How To Cook a Fancy Meal For Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. Usually, you’d take your significant other out somewhere for a nice dinner. Right now, that may not be an option. Even if you are someplace where you can go out to eat, think about how much more impressive it will be to present your special someone with an incredible meal you cooked yourself. I am going to show you how to make individual Beef Wellingtons. This dish is a delicious, romantic dinner that anyone can make at home. It looks really impressive, but it is actually pretty simple to make.

What You Will Need

  • 2 Filet Mignons – about a quarter pound each will do.
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces of portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ¼ cup dry sherry (or any cooking wine)
  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry – you can find this in the freezer section of the grocery store, near the desserts.
  • Whole grain mustard
  • 1 egg
  • Milk

How To Make It

You have some prep work to do before you start cooking. About 6 hours before you want to serve the meal, take the puff pastry sheet from the freezer and put it in the fridge. You want it to be unfrozen so that you can work with it, but cold enough that it doesn’t get sticky.

Chop the mushroom caps into small pieces. Finely chop the onion, enough to get 1/3 of a cup of onion pieces. Mince the garlic clove – pretend like you’re in Goodfellas, cooking in prison. None of this has to look too pretty – it’s all getting cooked into a sauce.

Get your filets and season each side with salt and pepper. Put a heavy skillet on the stove on medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and let it get good and hot. Put the filets in the pan and sear them for about 30-45 seconds on each side and on the edges. You’re not cooking the steak here, just getting a good sear on the outside.  Once the filets are seared, put them on a plate and let them cool off in the fridge.

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Using the same pan, turn the heat down to medium. Toss in the butter, mushrooms, onion, and garlic and stir it all up. Add some salt and pepper for seasoning. Cook until the mushrooms release all their water and the onions are translucent. Add the sherry and cook until it evaporates. Give the sauce a taste, and add more salt and pepper if it needs more flavor. Put all the mushroom sauce into a bowl and let it cool in the fridge.

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Take the puff pastry out of the fridge and use a rolling pin to roll it out to a slightly larger size. It’s about 9” square coming out of the box, and you want to make it just a little bigger. Then, take a knife and cut it down the middle so that you have 2 rectangles.

Now you’re going to assemble the Wellingtons. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper or tin foil (this makes cleanup easier). Get the filets and mushroom sauce out of the fridge, along with the whole grain mustard. First, put a good spoonful of mushroom sauce in the middle of each pastry rectangle. 

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Then, put a small spoonful of mustard on top of each filet and spread it smooth.

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Now, take each filet and put it mustard side down on top of the mushroom sauce.

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Next, spread mustard on top of each filet.

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Finally, top each filet with more mushroom sauce.

Now, you’re ready to wrap these things up. Fold the long end of the pastry on top of the top layer of mushroom sauce, and then fold the other long end on top of that. 

Next, fold in the sides and seal all the seams so you’ve got a nice tight package. Place each Wellington folded side down on your baking pan.

Now for the last step before it goes into the oven. Make an egg wash by beating the egg with a splash of milk. Brush the Wellingtons all over with the egg wash.

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Put the Wellingtons in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. The filets should have an internal temperature of 140 degrees and the pastry should be a deep golden brown. The Wellington is almost a whole meal in itself, so a small salad makes a good side. Pat yourself on the back – your special someone is sure to be impressed at the delicious meal you have just made!

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