Ina Garten’s beef wellington, like any beef wellington, is one of those dishes that is always impressive to serve and excites everyone at the dinner table.
Recreating this Barefoot Contessa beef wellington recipe is easily done, you just need to follow a few important steps. When you cut through the flakey puff pastry shell and your knife glides through the tender, juicy & perfectly pink beef fillet, I guarantee you will feel rewarded for your effort.
Beef wellington can be intimidating but the honest truth is, its not that complicated a dish.
If you follow my tips & tricks in this post, you can make that perfect beef wellington Ina Garten Style.
If you’re still not sure or would prefer to watch it done before giving it a go, I have a 3 minute video which breaks everything down and shows you exactly how you can make Ina’s beef wellington at home. The video is linked below the recipe in this post.
If you are looking for the perfect beef fillet recipe, but arent sure about a wellington, check out our favorite Ina Garten beef tenderloin recipes.
The Keys to Perfect Beef Wellington
Success with Ina’s beef wellington comes down to 3 key things.
- Symmetry. This is about creating a cylinder shape, with inner layers that look even. This is important for the look and also to get the beef to cook evenly. You achieve this by wrapping the beef in a tight cylinder shape before wrapping everything again in puff pastry.
- Perfectly cooked beef fillet. The beef fillet, which is part of the beef tenderloin, needs to be pink to retain maximum moisture and tenderness. The right cooking time and resting the cooked wellington before cutting are critical to letting the beef relax and absorb all of those beautiful juices.
- Crispy outer shell. This is not about spending time making your own pastry. Good quality store bought is perfectly fine. This is mostly about managing moisture from the ingredients you add around the beef fillet. If too much moisture seeps into your pastry, it will never be perfectly crispy & flakey. Using ingredients that don’t contain high moisture levels and wrapping the beef tightly with Parma ham are critical to keeping the pastry dry and crispy.
Get these right and it will be a smash hit.
Important Beef Wellington Recipe Tips
Follow these tips for the perfect beef wellington Ina Garten Style:
- The beef:
- True beef wellington uses a part of the beef tenderloin, the beef fillet. This cut is known to be the most buttery & tender when cooked right. Because it is so good a cut, beef fillet tends to be one of the most expensive cuts. You can use other cuts, but you may struggle to achieve the same tenderness and juicy results in the time it takes to cook the pastry shell.
- Beef preparation:
- If you have time it is worth wrapping the beef fillet in plastic wrap in a tight cylinder shape overnight. This helps sets the shape of the beef.
- Searing the beef:
- When searing the beef fillet, aim for a quick and high-heat sear all round – including the ends. It should not take any longer than 30-60 seconds. The inside will still be raw but this helps lock in the juices.
- Other key ingredients:
- The beef fillet gets covered in a layer of other ingredients before being wrapped in Parma ham and again in puff pastry. Ingredients that add too much moisture can ruin your crispy pastry shell.
- Some wellington recipes call for Paté. I leave this out because some can be too moist, also a lot of people dont like the texture.
- Ina’s beef wellington includes mushroom duxelle – this is essentially chopped mushroom that is cooked until the liquid is removed. Patience is key here. The goal is to evaporate as much of that moisture as possible. The amount of time will vary depending on the moisture levels in your mushrooms. You’re looking for something between a thick mushroom paste and a dry powder, almost resembling dirt. It could take anywhere from 10 – 30 minutes. This step adds flavor intensity and is critical to prevent the pastry from becoming soggy.
- Parma ham and duxelle assembly:
- The Parma ham serves not only as a flavorful wrap but also helps to protect the pastry from becoming soggy. As you assemble the ham, ensure even coverage of the mushroom duxelle for a balanced flavor profile.
- Chilling the wrapped beef:
- Chilling the wrapped beef fillet after Parma ham assembly allows the flavors to meld and the log to set.
- Puff pastry:
- There is enough to do with a beef wellington without needing to think about making pastry. Good quality store bought pastry saves time, is easier to work with and generally comes in the right shape and size. I recommend you start with store bought.
- Work quickly and efficiently when handling the puff pastry. Keep it chilled until its needed.
- Scoring the pastry before cooking:
- Before baking, lightly score the pastry. This allows the pastry to puff up beautifully while maintaining an even appearance.
- Resting before carving:
- I cannot stress how important this step is. After baking, resist the temptation to cut into the Beef Wellington immediately. Letting it rest for at least 10 minutes allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more succulent and evenly cooked dish. It will also reduce the amount of juice that will escape when carving.
- Carving process:
- Even with enough resting time, juice from the beef tenderloin WILL seep out during the carving process. This is completely normal if the beef is pink and perfectly cooked.
- When carving, aim for 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick slices.
