How Long to Cook Beef Wellington for Two – A Detailed Guide

Beef Wellington is an elegant, impressive dish that is perfect for a romantic dinner for two. It features tender beef wrapped in puff pastry and baked, resulting in a flavorful combination of savory and flaky flavors. While it may seem intimidating, Beef Wellington for two is easy to make as long as you know how long to cook it. This detailed guide will provide tips on cooking times and temperatures to help you achieve Beef Wellington perfection.

Overview of Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington originated in England and was likely named after the Duke of Wellington. It consists of a beef tenderloin that is coated with mushroom duxelle and liver pâté or parma ham, then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. The end result is a crisp, golden pastry encasing a tender, juicy beef fillet.

Some key components of classic Beef Wellington include:

  • Beef tenderloin: The tenderloin is a cut from the short loin of beef. It’s very tender and lean, making it perfect for quick cooking under the pastry crust. For two servings, you’ll need around 12-16 oz of tenderloin.

  • Mushroom duxelle: Finely chopped mushrooms sautéed with shallots to make a mushroom paste that provides moisture and flavor.

  • Liver pâté or prosciutto: Traditionally, pâté is used to add richness. Prosciutto or parma ham can also be used.

  • Puff pastry: Light and flaky puff pastry keeps the components together and provides a crisp, golden crust when baked. Use thawed puff pastry for ease.

  • Egg wash: An egg beaten with milk or water to brush the pastry, helping achieve browning.

Step-by-Step Method

Follow these steps for perfect Beef Wellington for two:

  1. Sear the beef: Season the beef tenderloins with salt and pepper. In a hot pan, sear the beef for 1-2 minutes per side until browned. Set aside to rest.

  2. Make duxelle: Sauté mushrooms and shallots until reduced. Cool slightly then wrap in a cloth and wring out moisture.

  3. Prepare puff pastry: Thaw and unroll puff pastry. Cut into squares slightly larger than the beef filets.

  4. Assemble Wellington: Brush beef with mustard or pâté. Place duxelle on pastry. Add beef then top with more duxelle. Wrap the pastry tightly around beef.

  5. Chill: Chill assembled Wellingtons for 30 minutes to help pastry seal to the beef.

  6. Egg wash and score: Brush egg wash on the pastry. Lightly score the top in a crisscross pattern.

  7. Bake: Bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and cooked medium-rare.

  8. Rest: Let rest 10 minutes before slicing into the Wellingtons.

How Long to Cook Beef Wellington

The most important factor in cooking Beef Wellington is properly timing it to ensure the beef is cooked to the right doneness without overcooking the pastry.

Here are cooking times and temperatures to aim for:

  • Medium-rare: The most common doneness for Beef Wellington. Cook at 400°F for 25-30 minutes until center reaches 135°F on a meat thermometer.

  • Medium: For a more well-done center, cook for 30-35 minutes until center reaches 140-145°F.

  • Well-done: Not recommended for Beef Wellington as the beef will overcook. If desired, bake for 35-40 minutes until center reaches 155°F+.

Use an instant-read meat thermometer to monitor the inner temperature and determine doneness. Check the temperature towards the end of baking by carefully inserting the thermometer into the center.

If using a relatively thin beef tenderloin, start checking temperature after 20 minutes. Thicker cuts may require the full cooking time.

Tips for Perfect Results

Follow these tips to ensure you nail Beef Wellington for two every time:

  • Use high quality puff pastry – Choose an all-butter puff pastry for the flakiest results. Thaw it properly so it’s easy to unroll.

  • Dry the duxelle – Wringing out excess moisture from the duxelle prevents soggy pastry. Spread it thinly and evenly.

  • Chill before baking – Refrigerating the assembled Wellington lets the pastry seal to the beef for a tight package.

  • Bake at a high temp – 400°F helps the beef cook quickly while crisping up the pastry. Lower temps increase cooking time.

  • Watch closely near end of baking – Check after 20 minutes, then frequently to catch it at the right doneness.

  • Allow to rest before slicing – Carryover cooking will increase the inner temperature 5-10°F after removed from the oven.

  • Use a sharp knife to slice – Let the Wellington firm up after baking before cutting neat slices with a sharp, non-serrated knife.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Beef Wellington leftovers can be stored and reheated for delicious second helpings:

  • Store properly: Tightly wrap leftover Wellington and refrigerate for up to 4 days. The pastry may soften over time.

  • Reheat carefully: Wellington slices can be reheated in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes until warmed through. Microwaving may make the pastry soggy.

  • Repurpose leftovers: Leftover beef makes great sandwiches or can be sliced for beef stroganoff. Extra duxelle is great in omelets or over steaks.

Variations and Substitutions

While classic Beef Wellington uses tenderloin, duxelle, and puff pastry, there are some variations you can try:

  • Use filet mignon or other tender beef cuts like sirloin or strip steak.

  • Substitute cremini, portobello, or a mix of wild mushrooms for the duxelle.

  • Use prosciutto, ham, or country pâté instead of duxelle for flavor.

  • Replace puff pastry with brioche, filo, or even phyllo dough.

  • Top with béarnaise sauce after baking for extra richness.

Have fun experimenting to make the Beef Wellington your own! The cooking times will remain similar for most variations.

Serving Suggestions

Beef Wellington makes for an elegant presentation at the dinner table. Serve it for date nights or special occasions and pair it with:

  • Mashed or roasted potatoes to soak up the beef juices.

  • Sautéed greens like asparagus, green beans, or brussels sprouts.

  • A leafy arugula salad with a light vinaigrette dressing.

  • A rich red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

Beef Wellington for two is a showstopper dish for any foodie. With the right time and temperature guidelines, you can pull off this impressive entrée for your special someone. Just be sure to impress them with your cooking skills as you slice into the flaky, meaty masterpiece!

Individual Beef Wellington BUT BETTAH!


How long does it take Wellington to cook?

Bake in 425°F oven 35 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 135°F for medium rare; 150°F for medium. Transfer Beef Wellington to carving board. Let stand 10 minutes.

How do you know when beef Wellington is cooked?

Heat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/ gas 6½. Bake the wellington in the oven for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and puffed and a digital probe thermometer pushed into the centre reads 52-56°C for rare. For medium, cook for 35-40 minutes or until 57-59°C and well done for 50 minutes or 60-63°C.

How long to take beef Wellington out of fridge before cooking?

Chill for at least 30 mins and up to 24 hrs. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Brush the Wellington with a little more egg yolk and cook until golden and crisp – 20-25 mins for medium-rare beef, 30 mins for medium. Allow to stand for 10 mins before serving in thick slices.

Do you cook beef Wellington on a rack?

Roll out to a 12-by-20-inch rectangle. Place beef lengthwise in middle; wrap pastry around beef so long sides overlap. Place seam side down on a clean wire rack on the baking sheet, and tuck pastry ends underneath. Brush with egg.

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