I’ve watched a lot of Hell’s Kitchen on TV. That means I’ve watched a lot of Chef Gordon Ramsay yelling and cussing out many wannabe chefs due to their culinary failures. It also means that I’ve seen Beef Wellington served and prepared an absurd number of times in one setting. Aside from the fact that it looks delicious, I’ve always been afraid to try making it because of how many times people on Hell’s Kitchen screw it up.
A friend of mine somewhat recently made Beef Wellington using a recipe from Serious Eats. He tweaked it a bit, but reported that it was one of the best things he ever made. He then told me that he got a really nice cut of beef tenderloin. When I asked how much the tenderloin cost and he told me, I asked again because I couldn’t believe how expensive it was! I’m sure the recipe tastes amazing and that Beef Wellington very well may be worth it, but the price tag definitely makes you think twice about having it as an everyday meal.
Keeping in mind that my friend testified that a Beef Wellington was easy to make and the price tag of his endeavor, I decided to try something a little different. I thought that I could probably make a Wellington using a pork tenderloin instead of a beef tenderloin and that would accomplish two things. First, I could get in some Wellington practice and second, I could get in that practice without ruining a very expensive piece of meat!
After doing a little bit of research, I found a good estimate for a cooking time and that apparently almost everyone wraps their Pork Wellingtons in prosciutto. Normally, I would like to try something different, but why on Earth would I say no to prosciutto? I also wanted to stuff the Wellington so that it wasn’t just pork on pork resulting in a high class pig in a blanket. I may not have been the first to use greens and Boursin cheese to stuff a pork tenderloin, but I am pretty pleased that I came up with it on my own.
The result surprised me because it turned out amazingly well and I know that I will make this again soon!
Disclaimer: Just a note about the recipe below. I originally bought the smallest tenderloin I could find and it was 2 pounds. As it turns out, I actually ended up buying two 1-pound tenderloins stuffed into one package. Some of the pictures below have two tenderloins in them, but that’s only because I decided to make two with what I had. The measurements below are for one Pork Wellington though, so if you’re making two then double everything.
Makes about 8 full servings (not counting the end pieces) of about 290 calories each.
That’s an estimate considering that you don’t really use the end pieces of extra pastry after cutting them off.
- 1 pound of pork tenderloin (about 130-150 cal. per 4 oz. or 520-600 cal.)
- 16 or 17 oz. (1 pound) or 1 box (2 sheets) of puff pastry (about 160 cal. per 1/6 sheet or 1920 cal. total)
Note: I used both sheets in one box, but if you can manage to use one sheet, then I urge you to try that to cut out 960 calories!
- 2 packed cups of leafy greens like spinach, kale, bok choy, or a mix of leafy greens (about 15 cal)
- 1.63 oz. (a quarter of a tub) of light garlic and herb Boursin or Alouette cheese (about 90 cal.)
- 3 oz. sliced prosciutto (about 60 cal.)
- Cutting board
- Parchment paper
- Large baking tray
- Large frying pan
- Medium bowl and small bowl
- Wooden spoon and regular spoon
- Pastry brush
- Large serrated knife and a filet knife
- Follow the thawing directions on the puff pastry box and make sure the pastry is thawed before you start.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place two cups of packed leafy greens into a large non-stick pan set on medium heat.
- Wilt the greens by stirring them occasionally until they are soft, but not burned or browned.
- Remove the greens into a bowl and then let them cool a bit.
- On a cutting board, trim the excess fat off of the tenderloin (go ahead and remove the silverskin if you want, but don’t waste a lot of time with it).
- Then cut a slit into the tenderloin right down the middle. Don’t cut all the way to the other side. Just cut enough to create a shallow groove.
- In the bowl with the warm greens, add the Boursin cheese, and mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- Next, use a spoon or even your hands to start stuffing the butterflied pork tenderloin with the greens and cheese mixture.
- After stuffing the tenderloins, lay out the prosciutto slices on a flat surface so that they overlap slightly on the edges. Then place the stuffed tenderloin at one end and roll the whole thing up in prosciutto (I don’t know about you, but I never get tired of reading the phrase: “roll it up in prosciutto.”)
- Once rolled in prosciutto (Yes!), heat a large, non-stick frying pan to medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, carefully add the tenderloin to the pan and sear it all over. About 1 or 2 minutes a side. The tenderloin might shrink a bit as well as the prosciutto, so you might start seeing some of the stuffing pop out, but don’t worry. Just keep searing while carefully turning the tenderloin.
- Remove the tenderloin from the heat and carefully set it aside.
- Roll out the puff pastry sheets onto a large piece of parchment paper over a baking sheet and then place the tenderloin at one edge of the pastry and roll it up. Start by rolling it length-wise and then folding over any excess pastry at either end after you are done rolling. Try and make sure that all of the seams are on the bottom. One more tip is to make sure that you don’t put too much pressure on the pastry in general or it won’t puff up, so only press down on the seams to create a good seal.
- In a small bowl, crack an egg and whisk it thoroughly with a fork to create an egg wash.
- Using a pastry brush, liberally cover the puff pastry that wraps the pork tenderloin.
- Place the Wellington into the oven on the lower third or lower middle rack and bake for 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes (or when the Wellington looks beautifully browned), open the oven, take out the Wellington and check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer by poking it through the top center. If the temperature is between 150 and 165 degrees F, then it’s done.
- Let the Wellington sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing using a long, sharp, serrated knife. Don’t press down too hard with the knife, but instead let the weight of your hand apply the pressure as you carefully saw through the wellington to make a perfect cut. Practice on the ends first, which will usually just be pieces of puff pastry that you should cut off anyway.
- Plate and serve immediately with your favorite side dish(es). I served my pork Wellington with oven-roasted, seasoned green beans and sliced almonds (in fact I cooked the green beans a the same time as the Wellington).