down the middle and spoon Amici Cabernet Reduction Sauce around the base of each Wellington. Serve immediately accompanied by Amici Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley.

To Make Ahead:

Individual Beef Wellingtons can be assembled and refrigerated for up to 8 hours before baking. The key to making these ahead is to ensure that the spinach and mushroom mixtures have as much moisture removed as possible, and that the Wellingtons are stored in the refrigerator on a greased rack so that there is air circulation around them, which will avoiding sticking. Assemble and refrigerate the Wellingtons, removing them from the refrigerator only when ready to bake. If refrigerated for several hours, check temperature after 20-25 minutes, and continue baking until temperature reaches 125°.

Amici Cabernet Reduction Sauce for Beef Wellington

Serves 4

For the Reduction:

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. beef stew meat, lean, diced
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • ½ Roma tomato
  • 2 thyme sprigs, fresh
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 juniper berries
  • 8 oz. Amici Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 4 cups beef stock (preferably frozen) or low sodium beef broth
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp butter, unsalted (cold)

Heat a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the diced stew meat and cook until well browned on all sides. Add the shallot, garlic, Roma tomato, thyme, bay leaf, juniper berries and peppercorns to the pan and cook until the shallot and garlic begin to brown slightly. Add the Amici Cabernet Sauvignon and reduce until the pan is just beginning to dry. Add the beef stock and bring to a simmer, skimming any foam that may form. Reduce the pan to about half the original volume or 1½ - 2 cups. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

Using a fine mesh strainer over a small pot, strain the sauce into the pot, pushing all the stock through with the back of a spoon or small ladle. Return to low heat and whisk in the butter.

To Make Ahead:

Reduction sauce can be made ahead, through the point of straining the sauce, and refrigerated for two days or frozen for up to 2 weeks. When ready to use, defrost the sauce and re-heat on the stove over medium-low heat. When hot, whisk in the cold butter and serve.