Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Boeuf en Croute

Holiday dinners are a time when I like to go out on a branch and give something new a try.  Even if it's a total flop, I know my family will still love me (right, family?).  I've got plenty of time to spend in the kitchen and if I'm lucky an extra set of hands to help get the job done (thanks Greg!).  This year I was randomly watching the Cooking Channel a couple weeks before Easter and caught this episode of French Food at Home.  I instantly thought, "This would be a perfect menu for Easter!" and bookmarked the recipes.  In the end, I decided to stick with the Boeuf en Croute and Green Beans with Hazelnuts and Creme Fraiche.  Greg contributed his famous sea salt and rosemary roasted red potatoes and Mom made her classic Deviled eggs.  I chose Spring Berry Tart for dessert and we called it a meal!  I apologize in advance for the lighting in these pictures but you can't always plan your cooking around the sun:)  Here is the recipe and some pictures that I hope will help you if you ever want to make your own Boeuf en Croute.
Boeuf en Croute
from French Food at Home


1 1/3 pounds beef tenderloin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
3 tablespoons butter
Olive oil, for drizzling
2 shallots, minced
1 pound mushrooms, very finely chopped (We used about 12 ounces)
1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves picked
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup Madeira
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
Handful chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 (1 pound) packages puff pastry or frozen puff pastry, thawed (This part was confusing to me, I ended up using one and a half packages of pastry, but I think if you rolled out two sheets to be a bit thinner they would be able to fit around the beef, also mine turned out a lot more "puffy" than the one pictured with the recipe so rolling it thinner might help with this)
1 egg
1 teaspoon water


Season the beef with salt, and pepper. Melt a tablespoon of butter with a drizzle of the olive oil in a saute pan until hot, then sear the beef on all sides. Remove from the pan to a board, and let cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

In the same pan as the beef, prepare the mushroom duxelles: Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and fry the shallots until translucent. Add the mushrooms, thyme, and bay leaf, and cook until very tender. Pour over the Madeira, and bring to a boil, and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the creme fraiche and cook down to a very thick paste. Season the mixture with salt, and pepper. Stir through the chopped parsley.

Roll out one block of pastry to a rectangle large enough to fit the meat with a roomy border. Place on a baking sheet.
You can see here where I added a portion from another piece of pastry.  In the future, I would roll one piece a bit thinner to make it fit.

Remove the fillet from the refrigerator, and unwrap. Spoon the mushroom mixture into the center of the pastry and set the meat on top. 
Roll out the second sheet to fit over the whole fillet generously. In a small bowl, beat together the egg and 1 teaspoon water. Brush the margins of the bottom pastry with egg wash, then drape the second sheet over, pressing to seal well. Trim the edge to a 1-inch border. Crimp the edges with your fingers. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
I cut off about 2 inches of pastry on the long sides.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Brush the whole surface of the pastry with egg wash and make two slits in the top with a knife to allow steam to escape. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F, and continue to bake 20 minutes, depending on how well you like your meat done. Remove from the oven and let stand about 10 minutes before serving in slices.
Here is the link for the green bean recipe.  They were very flavorful and a great accompaniment to the beef.

Hope you enjoy these recipes!

What is the fanciest meal you've ever made?  Was it for a special event or just for fun?


  1. Your Boeuf en Croute is gorgeous and with the green beans and red wine, this looks like a fantastic meal!

  2. Wow I am impressed! Very fancy! I have made filet mignon with a morel mushroom sauce.

  3. Very impressive! Definitely not something I'm willing to experiment with just yet haha. Yours looks amazing!

  4. how stunning, a perfect easter meal..I love the boeuf en croute..so lovely..great recipe!


  5. Thanks everyone!
    @Anne, glad you enjoyed!
    @Vanessa, you have me craving meat at 8am that cannot be normal!
    @Stacy, you would rock it out!!
    @Sweetlife,thank you so much, it was my first time trying it, I will be making it again!

  6. I can very much appreciate the fanciness and work put into your boeuf dish, but I am vegetarian so I'm not sure if there would be any substitution :) The green beans look very tasty though! Well done!

  7. Love the golden brown colour of the pastry! It reminds me very much like a beef wellington that a friend made for us recently. Interesting we got to see him prepare it too. Thanks for sharing this recipe.


  8. whoa so impressive! the fanciest meal i ever made was for ryan's birthday last year---the columbia crest dinner on my blog! SO fun!

  9. Wow, you've had a feast! Such a sophisticated recipe :-). Well done!