A Christmas Treat: Truffled Beef Wellington
by Richard Kolkovich
When I received an email from Marczyk Fine Foods announcing the availability of truffles, I knew I had no choice but to acquire some. As anyone familiar with this culinary delicacy can tell you, however, they do not come cheap. Cocaine is probably cheaper than the Italian White Albas at $7.99/gram. Medical marijuana is around $30 for an eighth of an ounce (3.54 grams), so the Italian Whites come in at about the same price.
Since this is my first time cooking truffles, I decided to stick with the more budget-friendly Oregon black truffles at $0.79/gram.
With an 18 gram truffle in hand, I now only needed to ponder the menu. Given the decadence of the truffle, I decided to continue in the over-the-top direction with a truffled beef Wellington. The origins of the dish and name may be unclear, but the tastiness is never in question.
I grabbed a two-pound (I was expecting to serve four - not two) cut of Niman Ranch beef tenderloin from my butcher at Marczyk, half a pound of cremini mushrooms, and half a pound of mixed mushrooms (mostly oyster). After a good amount of knife work, I had the makings of my duxelles.
Note to self: next time, use the food processor.
With the duxelles cooked and cooled, it was time to assemble. I rolled the puff pastry out slightly to ensure I had complete coverage and then layered on the duxelles.
Time for the pièce de résistance: the truffle! I shaved about half of my 18 gram beauty onto the duxelles.
Now for the tenderloin and a wrap.
I tossed the whole thing outside to chill for half an hour (it was about 30°F outside) while my oven preheated. I hit it with some egg wash before baking to an internal temperature (in the middle of the roast) of 128°F, leaving me with a beautiful rare in the center with the ends around medium rare for my wife.
After resting for 10 minutes, I served with sour cream mashed potatoes and bacon-sautéed brussel sprouts; it was paired with a Petite Sirah from Balistreri Vineyards, right here in Denver.
Needless to say, the dish was delicious. The truffle came through beautifully, complimenting the earthy tenderloin. And, due to our friends Dan and Michelle being too tired to join us, I have plenty left over for some high-falutin’ steak and eggs!