Beef Wellington Bites are the ultimate holiday appetizer. They’re special and festive while also packing a major punch of flavor. They’re also a great way to enjoy an expensive cut of beef without breaking the bank.
We set out to create a festive and tasty beef appetizer resemblant of a full-sized beef wellington. To achieve a tender cook on the small beef bites and a crispy golden pastry, we found we needed to slow the rate of cooking of the beef a bit. To do this, we cut the beef into bite-sized pieces and freeze them before wrapping in pastry and baking.
Additionally, we found the bites needed something creamy, so we dropped the prosciutto layer in favor of a simple yet stunning cheese filling made with Boursin and Dijon.
Test Kitchen Tips
- You can assemble and freeze these bites ahead of time, but doing so means you’ll need a longer bake time to get the pastry golden. This longer bake time will cause the beef to be over-cooked. It’ll still be tender and delicious, but there won’t be any pink in the center.
- To avoid the over-cooked situation, you can move your focus to prepping the components ahead of time. The duxelle and cheese mixture can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. And the puff pastry can be thawed and stored in the refrigerator for a week.
- Once you have the bites assembled, we recommend working fairly quickly to avoid the steak from thawing.
Try to get your hands on a center-cut filet. Each filet will be about 8 ounces, so you should only need one.
Dry Red Wine
Use whatever wine you have on hand and like! You only need 3 tablespoons, so make sure you buy a bottle you’re going to want to drink! Alternatively, you can grab a small airplane-sized bottle if you don’t want to open a full-sized bottle.
Boursin offers a couple of different flavor varieties. For this recipe you’ll want to seek out Garlic and Fine Herbs.
Find puff pastry in the freezer section near the frozen pie shells, phyllo dough and whipped topping. You’ll need one box containing two sheets of pastry.
You can assemble and freeze these bites ahead of time, but doing so means you’ll need a longer bake time to get the pastry golden. This longer bake time will cause the beef to be over-cooked. It’ll still be tender and delicious, but there won’t be any pink in the center.
If you can’t find beef tenderloin, or don’t want to spend the money on it, you can use strip steak. It won’t be quite as tender, but it will work.
We don’t recommend using a different type of mushroom. Cremini mushrooms (baby portobellos) are firm and meaty, and don’t contain too much extra liquid.
Any stuffed pastry recipe is tricky—you’ve got to achieve a crispy golden crust and perfectly cooked interior. Beef wellington is notoriously finicky, but these bites take the intimidation out of it!
Whether you’re making a full-sized beef wellington, individual beef wellingtons or beef wellington bites, beef tenderloin (aka filet mignon) is the best cut. It’s tender, flavorful and absolutely stunning.
Since these bites are meant to be hors d’oeuvre, or served as an appetizer, we recommend serving them with other light apps like our Mushroom Crostini, Spiced Nuts, and Marinated Olives and Cheese.
If you’re making beef wellington as a main dish, we recommend serving it with our Apple Walnut Salad or Simple Butter Lettuce. We also love our Simple Fennel Salad with beef wellington.
Absolutely! Our Pan-Seared Filet Mignon with creamy steak sauce is a true show-stopping dinner. It’s a perfect steak dinner for two or small dinner-in with friends and family.
Mini Beef Wellington Bites
- ½ pound center-cut beef tenderloin
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 12 ounces cremini mushrooms
- 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons dry red wine
- 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh sage
- 5 ounces herb boursin, softened
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 large egg
- Cream, half-and-half or milk
- Cut beef into 1 inch cubes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt, then arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet; freeze until solid, at least 1 hour
- Heat butter in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-low.
- For the duxelle, pulse shallot and garlic in a mini food processor until finely minced, about 30 seconds, scraping down slides of bowl as needed. Transfer to skillet with butter and cook over medium low, stirring frequently, until shallots have softened, about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add half of mushrooms to food processor and pulse until finely minced, about 15 one-second pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Transfer to skillet; repeat with remaining mushrooms.
- Add remaining minced mushrooms, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper to skillet with shallots and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until moisture has evaporated and mushrooms are softened and barely starting to brown, 17–20 minutes. Add red wine and cook, stirring frequently, until moisture has evaporated off, about 2 minutes. Off heat, stir in sage. Transfer duxelle to a bowl and let cool.
- Mix together Boursin and Dijon.
- Heat oven to 425ºF with rack set in middle position.
- Unfold pastry, cut each pastry square into three (9½✕3-inch) strips, along existing seems.
- Working with one strip at a time, use a rolling pin to roll out to a 15✕3-inch strip.
- Cut into 5 (3X3-inch) squares.
- Repeat rolling and cutting with remaining strips.
- Scoop 1 teaspoon duxelle onto bottom third of each pastry square, leaving ¼ inch border at bottom. Scoop ½ teaspoon cheese mixture onto pastry, just above duxelle. (Reserve any remaining cheese mixture for serving.)
- Place 1 piece frozen beef in between duxelle and cheese mixture.
- For the egg wash, beat egg and 1 teaspoon water.
- Brush egg wash around left side, right side, and top edge. Fold pastry over filling, toward you, like a book.
- Press to seal then using a fork, crimp edges. Trim off any excess dough.
- Brush bites with egg wash and bake until puffed and golden brown, 10–12 minutes.
- Whisk cream, half-and-half or milk by tablespoon into reserved cheese mixture until desired consistency is met. Serve alongside wellington bites as a dipping sauce.
This post is written and created in partnership with the Iowa Beef Council. As always the thoughts, opinions, recipe, photos and content are all my own.