Ground Beef Wellington

 

My daughter was having a friend come over. We were all set to do something simple and then she said it. “My friend heard how yummy your cooking is, so don’t let her down.” She was joking – really! she was just joking, but the gauntlet had already been thrown down. I decided to try something new and different. Because I had a pound and a half of ground beef in the refrigerator, I went with that as my main ingredient. What to do, I wondered? Then I thought about it. Wrap it in pastry! So I searched the web and found a couple recipes for “Ground Beef Wellington”.

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I think this is where purists will exit, stage left.

So yes… in my mind, mini meatloaf wrapped in a pastry. Sounds good! I read through a couple recipes, got a sense of the overall techniques they used and found a couple useful tips. The most important one was to put the seams on the bottom so that any excess juices would be absorbed.

I was ready to go. Although the idea was to use what was in the house, unless I was going to cook something like a Chinese meat and veggie dish there was no way I could stretch a pound and a half of meat to feed seven people. Off to the supermarket!

I ended up using about 4 lbs of beef to make 7 Wellingtons. I’ll adjust downwards in the future.

To make it was fairly simple. I seasoned the meat for my mini meatloaf, then rolled it into balls and put it in a jumbo muffin tin. Baked it until it was almost completely done, then let it cool. After taking each one out and allowing them to drain in a plate, I removed the remaining excess juice from the bottom by just dabbing the bottom on a folded paper towel.

I then turned it upside-down, placed the ball of meat on a sized piece of crust and carefully folded the edges over. I sealed the seams by pinching and made sure that any air bubbles were allowed to collapse before sealing (this really was not an issue, the dough clings pretty well to the meat). I then placed them in a rectangular baking pan, brushed the top with egg yolk, then put them in the oven.

That’s it!

The photo you see, I’ll pick on. It was the largest and it was one that didn’t fit in the rectangular  pan so it was on the bottom of the stove getting a little less heat. It was also 20% larger than the rest. So, you see pink. It was cooked, but I the others were evenly colored inside and were still moist and juicy. Also because of the one that I plated for the photo being on the bottom and getting a little less heat, the crust is just a bit less done than the others.

In the future, what I would do is instead of making round balls, I’d make double width hamburger sized loafs and make them relatively flat on top and bottom. This will allow the wrapping to come together easier. It’ll also make them about a third smaller, which would be a better serving size. These came out just a little over half a pound each! Most of us ate half and saved half.

Ground Beef Wellington
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Course Dinner
Cuisine: Comfort Food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A delicious and filling combination of seasoned ground beef and a flaky pastry crust.
Ingredients
  • 3 lb Ground Beef
  • 12 oz mushrooms sliced or chopped
  • 1 package Pie Crust
  • 1-2 egg yolk (you can thin with a teaspoon of cold water if needed)
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 medium brown onion
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper
  • 2 TBS butter
  • dash of Worcestershire
  • dash of maggi
Instructions
  1. Saute the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in the butter, then allow to cool
  2. Mix the ground beef with salt, pepper, and add Worcestershire sauce and Maggi to taste.
  3. When the mushroom, garlic, onion mixture is cool, mix into the meat.
  4. Add any other season you want at this point. (cheese, herbs, etc...)
  5. Allow the meat to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  6. Form the meat into 1" thick patties about 4" across.
  7. Bake in a deep (to make sure juices don't spill) pan @ 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature of the beef is about 150 degrees.
  8. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to handle.
  9. Meanwhile, divide each piece (there should be two per pack) of the pie crust into four pieces and roll them into a ball.
  10. Roll a ball out into a rough circle to a point where it's thin, but won't break on the meat.
  11. You should have timed this so the meat is cool enough to handle.
  12. Take a meat loaf patty and place it in the center of your dough.
  13. Fold the edges in and seal the seams by pinching. You can use a wet finger dipped in water if it helps, I did not find that it was necessary.
  14. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until the Wellingtons are golden brown all over.
  15. Remove from oven and allow to rest for a few minutes
  16. Serve and enjoy!

Other than that, the consensus was it was a success and tasty 🙂

Gok Doi (Kok Jai) – Chinese peanut coconut sesame puffs

Growing up, around Chinese New Years, my mother would make these. Crisp and crunchy, filled with sweet goodness, these are the treats of a childhood past. After I made these, I posted on Facebook many of my Chinese friends commented that they hadn’t had it in years, and the memories just seeing them brought back.

Known by many different names, and made in a variety of ways, this was the way my mother did it. It’s a bit of a shortcut compared to many methods, but far less work and hassle to make.  There’s a method where you make the dough from scratch, press or roll it into circles. This method uses pre-made wrappers, (possibly) available at your local Asian market and thus takes about 80% of the work out of the preparation.

Gok Doi (Kok Jai) - Chinese peanut coconut sesame puffs
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
A Chinese New Year's favorite, a recipe for crispy thin skinned peanut, sesame and coconut filled puffs.
Ingredients
  • 1 package of So Kok wraps. (if they're not available Siu Mai wraps can be substituted)
  • 1 Cup roasted peanuts, chopped (fine or coarse, it's up to you)
  • 1 Cup toasted shredded coconut
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup to 1 cup roasted sesame seeds (I go with ¼, it really depends how much you love sesame seeds)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Oil for frying (peanut oil works best)
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine peanuts, coconut, sugar, and sesame seeds
  2. Stir well
  3. Take a wrapper and put a small spoonful of filling into it.
  4. Brush beaten egg around half the wrapper, like a smiley face.
  5. Fold the wrap, making sure it's well sealed.
  6. If you have a press you can use it now.
  7. As your wraps are folded, lay them out in a single layer on a baking pan. Don't stack them, they'll stick together.
  8. Fry them a few at a time, cooking until light to golden on one side, then turning them over carefully and frying the opposite side until golden brown.

 

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