My oldest daughter’s favorite birthday meal is Mini Beef Wellingtons with mashed potatoes, mushroom sauce and asparagus with Hollandaise.  It’s not a difficult meal to prepare, but time-consuming.  I make the pate and mushroom sauce the day before and cook the beef early in the day of the dinner to allow time for it to cool for easier handling.  I used to buy a beef tenderloin but found it easier to simply buy the filet mignons wrapped in bacon that my store handles.

MINI BEEF WELLINGTONS

  • Servings: 18 portions - 9 servings
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  • Five 6 oz. portions of filet mignon
  • Sprinkling of salt and pepper
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed (Pepperidge Farm)
  • 2 Tblsp. milk

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F

Allowing time for the meat to cool well enough to handle, place the filet mignons in a baking pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cover and bake @ 300 degrees F for approximately one hour, depending on how  you like your meat (my family likes it well done, especially in this dish).  Allow to cool.  My filet mignon comes wrapped in a slice of bacon.  Remove the bacon.  Cut meat into 18 small portions.

Set oven to 350 degrees F

Cut the 2 sheets of puff pastry into 9 sections each.  Place one section on a floured board and roll thin (like pie crust).  Place one portion of meat in the center of the pastry.  Top with about a teaspoon of Chicken Liver Pate (recipe below), bring up edges of pastry to cover the meat and  seal.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining sections of pastry and beef/pate.  Brush the tops of the pastry with milk and bake @ 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes.

Serve hot with Beef Mushroom Sauce (recipe follows).

Makes 18 mini Beef Wellingtons

CHICKEN LIVER PATE

  • 1/4 lb. chicken livers
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 slice bacon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 of a hard-boiled egg
  • 1/2 Tblsp. butter, melted
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Grating of black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dry sherry

Rinse and drain chicken livers and cook in broth over moderately low heat for about 15 minutes until no pink shows in the livers.  Drain and set aside.

Cook bacon for 5-7 minutes until crisp and golden brown.  Remove bacon and in the remaining fat cook onions for about 7 minutes until soft but not brown.

Combine the cooked chicken livers, bacon, onions, egg, butter, salt, pepper and sherry in a mixer or food  processor and blend until fairly smooth.

Refrigerate until ready to use.  Makes about one-half cup of pate.

Adapted from Redbook Cookbook.  First made to use with Beef Wellington in 1989.

BEEF MUSHROOM SAUCE

  • 8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tblsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups beef broth, divided
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (depending on saltiness of broth)
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper

In a small skillet, saute the mushrooms in butter until they are just beginning to brown.  Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup of beef broth.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, place remaining one cup of beef broth, wine.  When mixture is hot, whisk in the flour/broth mixture.  Bring to a boil and let cook for 2 minutes, whisking.  Stir in mushrooms, salt and pepper.

Makes about 2 cups of sauce to pour over the Wellingtons and/or potatoes. 

Asparagus is good with this meal and we like this Mock Hollandaise Sauce.

For dessert, a big frosted cake from our favorite Cincinnati bakery,Servatii’s.