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January 10, 2010

Pork Wellington – A Twist on a Classic

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Pork Wellington 1024x768 Pork Wellington – A Twist on a Classic

I know what it looks like but it's a really good dish!

Beef Wellington has a certain cachet. It is elegant meal and requires a lot of attention. There is little room for mistakes. This spin off recipe by Alton Brown is very forgiving. At the table presentation you will hear a chorus of ooo’s and ah’s. After the first bite there will be dead silence…. usually a good sign!  Not bad for a meal that require little effort but you don’t have to let your guest know that!

In the classic Beef Wellington the beef is coated with foie gras or pate maison before being wrapped with puff pastry or brioche dough. Traditionally the beef is browned before being wrapped in the dough and then roasted. Without a careful eye this double cooking has the tendency to overcook the beef or undercook the pastry. This dish could be your Waterloo. This recipe is a great spin off of the classic. It highlights the versatility of pork tenderloin. It also replaces the foie gras with prosciutto. What goes better with pork? More pork! You will be triumphant.

Did You Know?

Most food historians agree that Beef Wellington is named after Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington. He is the General that defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.

History has well documented General Wellesly but the dish that bears his name is far more elusive. Especially in France were the dish is called filet de boeuf in croute. Sour grapes I guess.

The original recipe allows you to use a frozen puff pastry from the super market. That’s fine but I will include a recipe for brioche dough that you can make the day before. Just substitute the brioche dough for the puff pastry in the below recipe.

BRIOCHE DOUGH

A stand mixer or food processor will make things a lot easier.

Makes more than enough dough for a 2 lb. roast or one 9” 2- crust pie

Ingredients

1 package active dry yeast

½ cup lukewarm water (temp. should be about 105 to 115 degrees. Any warmer or colder and the yeast will not work.)

4 oz’s unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 Tbsp. sugar

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 tsp. salt (regular fine table salt)

2¾ cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar in the water and stir gently. Set aside for ten minutes. The yeast will start to foam.

Using the flat beater paddle on the stand mixer (or the steel blade on a food processor) beat the butter and sugar on a medium setting until smooth. Once smooth add one egg at a time. Blend well. Add the salt, the yeast mixture and half the flour. Process until all the flour disappears.  Now add all but ¼ cup of the remaining flour. Continue to mix until all the flour has disappeared. The dough will be soft and sticky.

Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to it. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 1½ hours.

Punch down the dough (literally punch/push it down), cover again with the plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day remove the dough from the refrigerator and knead for a few minutes on your floured countertop. (you might want to clean the countertop first). Gather the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl to rise at room temperature for 1½ hours.

PORK WELLINGTON

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 Tbsp. water

about 2 oz’s. dried apple rings

1 whole pork tenderloin, about 1 lb. with the silver skin removed

4 ½ oz’s thinly cut prosciutto ham, domestic or imported

¼ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1 tsp. all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed completely

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and pre-heat to 400 degrees.

Wisk the egg and the water in a small bowl and set aside. Chop up the apple rings in a food processor until they are the size of medium dice. Set aside.

Trim the pork tenderloin of any excess fat and silver skin. Cut the tenderloin in half, creating two separate pieces. Lay the tenderloin pieces next to each other, head to tail, so when laid back together they are the same size at the ends. This ensures even cooking.

Set out a piece of parchment paper on the counter and arrange the pieces of prosciutto in the center, overlapping them to create a solid layer that is as long as the tenderloin. Top the prosciutto with another layer of parchment paper and using a rolling pin, roll over it to adhere the pieces of prosciutto together (Alton this is a brilliant trick!). Remove the top layer of parchment paper and sprinkle the prosciutto with the salt, pepper and thyme. Set the tenderloin down the middle of the prosciutto. Spread the dried apples in between the 2 pieces of tenderloin and push back together so the apples are held between them. Using the parchment paper, wrap the prosciutto around the tenderloin around the tenderloin to completely enclose in a package. Carefully peel the parchment paper off the covered tenderloins exposing the prosciutto wrapped tenderloin.

Sprinkle the countertop with flour and roll out the brioche/puff pastry. If using brioche, roll out thin, about 1/8”. Spread the mustard thinly in the center of the pastry and lay the prosciutto wrapped tenderloin in the center of the pastry on the mustard. Fold the pastry/dough up and over the top of the tenderloin, then roll to completely enclose, brushing the edges of the pastry/dough with the egg wash in order to seal. Turn the tenderloin over so the side of the tenderloin with the double thickness of pastry is underneath. Pinch the ends of the pastry/dough to seal.

Brush the entire pastry with the egg wash. Place the tenderloin on a parchment lined cookie tray and bake for 30 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of at least 150. Remove the tenderloins from the oven and let rest for 8 to 10 minutes before slicing.

Your done! It seems harder than it really is.

Let me know any suggestions. Thanks for reading.

 Pork Wellington – A Twist on a Classic

food blog blog 2 Pork Wellington – A Twist on a Classic