Arthur Wellesley was a formidable British military hero. Not only did he defeat Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, he was also crowned the 1st Duke of Wellington. Equally fascinating is that Wellesley inspired the much-loved dish Beef Wellington. Or did he?
See, the origins of Beef Wellington are murky at best. Indeed, it could have been named after the 1st Duke of Wellington – but it could also have been a patriotic rebranding of French specialty filet de boeuf en croute, or simply invented for a civic reception in Wellington, New Zealand. Regardless of the history of Beef Wellington, one thing is for sure: Gordon Ramsay loves, well, roasting aspiring chefs for their creations of this delicacy on Hell’s Kitchen.
Going by the amount of preparation that goes into making Beef Wellington, it’s easy to see the many ways it could go wrong. This traditional dish consists of a seared fillet steak smothered with rich and creamy pate de foie gras and duxelles (finely chopped mushrooms and herbs sautéed in butter and reduced to a paste), which is then wrapped in gradual layers of prosciutto, crepe and, finally, buttery puff pastry. Next, the parcel is popped into the oven and baked to golden perfection that is light and crispy on the outside, and tender and juicy in its medium-rare core.
Ramsay’s version of the roast features a heavier and richer puff pastry; pancetta instead of prosciutto; and an additional first coat of mustard around the steak to further enhance the final dish’s nuanced flavours. If you wish to try the fiery chef ’s Beef Wellington, go for it at his restaurant Bread Street Kitchen in London, Dubai, and Singapore. The outlet in Dubai also offers a vegetarian take on the dish, replacing the meat with quinoa.
A stickler for tradition? Then check out Rules, the oldest restaurant in London and JP French Restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, which serve up consistently tasty Beef Wellington, minus the frills and flounces.
Bread Street Kitchen
10 Bread St, London
+44 20 3030 4050
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 4 426 2000
2 Bayfront Avenue, #01-81 Bay Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
+65 6688 5665
35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London
+44 20 7836 5314
JP French Restaurant
59/1 Sukhumvit Soi 31, Bangkok, Thailand
+66 2 258 4247