This is an excerpt from Eater’s debut cookbook that brings some holiday inspiration: Turkey is a given, but for a luxurious holiday spread, consider adding a beef Wellington to the mix. This version, served with mushroom duxelles and creamed spinach, comes from Swift & Sons in Chicago.
Swift & Sons is what happens when a hospitality-obsessed restaurant group decides to take the traditional steakhouse presets and dial them up to the most luxurious level possible. The Boka Restaurant Group’s hit steakhouse is a glittering, thoroughly modern affair in the heart of Chicago’s former meatpacking district. Order the beef Wellington and a cart will arrive at your table bearing blushing tenderloin wrapped in an impossibly flaky crust — a thrilling throwback. Beef Wellington is a project, so executive chef Chris Pandel encourages you to work with store-bought puff pastry. The mushroom duxelles and creamed spinach pull double-duty: You’ll use them in the Wellington, but they should yield enough that you can also serve them on the side to round out the meal.
Beef Wellington with Mushroom Duxelles and Creamed Spinach Recipe
For the creamed spinach:
2 pounds (908 g) baby spinach
½ cup (1 stick/113 g) butter
4¼ cups (227 g) diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup (30 g) all-purpose flour
¾ cup (180 ml) white wine
¼ cup (60 ml) chicken stock
2½ cups (600 ml) whole milk
2½ cups (600 ml) heavy cream
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
For the mushroom duxelles:
¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
1 pound (455 g) finely minced button mushrooms
¾ cup (85 g) finely minced yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
¾ cup (180 ml) white wine
½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
1½ tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1½ teaspoons sherry vinegar
For the Beef Wellington:
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 center-cut (10-ounce/284 g) filet mignons
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons (57 g) mushroom duxelles (see above)
3 tablespoons (57 g) creamed spinach (see above)
2 sheets store-bought puff pastry, cut into two 7-inch (17 cm) circles (poke a small hole in the center of the larger circles to allow for venting) and two 4-inch (10 cm) circles
2 eggs, beaten with 2 tablespoons heavy cream, for the egg wash
Step 1: To make the creamed spinach, bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare a bowl of ice and water. Add the spinach to the boiling water, leave it for 10 seconds to wilt, then transfer to the ice water. Place the spinach in a colander with a weighted bowl atop to press out any water and reserve.
Step 2: Melt the butter in a straight-sided pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened without any color, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and whisk thoroughly. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until no dry flour or lumps remain. Add the white wine and chicken stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 30 to 45 minutes. Add the milk and cream, then cook, stirring constantly to prevent scorching at the bottom, until the liquid has reduced by a third, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper, and Tabasco.
Step 3: Using either a stand blender or an immersion hand blender, blend the sauce for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add a pinch of salt, if needed.
Step 4: Chill the sauce completely in a wide pan or bowl in the fridge (before mixing with the spinach to prevent any browning of the greens). Wring out any additional moisture from the reserved spinach.
Step 5: Mix the spinach with half of the sauce to start, adding more, if needed, to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. You can make the spinach up to a day ahead. You’ll use 3 tablespoons (57 g) for the Wellington assembly and serve the rest as a side.
Step 6: To make the mushrooms duxelles, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the mushrooms and sear for 3 to 5 minutes (do not touch during this time). Stir in the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cream, salt, and pepper, and still over medium-high heat and stirring occasionally, bring to a simmer. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vinegar.
Step 7: Spread the duxelles on a sheet pan and chill completely in the fridge until ready to serve. You can make the duxelles up to a day ahead. You’ll use 3 tablespoons (57 g) for the Wellington assembly and serve the rest as a side.
Step 8: To make the Wellingtons, place a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the oil and heat until it is just beginning to smoke, then add the filets and sear for 3 minutes on each side, or until both sides are deeply browned. Remove the filets from the pan, rub them with the mustard, and cool completely.
Step 9: Place the filets on a cutting board and top them with the creamed spinach and then the mushroom duxelles. You should now have a filet on the bottom, creamed spinach in the middle, and mushroom duxelles on top.
Step 10: For each Wellington, place the topped filets in the center of the 4-inch (10 cm) puff pastry circle. Gently drape the 7-inch (17 cm) puff pastry circle over the filet, pressing the top layer of pastry into the smaller base to seal along the edges of the filet. Trim any excess puff pastry and discard.
Step 11: Using a pastry brush, gently brush the egg wash all over the outside of the puff pastry. Do not wash the bottom.
Step 12: Transfer the assembled beef Wellingtons onto a parchment paper–lined sheet pan and store in the fridge until ready to serve, up to 3 hours ahead, or proceed to cooking.
Step 13: To cook, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
Step 14: Bake the beef Wellington for 25 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden brown and the beef is warmed all the way through. Insert an instant-read thermometer and check for desired doneness (135°F to 145°F/55°C to 60°C for medium-rare to medium, respectively), accounting for 5°F (3°C) temperature variance, because the Wellington needs to rest and will continue to cook outside the oven. Allow the Wellingtons to rest for 10 minutes before serving. While the Wellingtons rest, warm the remaining creamed spinach and mushrooms, taste, and season with salt if needed.
Step 15: Serve the Wellingtons with the creamed spinach and mushrooms on the side.
NOTES: The restaurant’s Wellingtons include foie gras, which you could do at home by seasoning some with salt and pepper and quickly searing it on one side for about 90 seconds. Remove the foie gras from the pan, cool completely in the refrigerator, then add it on top of the mushroom duxelles as the final layer before wrapping the filets.
Recipe tested by Louiie Victa
Adapted from EATER: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes by Hillary Dixler Canavan. Text and illustrations copyright © Vox Media, LLC. Text by Hillary Dixler Canavan and illustrations by Alice Oehr. Photography copyright © 2023 by Laura Murray. Published by Abrams.