The fate of my Christmas dinner rests in your hands. Please help me make a successful Beef Wellington. Let me start by saying that I am much more of a fish cook than a meat cook, so I was hoping to get a recipe with very detailed instructions since tenderloin and pate are not cheap, and since we have company coming. I found Cook's Illustrated recipe from 2001. It looks fairly detailed, but couple of things about it concern me:
1) It recommends "dry-aging" tenderloin uncovered in the fridge for 48 hours. I didn't think you can dry-age beef like that. Don't they usually do it with huge chunks of beef for over a month and then cut off the crust that forms?
2) Does it make a difference if I use regular duck liver pate or foie gras? Foie gras is MUCH more expensive, so unless it makes a big difference, I'd like to stick to regular duck liver
3) The recipe suggests that I sear tenderloin on all sides and immediately wrap it in plastic and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Is it ok to wrap hot stuff in plastic wrap? Won't it melt? Why can't I wait until tenderloin is cool?
4) The recipe suggests that I assemble wellington 30 minutes before baking and chill. Can I assemble it more like 2 hours before baking? Should I chill it covered or uncovered. I'd like to have all the prep work done before my guests arrive.
Has anyone tried Cook's recipe? How was it? Any other recipe's I should consider?
Thanks so much for your help!