Valentine’s Day is over, did you get lucky enough to have reservations for a steak dinner? We didn’t dare try to go out to a restaurant on one of the busiest nights of the year- Especially not with higher price than usual specials or extra tables crowed in a too tiny of an area. So we are still craving that steak? Are you? One of my favorite steak dishes is Beef Wellington. That fancy dish of filet steak, pate’, mushrooms in a puff pastry! Not one of my favorites is the price of Beef Wellington out at a restaurant!! So, in a way to satisfy my Beef Wellington craving on a budget, I make a mock Beef Wellington at home. It can turn any night into a romantic steak night! This recipe can also be made with leftover meatloaf!
Budget Beef Wellington: To begin, one big money saver is buying round steak! It has a bad reputation for coming out tough, but with a little work, it can become nice and tender. I got some on sale, 4 round steaks for under 5 bucks!!
I like to use my meat tenderizer mallet and give the steaks a few pounds on each side. The thinner the round steaks, usually the more tender they will come out. Brown the round steaks in a little olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Brown each side.
1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce and 1 TSP black pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme or rosemary
8 oz sliced mushrooms (I’m using Portabellas)
Bring the mixture to a high simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Put pan into a 300 degree oven for 1 hour. Remove steaks from the pan and set aside to cool. Put the pan with the mushroom mixture (which is the makings of a wonderful sauce!) on medium high heat. To the mixture, add (you guessed it!!) a beurre manie’ of 1/2 TBSP each of flour and butter kneaded together and whisked into the mixture. Bring mixture to a boil. Whisk constantly for 1 minute until the mixture is a nice thick sauce. Set mixture aside to cool.
Traditional Beef Wellington is wrapped in puff pastry. I do not like to waste money on a whole box of puff pastry for such a small job! So my budget beef wellington is wrapped in crescent dough!! For my 4 steaks, I have one can of crescent dough. There are 8 triangles to a can, but I will seal the perforations and make 4 large rectangles. On a work surface, put the rolls down. Add 1 steak to one edge. Top with mushroom sauce mixture. (Go easy on the sauce, don’t want soggy dough, but pile on the mushrooms!) The remaining sauce can be used in serving.
Fold over the edge and crimp the edges with a fork to seal all the sides. (Like the spaghetti and meatball calzones http://wp.me/p57UhS-4l) or press edges with fingers to seal. Repeat the FILL FOLD SEAL with the remaining steaks, sauce, and dough. Put on a greased cookie sheet and bake according to crescent dough directions. (375 degrees for 11-13 minutes, or until brown). Slice and serve plain with some butter or
My hubby loves steak and potato. So usually when I do this budget beef wellington, I make shrimp stuffed potatoes. It gives the meal a surf and turf feel for under 12 bucks!!
Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes: Simply microwave or bake potatoes until done. Set aside until cool enough to handle. In a skillet, saute’ 1/2 cup chopped onions in olive oil (or same amount of frozen seasoning) Add a 2 handfuls of peeled, deveined chopped shrimp, 2 TBSP butter, creole or cajun seasoning, and dashes of hot sauce to liking. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the potatoes leaving a shell-like a boat! Put the potato filling into a bowl and mash. Add the buttered shrimp mixture and a handful of your favorite cheese. (I’m using a colby jack blend.) Put the filling back into the “Potato Boats”. Top with some additional cheese. Put on foil lined sheet pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Put your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: What other meat fillings would work? Replace the steaks with leftover meatloaf-just make the sauce on top of the stove and proceed. Pork Chops are a good choice, too! What other sauce would be good? A tomato sauce with red wine would work! Not a mushroom fan, what else would be good? Caramelized onions. What about adding in some vegetables like carrots? Think beef stew! What about using other bread dough or flavored crescents-like garlic butter!!
FOOD FUN: All this talk of steak reminds me of a quote about steaks from the great Julia Child. She said, “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook”. Can’t get enough steaks or want a steak worth waiting for? In May, head to the World Championship Steak Cook-Off at the Magnolia Blossom Festival in Magnolia, Arkansas. Over 4,000 steaks are cooked each year!! (…and, of course, all served with potatoes!!)