These days I make my own Bearnaise, but it's a rarity because of the amount of butter involved. Still, occasionally, something just screams for it -- like Beef Wellington, my second most favorite favorite food ever. (Third in line is sauteed mushrooms, followed by Cassoulet - which, ironically, is cooking downstairs right this very moment). And nothing could be simpler to prepare when camping than my deconstructed version of Beef Wellington with Horseradish Bearnaise. Honest.
Since we often camp in places where campfires are illegal, and since I don't tend to carry a Girl Scout box oven around with me, we generally avoid things that must be baked. So in order to enjoy beef Wellington when we're outdoors, I figured out a way to turn the "Wellington" part into a biscuit of sorts. A true beef Wellington usually has duxelles (a mixture of sauteed mushrooms and shallots), prosciutto or sometimes pate, and occasionally a coating of mustard on the beef filet. I've taken all these things and turned them into a pie or biscuit you can create at home, leaving only the grilling of the filet for the campsite -- which is super easy to do and only takes a few minutes. Just reheat the Bearnaise, reheat the biscuits, and grill the filets...that's it. Super easy, practically no clean up involved, and so much better than the hot dogs or foil packets that your camping neighbor is probably having...
Deconstructed Beef Wellington with Horseradish Bearnaise
Your choice of savory pastry dough (or pre-packaged pie crusts, if you’re in a pinch); refrigerated
1T olive oil, separated
2 shallot, finely chopped, separated
8oz crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
1t dried thyme or 1T fresh thyme
3T whole grain mustard
4oz sliced prosciutto
4 egg yolks, separated
1T lemon juice
8oz butter, softened, separated
2T tarragon vinegar
2T white wine
1T fresh tarragon, finely chopped
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat 1t olive oil; add 1 chopped shallot and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add chopped mushrooms; saute, stirring constantly, until mushrooms have released their liquid and are very dry.
- Add thyme; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Roll out one sheet of dough to 1/8” thickness. Spread with mustard and top with prosciutto. Spread duxelles (your shallot/mushroom mixture) on top of the prosciutto.
- Top with remaining sheet of dough. CAREFULLY cut into 3” circles (you’ll need to use a knife to cut through the prosciutto) and pinch the edges to make little pies (SEE NOTE BELOW).
- Place on silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with 1 slightly beaten egg yolk.
- Bake until slightly brown, approximately 20-25 minutes.
- In the meantime, make the Bearnaise: whisk the remaining 3 yolks with the lemon juice and 1T water in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and continue to whisk constantly.
- Continue to cook until the eggs increase in volume dramatically and you can see the bottom of the pan between beating strokes. Eggs should be very smooth.
- Remove from heat and beat in 6T of the butter, 1T at a time. Be sure to fully incorporate each tablespoon before adding the next! Set aside to thicken.
- Place tarragon vinegar, white wine, and tarragon in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced to just about 1T.
- Add tarragon mixture to the egg/butter mixture. Beat until fully incorporated. Add horseradish to taste, and season with salt and pepper.
- Season filets, and cook quickly over high heat. After about 1 minute, add remaining 2T butter to saucepan. Flip filets and spoon hot butter over the cooked side of the filets. Remove from heat and let rest for at least three minutes.
- To serve: spoon Bearnaise on plate. Top with filet, and add Wellington “biscuit.” Serve with parmesan sage butternut squash puree and fennel Brussels sprouts.
NOTE: If you have a difficult time cutting the Wellington biscuits, don’t despair… here’s a quick fix: Do your best to cut the circles, and then with your hands, roll the entire mixture (dough, prosciutto, duxelles, mustard) between your palms and form the dough into biscuits. Top with beaten yolk and bake. They may not be beautiful, but they’re easy and taste just the same. Alternatively, you can skip trying to cut them in the first place: chop the prosciutto, and mix both pie crusts, mustard, duxelles, and chopped prosciutto all together into one messy dough ball. Pinch off about ¼ cup at a time, form into biscuits, and bake as described above.
For camping, we make the Wellington biscuits and the Bearnaise at home; then at the campsite, we simply reheat the Bearnaise, reheat the biscuits in a foil pouch, and grill the filets. Perfectly simple gourmet camping meal!