Sirloin Steak quickly marinated in Balsamic Vinegar, Rosemary and Olive Oil
Typical I love to grill a steak on an outdoor barbecue but there are days during the cold winter months that I crave that char on the outside steak. You know what I am taking about; that steak that has a delicious sear on the outside but when you cut into the steak it is that beautiful pink color and so juicy. This recipe can work well whether you are preparing the steak indoors or out. To prepare the steak in your kitchen you will need to have a cast iron grill pan. I really like the one I have from Lodge which happens to be on sale right now on Amazon. The greatest thing about this grill pan is that you can also use it as a griddle and at 20 inches long it fits over 2 burners which allows for even heat and room for lots of food. This pan comes pre-seasoned so it’s ready to use. To care for a cast iron pan you should wash after use and dry well then use a paper towel to rub a small amount of vegetable oil over pan before putting it away. The light layer of vegetable oil will prevent rusting and insure years of use. A well seasoned cast iron pan is a treasure and should last many years.
The steak needs to be taken out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before you are ready to grill it. This time is used to quickly marinate the steak and bring up the temperature before grilling. A good steak should not go straight from the refrigerator to the grill. In order to have a warm, pink inside you must bring the temperature of the steak up a bit. I think that 20 minutes is the right amount of time. This is also when I quickly marinate the steak in Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil and Rosemary. This seasons the steak and allows for a beautiful caramelization to occur on the outside of the steak when it is grilled. While grilling the steak I continue to baste it with a Rosemary brush dipped in Olive Oil and add a little butter on top of each steak.
Using an Herb Brush
Using an herb brush is a great way to baste steak, fish or chicken. I like to use Rosemary with steak but you can also make an herb brush with thyme, sage. It is very easy to make an herb brush, simply tie a bunch of herbs together with twine. If you are using an herb brush when you are grilling on a barbecue you may want to attach the brush to a wooden chopstick to create a handle so your hand doesn’t get too close to the fire. An herb brush will season the oil as you baste and adds a lot of flavor to your food
Plating the Steak
I like to roast whole bulbs of garlic to serve with these steaks. I serve bulbs of roasted garlic on the side. When you roast garlic it creates a nutty flavor that compliments steak perfectly. To roast garlic you need to cut off the top of the garlic to expose a bit of the garlic inside. Drizzle a little olive oil over the garlic and wrap in foil. Place it into a 400 oven for 45 minutes until garlic is light brown and tender.
After the steak is done you need to tent it with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing it. This step is essential so that the juices absorb back into the steak. If you cut the steak too soon the juices will run out and you will have a dry steak. So this means NO CUTTING to see if the steak is done. The steak should have an internal temperature of 135 for medium rare. The steak will continue to cook as it rests so do not over cook it. Use a meat thermometer to check steak or start to learn how to determine the temperature of a steak by touching it. If you push the top of the steak before you grill it you will find that it is very soft, as the steak cooks it becomes harder to push in. So the softer the steak, the rarer the steak. For medium rare you are feeling for a firm but still soft texture. It will take a little time to learn this technique so I suggest using a meat thermometer and also touching the steak so you learn how it should feel according to the temperature you like your steak. Whatever you do just please do not cut it to see if the steak is done. You must let it rest before cutting. After the steak rests, slice it and serve it on a platter with the bulbs of garlic and some sprigs of rosemary.
Beef Wellington is an absolutely beautiful dish to serve at a special dinner. It does require a little time but the results are well worth the effort. This dish always reminds me of a time long ago when people hosted formal grand dinner parties in their home. I feel that this dish always makes the dinner feel more elegant. There are many theories regarding the origin of Beef Wellington. One theory is that it is named after the Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) who won the battle of Waterloo. According to foods of England there is no mention of Beef Wellington in any English cookbook until about 1970. It is therefore presumed to have French origin and then renamed. No matter the origin, we do know that it dates back to a long time ago when classic technique cooking was popular.
Beef Wellington is definitely a decadent dish. The original recipe calls for Duxelles, Foie Gras and Puff Pastry. In the recipe I was handed down by my mother the Foie Gras has been removed and sliced prosciutto has been added to help seal in the juices and prevent the puff pastry from getting soggy. The use of prosciutto is seen in many modern Beef Wellington recipes. The Duxelles is a combination of mushrooms, I like to use button, portobello and shiitake, that have been chopped and cooked down in butter with shallots and thyme. You can also add a little truffle or Chanterelle to the mix. I also add in a little fresh bread crumbs because I like the texture that it gives to the duxelles. The result is a mushroom paste that is spread over the prosciutto and then wrapped around the tenderloin.
Duxelles with fresh thyme and breadcrumbs. Choose any assorted mushrooms you like and cook down with butter and shallots before adding the thyme and breadcrumbs
You can use a 2 1/2 pound center-cut tenderloin ( will serve 6) that has been tied to retain the shape or you can use 6-8 oz portions if you would like to make individual Beef Wellington. You must sear the meat to seal in the juices before wrapping it in the duxelles, prosciutto and puff pastry. After you sear the meat, remove the string before wrapping. There’s nothing worse then getting a piece of string caught in your mouth. I have deviated from my mother’s recipe slightly after reading that Chef Gordon Ramsey rubs Dijon mustard on the meat before wrapping it. So clever, I just love that guy! After trying this I decided I really liked the flavor and spice that the Dijon mustard gave the dish. Always make sure you wrap the tenderloin securely with the puff pastry and seal the ends well. Do not leave too much dough on the end, you don’t want clumpy ends of dough. After you have wrapped the Filet in puff pastry use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes to create a beautiful design on top. This can be as easy as rolling a thin piece of pastry and creating a vine with leaves or cutting out birds like I did here for Christmas. Use your imagination, it’s your creation. Brush with egg wash before placing in oven to create a beautiful sheen on the pastry when finished. Serve the Wellington with Brandy Shallot Sauce.
How Do You Know How Long To Cook The Meat?
It will take about 35-40 minutes for a 2 1/2 pound tenderloin to reach medium rare (130-135 degrees). I recommend cooking the Wellington at 400 for 40 minutes. You can stick a meat thermometer in the center to check temperature. The ends of the meat will be more well done then the center pieces so you will have a variety of meat temperatures for your guests. Let the Beef Wellington rest for 10 minutes before slicing it. Since it will be so beautiful to look at you should place it on a platter and display it at the table while your guests are sitting down.
Can I Make The Beef Wellington Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can prepare the Beef Wellington according to the recipe up to the step before you wrap it in puff pastry. This can be done up to 12 hours before you are going to cook the Wellington. Wrap the tenderloin in plastic wrap and refrigerate.