Monday, March 31, 2008

Quasi-Beef Wellington

In my fridge today were two things that I needed to eat today: 1) a 'baseball' steak from the market on Saturday, and 2) four turnovers worth of pastry leftover from my last adventure. Something my little brother made (with limited assistance from me) when I was home in December was beef wellington, so I figured I'd give it a shot. It turned out to be a pretty sweet way to serve a steak for one, without sides.


To recreate, you need:
  • one little baseball steak
  • salt & pepper
  • maybe a third of a pie's worth of dough

  • four button mushrooms
  • one shallot
  • two cloves garlic
  • oil

  • First, heat some oil in a pan, and while it's warming, chop the mushrooms, onion, and garlic finely. (Actually, no, first turn the oven on to 400ºF, then do what I said to do first.) Toss the mushroom in the pan, fry a few minutes, then throw in the rest and cook till the onion is translucent. Scrape all that stuff into a bowl, and set aside to cool.

    Heat some more oil in the pan (hopefully there is some of the old stuff left there), and when it's hot, sear the steak on medium-high for three minutes a side. If there's still red on the short side and it's too thick, hold it with some forks or something and sear it all around. That's probably horrible form, but it's fun anyways!

    While the steak is cooking, roll out your pastry, until it's large enough to wrap the steak. When the fried fungus and vegetables have cooled, spread them over the pastry, leaving a decent border with none on it, and wait for the steak. When it's done cooking, place it on the stuffing on the pastry, wrap it up, and put it in a pan in the oven, and bake for about thirty-five minutes.

    Remove from oven, put it on a plate, and devour.

    Thoughts after the fact:
  • I really should not use my extremely flakey pie dough for anything except pies, or at least something that involves baking it in a formed dish. Like the turnovers, the pastry was too weak to deal with being wrapped around something, so it got a little messy and the top was not pretty at all. Beef wellington should be made with puff pastry, which has some stretch and sticks together better.

  • I should keep butter on hand. I've gotten out of the habit of baking with it, living with a silly vegan and all, but since they're not going to want to eat my steak, it would have made the frying and browning nicer than just with oil.

  • Really, stop using ultra-flakey pie dough for things that aren't pies.
  • Thursday, March 27, 2008


    So, Colin and I made a delicious pie last night (mostly his initiative, I just made the dough and the rest turned out great), and I've still got four pies worth of dough in my freezer since I got sick on Pi day, and I've still got an army's worth of apples in my fridge, so, it's Turnover Time!

    In a frying pan on my stove right now is some delicious apple filling. Consists of:
  • Three and a half apples (golden delicious, maybe?)

  • ~eighth of a cup of sugar

  • ~eighth of a cup of honey

  • Sprinkling of cinnamon

  • Juice of half a lime

  • Pinch of cornstarch

  • Which I let sit for maybe fifteen minutes to half an hour, covered on the counter, before hitting it with medium-low heat in a big frying pan. The idea here is to extract what fluid from the apples as I can now, and reduce it to make a nice, thick filling

    On my counter right now, are sixteen roughly equal sized balls of dough, thawing, waiting to be rolled out into rough circles, stuffed with apple goodness, and then baked at 400ºF for twenty minutes or so.

    Deliciousness awaits!

    P.S. In oven now, first remarks: cut actual circles/rectangles when baking turnovers, it will make them much easier to manage when filling!!

    P.P.S. Delicious, if messy. Next time, I'll roll the dough a little thicker, so as to make them easier to handle, both in and out of the oven. These turnovers are by no means sturdy enough to take as a snack for the road, as was the intention.