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Beef Filet En Croute with Green Beans and Walnuts

Source: Beef for All Seasons
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Active Time:  40 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour 5 Minutes
  Serves 4
This elegant entree makes a fine way to bring in the New Year and it is surprisingly simple to prepare. It can be prepared several hours in advance but should be served immediately after baking. The whole beef filet could be covered by the puff pastry to form one long roll, like Beef Wellington, but the individual packages called for here make an attractive and simple alternative presentation.
For Cabernet Reduction:
1 bottle cabernet sauvignon wine
For Beef:
4 filet mignons, about 6 ounces each, completely trimmed, 1 1/4 inches thick, choice grade
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions, sliced
3 tablespoons beef stock, or water
1 1/2 teaspoons minced thyme
6 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 sheet puff pastry, 9 inches square (thawed if using frozen)
2 eggs, beaten
For Green Beans and Walnuts:
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 lemon
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
Beef Filet En Croute with Green Beans and Walnuts Recipe at
TO PREPARE CABERNET REDUCTION: Pour the wine into a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until 1/2 cup remains and the consistency is syrupy.

TO PREPARE BEEF: Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a nonstick pan set over medium heat and sear the filets on all sides, about 1 minute per side, or until browned. Remove the filets and any juices they have released and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and saute the onions for about 5 minutes or until light golden brown. Turn down the heat to medium-low, add the beef stock and any reserved beef juices, and continue to cook until the onions have cooked all the way through and are moist but not wet, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let the onions cool completely. Crumble the goat cheese into the onions and mix gently with a fork to incorporate.

Roll out the puff pastry until it measures 14 inches square and then cut into four 7-inch squares (the squares should be large enough to fold around the fillets). Brush the edges of the puff pastry with the beaten egg and place 3 tablespoons of the onion-goat cheese mixture in the center of each square, spreading it out with the back of a spoon. Place the beef filets on top of the mixture and spoon the remaining onion mixture on top of the filets and around the sides. To finish, bring up the 4 corners, and tightly enclose the puff pastry by closing the sides over and using more beaten egg to seal. (Don't worry too much about how this looks as the joined edges will be on the bottom o the puff pastry package when serving.) Turn over the puff pastry and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Let rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. When ready to bake, remove the packages from the refrigerator and brush the surface with the beaten egg. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes for medium-rare, 25 minutes for medium, or until the pastry is golden brown. (If the pastry gets browned too quickly, cover with foil and continue to bake.)

TO PREPARE THE GREEN BEANS AND WALNUTS: About 15 minutes before you are ready to serve, prepare the green beans. Blanch the beans in a saucepan of salted boiling water to cover for about 5 minutes, until they turn bright green and are just tender; they should still have a bite to them. Drain the beans and lay out on paper towels to dry. Zest the lemon with a zester or vegetable grater and set aside. Juice the lemon. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add the blanched beans, and sauté for about 3 minutes, taking care not to overcook them. Add the lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Taste, and add more lemon juice if desired. Toss the walnuts with the green beans.

TO SERVE: Place the pastry-covered steaks in the center of warmed serving plates. Using tongs, arrange the green beans next to the pastry. Drizzle any remaining butter from the pan over the green beans. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the warmed Cabernet reduction next to the steaks.

WINE RECOMMENDATION: Ringing in the New Year with this recipe demands a powerful and elegant wine, such as a fine California Cabernet Sauvignon or a classified Red Bordeaux from France.

HELPFUL TIPS: Use small pastry cutters or a sharp knife to cut out decorative shapes from any extra puff pastry and attach to the top of the pastry with beaten egg before baking. Using frozen puff pastry is certainly easier than making puff pastry from scratch, but feel free to use homemade if you prefer. Typically, frozen puff pastry comes 2 sheets to a box, with each sheet measuring 9 inches square, as we have used here.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 4
Calories: 1219
Fat. Total: 74g
Fiber: 7g
Carbohydrates, Total: 52g
Sodium: 523mg
% Cal. from Fat: 55%
Cholesterol: 261mg
Protein: 58g
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