Meet the individual fun-size version of Beef Wellington! With all the elegance and dramatic presentation of the original but much easier to make.

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I’ve been quoted as saying beef Wellington is one of the dumbest recipes of all time, and that I would never do a video for it, and I still stand by those statements. However, “dumb” doesn’t mean not delicious, or not beautiful to look at, and since I’m doing an individual version here, I’ve still not technically done a real beef Wellington. My legal department has assured me I’m on solid ground, and I expect Attorneys General from all over the country to agree with me for no apparent reason.

The reason I think a classic (whole tenderloin version) beef Wellington is a dumb recipe is the fact that you can much more easily and effectively prepare those exact same components separately, and then simply serve them together. You want crispy puff pasty? Don’t wrap it around meat and mushroom pate. You like perfectly cooked beef tenderloin? Then don’t make cooking it so much trickier by wrapping in pastry.

So then, why didn’t I just do a “deconstructed” beef Wellington? Because for all its glaring faults conceptually, cutting into precisely cooked, pastry-wrapped meat for the big reveal is very dramatic, and a proven crowd-pleaser. So, to summarize, the best thing about this ancient recipe is the presentation, which is why I’m presenting this fun-size version. We still get the visual payoff at the end, but the components are much easier to control, and execute. Also, using this method we’re able to cheat with a small round base of crispy pastry underneath our Wellington, just in case.

The procedure in the video is very straightforward, and as long as you use pieces of beef cut to the same size and weight, and you chill your beef Wellingtons in the freezer for 15 minutes before they go in the oven, and you check the internal temp, and you pull them at 122 F for a juicy, rosy medium rare, not much can go wrong. By the way, I said I was going to do a quick video for a simple pan sauce, but I then realized I’d already done like four of those — see the links below. Regardless of what you sauce these with, I really do hope you give this “beef Wellington” a try soon. Enjoy!

Get the recipe for Chef John's Individual Beef Wellingtons.

See how to make pan sauces for your Wellingtons:

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