- As you carve the beef wellington, place the carved pieces on a separate serving board and move the uncarved portion away from any pools of escaping juices. You don’t want your wellington sitting in the juices, otherwise the pastry will go soggy.
Ina Garten Beef WellingtonCourse: Ina GartenCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Difficult
Impress everyone at the dinner table, including yourself by recreating Ina Garten’s beef wellington. Visually stunning on the outside and perfectly tender, juicy & pink beef fillet on the inside.
1 beef fillet, approximately 25 ounces
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, for searing
1 tablespoon of Hot English mustard
1 pound of chestnut mushrooms, cleaned
1 clove of garlic
1 pound of puff pastry (store bought is perfect)
10-12 slices of Parma ham
2 egg yolks, beaten with 1 tablespoon water and a pinch of salt
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Shape and Chill the Beef: (optional if you have time)
Wrap the beef fillet tightly in plastic wrap to set its shape, then refrigerate overnight.
- Searing the Beef:
Unwrap the beef, season generously and sear the fillet in a hot pan with a bit of olive oil for 30-60 seconds until it’s browned all over – including the ends. It will still be raw in the middle.
- Brush on the mustard:
While the beef is hot, brush all over with Hot English Mustard. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare the Mushroom Duxelle:
Add the mushrooms to a large food processor bowl with steel blade attachment.
Add the garlic.
Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
Blend until you have a paste.
Sauté the paste in a DRY hot pan. Cook until most of the excess moisture evaporates, stirring occasionally. It could take anywhere from 10-30 minutes. Remove the dry mushroom paste from the pan and let cool.
- Create a Parma Ham blanket:
On a work surface, lay out a large sheet of plastic wrap. Arrange the slices of Parma ham in the center, slightly overlapping to form a rectangle shape, large enough to wrap around the beef fillet. Spread the duxelle evenly over the ham.
- Roll the beef in the Parma Ham blanket:
Place the cooled beef on top of the mushroom-covered ham. Using the plastic wrap to help, roll the Parma ham around the beef, creating a tight, even log. Wrap the log tightly in the plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- The Pastry:
Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Use a rectangle shape pastry, large enough to wrap around the beef fillet. On a work surface, lay out a large sheet of plastic wrap. Lay the pastry on the plastic wrap and brush with the egg wash.
- Roll the wellington:
Remove the Parma/beef roll from its plastic and place it on the pastry. Using the plastic wrap to help, roll the pastry around the fillet, creating a tight, even log. Trim any excess pastry and fold and seal the ends. Wrap the log tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Bake the Beef Wellington:
Preheat the oven to 400f.
Brush the beef Wellington generously with egg wash and lightly score the pastry. Bake for 35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and cooked. Allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.
- Puff pastry: you can choose to make your own if you like, however store bought can be an excellent option. Buying will save you lots of time and hassle, especially if this recipe is new to you.
Best Sides To Accompany Beef Wellington
I love serving this dish when I have guests or for special occasions, simply because beef wellington gives a wow factor.
The most common sides I tend to pair beef wellington with, which I think work really well and complement it, include:
- Mashed Potatoes:
- Creamy mashed potatoes provide a classic and comforting accompaniment that complements the rich flavors of Beef Wellington.
- Roasted Vegetables:
- Roasted vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, and even broccoli, offer a colorful and flavorful contrast to the savory beef.
- Steamed Asparagus:
- Light and crisp, steamed asparagus adds a fresh and vibrant element to balance the richness of the beef.
- Red Wine Reduction Sauce:
- A velvety red wine reduction sauce enhances the beef’s flavor, providing a savory and sophisticated addition.
- Horseradish Cream Sauce:
- A zesty horseradish cream sauce offers a tangy kick that complements the beef while cutting through its richness.
- Caramelized Onion Gravy:
- Sweet and savory caramelized onion gravy adds depth and a touch of sweetness to the dish.
- Arugula Salad with Balsamic Glaze:
- A refreshing arugula salad drizzled with balsamic glaze provides a palate-cleansing element to the meal.
- Dauphinoise Potatoes:
- Layers of thinly sliced potatoes baked in a creamy, garlic-infused sauce create a decadent side that complements the Beef Wellington’s richness.
Make Your Own Red Wine Sauce
After spending the time to get the Barefoot Contessa’s beef wellington perfect, the last thing you want to be doing is making your own red wine jus.
However, I do recommend that you make your own. The red wine sauces from the grocery store are simply never that good. They always seem to taste very sour!
If you want a red wine jus recipe you can rely on, just reach out to me and I will happily share a recipe that has been tried and tested.
More Ina Garten Meat Recipes
If you don’t feel like making her beef wellington today, here’s a list of some of my favorite Ina Garten meat recipes: