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Beef Wellington

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Beef Wellington is a preparation of fillet steak coated with pâté (often pâté de foie gras) and duxelles, which is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. Some recipes include wrapping the coated meat in a crêpe to retain the moisture and prevent it making the pastry soggy.

A whole tenderloin may be wrapped and baked, and then sliced for serving, or the tenderloin may be sliced into individual portions prior to wrapping and baking. Many spices may be added to enhance the flavour; some examples are curry, allspice, any grilling mix or ginger.

Naming

The origin of the name is unclear. There are theories that suggest that beef Wellington is named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. Some theories go a step further and suggest this was due to his love of a dish of beef, truffles, mushrooms, Madeira wine, and pâté cooked in pastry, but there is a noted lack of evidence supporting this. In addition to the dearth of evidence attaching this dish to the famous Duke, the earliest recorded recipe to bear this name appeared in a 1966 cookbook. Other accounts simply credit the name to a patriotic chef wanting to give an English name to a variation on the French filet de bœuf en croûte during the Napoleonic Wars. Still another theory is that the dish is not named after the Duke himself, but rather that the finished joint was thought to resemble one of the brown shiny military boots which were named after him. In introducing a recipe for beef Wellington, Clarissa Dickson Wright claims "This dish has nothing to do with that splendid hero, the Duke of Wellington; it was invented for a civic reception in Wellington, New Zealand, but it is a splendid addition to any party."

"Wellington" is sometimes informally used to describe other dishes in which meat is baked in a puff pastry; the most common variations are sausage Wellington, lamb Wellington and salmon Wellington.

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References

Beef Wellington, www.wikipedia.org

The Ultimate Beef Wellington, www.foodnetwork.com

Beef Wellington, www.bbcgoodfood.com