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  • Written by Tim Kennedy

Cooking with Tim Kennedy: French Onion Soup with Beef Wellington

5 weeks ago I was 184.9lbs. Today…. I’m... Well... Quite a bit more. There are recipes that I use when I’m cutting weight, and there are recipes that I make when I want something easy, these of neither of those. It has been over a month since my last fight. I was considering getting back onto my strict diet, but the thought of that made me hungry. My only recourse was to prepare a meal worthy of said hunger. I have come to the crystal clear conclusion that the only reason I train as hard as I do 3 times a day is so I can eat what ever I want from time to time. If you ever need to fatten oneself up after cutting 40lbs this recipe is for you.

French Onion Soup Ingredients

  • 8 sweet onions or yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 10 ounces canned beef consume
  • 48 ounces chicken broth or stock (low sodium so you can salt to taste)
  • 5 ounces apple cider
  • Splash of Worchester Sauce
  • Bouquet garni; thyme sprigs, bay leaf and parsley tied together with kitchen string
  • 1 loaf crusty bread
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Gruyere or Comte cheese, grated

Method

Trim and cut up Onions, leave long pieces (half moon shape is good). In a dutch oven or large pot add butter. Once butter has melted add a layer of onions and sprinkle with a little salt. Repeat layering onions and salt until all onions are in the skillet. Do not try stirring until onions have sweated down for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, stir occasionally until onions are dark mahogany and reduce. This should take 45 minutes to 1 hour. Do not worry about burning. Add enough wine to cover the onions and turn heat to high, reducing the wine to a syrup consistency (careful with wine, it will add a different flavors based on type). Add consume, chicken broth, apple cider, Worchester sauce and bouquet garni. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Add more Chicken Broth and salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Place oven rack in top 1/3 of oven and heat to 400. Get out Soup Crocks (I like 20 oz size--make sure they are oven safe)

Cut bread slightly bigger than soup crocks and toast. Ladle soup into crocks (can cover and refrigerate until needed, but bring to room temp before putting in oven). Place toast on top of soup and top with cheese (cheese lesson gruyere is Swiss, comte is French). Bake Soup for around 10 minutes until cheese is golden brown.

Beef Wellington Ingredients

  • Beef fillet (2-3 lbs)
  • 1 lb Mushrooms (Portabella or Crimini)
  • 1 cup onions
  • ½ cup shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4-6 slices Parma ham (can substitute with Prosciutto)
  • Mustard for brushing meat (English or French Dijon – English is preferred since it is an English dish)
  • 1 lbs puff pastry sheet (if it comes in two sheets it is easy to merge)
  • Flour (for working with puff pastry)
  • 2 Eggs for Egg Wash
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Season Tenderloin with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large pan and sear the meat on all sides. Don’t cook the tenderloin, make sure you brown all sides and the ends. Let it cool and then brush it with the mustard.
  • Make the duxelle: chop the mushrooms, onions, shallots, garlic in a food processor to make a puree and some seasoning (salt and pepper). Throw the puree in a hot pan with no oil and sweat out all of the liquid. Let the water evaporate and then set it aside to cool. If the duxelle has too much moisture the puff pastry gets really soggy.
  • Lay 4-6 slices of parma ham down on a large piece of cling film, slightly overlapping, then brush with duxelle mixture.
  • Put the beef in the middle of the ham and roll the ham around the beef using the cling film. Twist the ends of the cling film to tighten the roll, then refrigerate it for 20 minutes to let it set.
  • Roll your puff pastry and then brush the edges with Egg Wash. Roll the pastry over the beef completely covering it. Cut off any excess pieces. Egg Wash the top. Make slight slices on the top of the pastry to allow steam out. Don’t cut too deep. Put your roll back in the fridge for 5 minutes. Egg Wash again and top with some salt. Bake for 10 minutes and then turn oven down to 400 and bake for 30-35 minutes. Check for internal temp of 125 degrees to get a nice medium rare Beef Wellington. Let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Be sure to check out more of my work on Middleeasy!


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