Beef Wellington
     Beef Wellington is an Irish dish and was a favourite of the Duke of Wellington for whom it is named. It makes a splendid dish for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years, or anytime!  Beef Wellington is a beef tenderloin wrapped in pastry. Most preparations call for spreading a goose liver pt over the beef, but this can result in a wet, sloppy product with a liver taste. Many children (and many adults, too!) don’t especially care for liver so we don’t use this. We wrap in bacon instead. This makes 6 good servings with 6 to 8 oz beef tenderloin per person.
Beef Tenderloin
1 filet of beef, 2 1/2 to 3 lb.
Montreal Steak Spice
6 to 10 slices bacon
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs; 1 in pastry, 1 to seal and glaze
Ice water

     If you have purchased a beef tenderloin from an expensive source at $20 per lb or more, it should be already trimmed and ready to use. In the autumn of 2009, I purchased cryovac wrapped tenderloin that ranged from $6 to $8 per lb and it required "cleaning up" prior to use. Beef Filet Untrimmed
     Begin by cutting and pulling away all the external fat to expose the meat. With a very sharp, pointed paring knife, remove the thin, tough bluish membrane under the fat. Cut the membrane off in long strips, angling the knife slightly upwards away from the meat so as not to cut into the meat.
How to trim.
     Sprinkle the meat with 2 to 3 teaspoons of Montreal Steak Spice. This contains salt, pepper, spices, dehydrated garlic, onion, and red pepper.  If this is not available where you live, there will likely be some similar product. Wrap the meat with bacon slices, tucking bacon under the meat to hold it in place. If the bacon strips are not long enough, tie with string. Roast on a rack for about 30 minutes at 450F; then reduce to 350F and continue roasting for an additional 30 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature (takes 2 hours or so) before proceeding.
     While the beef is roasting, prepare the pastry. Blend the butter and shortening into flour with a knife and/or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add one egg, beaten, and some ice water and mix lightly with a fork until it forms a ball. If the mixture is too dry, add more ice water. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until the beef is cool.
Trimmed Filet
Wrapped in bacon.
Wrapped in Bacon
     When the beef is cool and you are ready to proceed, first beat an egg for sealing and glazing the pastry. Roll the pastry about inch thick on a floured piece of waxed paper to get a piece of pastry large enough to wrap the beef.
     Leave bacon on the filet, but be sure to remove string if you used this. Roll the beef up in pastry using beaten egg to seal or “cement” the pastry shut. Avoid air pockets inside the pastry. At the ends, some overlapping will be required, but avoid folding and tucking because this makes the pastry too thick. Cut and trim the pastry so it overlaps maybe a inch and cement in place with egg.
     Roll out the left over pastry and cut designs of your choice, perhaps using a cookie cutter. Cement these on top of the beef wellington with egg and then coat the whole thing liberally with beaten egg.  If desired, peel and cut potatoes into small pieces (golf ball size?), roll in vegetable oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika and roast along with the beef as shown below. 
After first roasting.
After roasting
Covered with pastry.
Covered with pastry
     Roast for 30 minutes at 425F and then reduce to 350F for an additional 30 minutes or so. Watch it doesn’t brown too much. It should be sort of golden. Let rest for 5 or 10 minutes and then transfer to a serving platter.Ready for the table!
     To serve, cut with a sharp knife into slices about the width of a strip of bacon, maybe an inch or more thick. The meat should be a rosy red inside. Don’t worry about slicing thinly; it should be very tender. Serve with oven roast potatoes, fancy mixed vegetables and red wine.

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