Pork Wellington With Red Wine Cranberry Sauce, The New Holy Grail For Thanksgiving
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Pork Wellington With Red Wine Cranberry Sauce, The New Holy Grail For Thanksgiving

A replacement to the standard Thanksgiving turkey.

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Pork Wellington With Red Wine Cranberry Sauce, The New Holy Grail For Thanksgiving
Peter Truong (Me)

Why does turkey always have to be the main course for Thanksgiving? We do not even know if turkey was really served in the first Thanksgiving. If you are like me and tired of eating turkey for Thanksgiving, the pork wellington can be an option to think about. Not only is it less time consuming, but it has a burst of unique flavors. Think about it, the crispy and flaky puff pastry, the earthy taste of the duxelles, that saltiness from the prosciutto, and finally the magnificent juicy pork fillet that has a bold sweetness from the honey Dijon mustard. To top it off with the Thanksgiving theme, that fragrant creamy cranberry sauce makes this dish delightful. To give credit where credit is due, I was inspired by some techniques from Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck, and Melissa Clark.

Ingredients:

Duxelles:

- 3 Portobello mushrooms

- 2 sprigs of thyme

- 2 cloves of garlic

- 1/4 pinch of kosher salt

- 1/4 pinch of black pepper

Wellington:

- 1 lb of pork tenderloin (center-cut)

- Honey Dijon mustard

- 4 slices of prosciutto

- 2 crepes

- 1 sheet of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry

- 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil

- Kosher salt

- Black pepper

- 2 egg yolks

- 3 sprigs of thyme

Sauce:

- 1 cup of red wine

- 5 cups of fresh cranberry

- 1/2 cup of Savory Choice Beef Demi-Glace

- 1 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar

- 2 tablespoons of raw or decrystalized honey

- Black pepper

Kitchenware:

- Cast iron skillet (or a regular skillet)

- Food processor

- Knives for cutting

- Measuring cups

- Whisk

- Tongs

- Rolling pin

- Cooking brush

- Cutting board

- Bowls

- Cling film

- Tinfoil or grease resistant paper

- Baking sheet/tray

Duration:

Less than two hours

Step One: Prep

The first thing to do is make sure your meat and eggs are at room temperature. Allowing these two things to be room temperature allows everything to cook well and evenly.

Make sure you clean the Portobello mushrooms. Wash it with cold water, not warm or hot water. Additionally, make sure you remove the stem from the mushrooms. Once that is done, dice the mushrooms.

If the ends of the pork tenderloin have "tails," remove them so that both ends look circular. This allows the shape to look more beautiful and even. Furthermore, season the pork tenderloin with kosher salt and black pepper everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Do not use too much salt though, you do not want it to taste super salty. Unless you like it that way, then go for it, but just know I tried to warn you about high blood pressure.

If you are using raw honey, decrystalize the honey. If you do not know how to do that, click on this.

Step Two: Make the duxelles

Put the diced mushrooms in a food processor as well as two cloves of garlic. Sprinkle a quarter of kosher salt and pepper. The salt is going to help remove moisture from the mushrooms. As soon as it is fully blitzed, take a skillet and crank it up to high heat. You can add oil as the oil will be retained, but the goal is to remove the moisture from the mushrooms. Once the skillet is heated up, put the blitzed mushrooms into the pan. You will notice that water will start coming out, you want that. Removing the moisture is a crucial step in making this wellington due to the fact that we do not want a soggy mess of a wellington. Make sure you stir it occasionally in order to prevent the mushrooms from sticking onto the pan. The water will evaporate and this step should take about ten minutes. Once the water evaporates and the mushrooms are cooked, put it in a bowl and set it aside to cool down.

Optional: Set the skillet aside and use it to sear the meat.

Step Three: Sear The Meat

Take another skillet, or use the same skillet, and pour grapeseed oil onto the skillet. Turn it up to high heat. The reason why I am using grapeseed oil is that it has a higher smoke point than olive oil, giving you a nice colorful sear. Once it is in high heat, place the pork tenderloin onto the skillet. You sear each side for sixty seconds or until one side has a good seared color. A seared color is brown and has a nice crust. Make sure you roll it away from you, otherwise the oil can splash onto you. Searing is important because you want to lock in the juices of the meat, but also give it a nice look. If you do not sear the meat, the meat will look extremely hideous and the juices will not lock ineffectively. Additionally, do not forget about the ends of the pork tenderloin. Sear the ends as well. Once completed, set the skillet aside because you will need the same skillet for the sauce. Grab the honey Dijon mustard as well as the cooking brush for we begin brushing the pork tenderloin. Brush the honey Dijon mustard all over the pork tenderloin. You have to brush it when the meat is nice and hot. It helps the meat to absorb the honey Dijon mustard efficiently. Finally, let it rest. Do not poke it with anything. Let it rest and marinate for twenty minutes.

Step Four: Make The Sauce

Take the same skillet you cooked with the pork tenderloin and turn it to medium-high heat. You need to make sure the skillet is hot because we need to deglaze the pan. Deglazing simply takes all the residue from the pan or skillet and helps boost the flavor to make a sauce. To deglaze, use the cup of red wine and gently pour it on the skillet. Then, add the cranberries into the wine. Give it about fifteen seconds and then reduce it to medium heat. Add the demi-glace in and whisk. Take the dark brown sugar, honey, black pepper, and whisk again. Let the cranberries plump up and make sure the sauce stays in a thick consistency by lowering the heat to low. Allow it to simmer for twenty-five minutes. Once it reaches twenty-five minutes, set it aside, and let it cool down.

Step Five: Assemble Part One

Take some cling film and lay it on a cutting board or a clean surface. Have it long enough so you can wrap the first part of the wellington. Take two crepes and make sure it aligns well with the shape of the pork tenderloin. If there is excess, cut off any excess. Lay it vertically. Add the four prosciutto slices on top of the crepe. Afterward, take the leftover juices from the pork tenderloin and pour it on the duxelles, and mix. Take the duxelles and spread it evenly around the prosciutto. Do not season it with salt and pepper. Pepper can be fine, but it can get extremely salty. Finally, take the pork tenderloin and place it on the bottom of the layer of the prosciutto duxelles crepe layer. Take the cling film from the bottom and gently roll it to a "burrito" form. Once the back end is towards the front, tuck in the back end and roll it. Additionally, make sure you start twisting the side ends to make it into a tight roll. Lastly, do not unwrap the roll, but let it sit in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes (half an hour). You can also put it in the freezer for ten minutes. What that is going to do is it allows all the unique flavors to get to know each other and become best friends forever. Not only that, but it also prevents the pork tenderloin from being accidentally overcooked when putting it in the oven. Think about it, when it is colder, it is going to take a bit longer for the meat to interact with the heat.

Step Six: Preheat Oven

Preheat a non-convection oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are using a convection oven, preheat for 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step Seven: Assemble Part Two

Just like the previous step, take some cling film and lay it on a cutting board or a clean surface once again. Again, have it long enough so you can wrap the roll and the puff pastry. The next step is requiring you to take a sheet of puff pastry and lay it vertically. Take a rolling pin and roll it on the puff pastry so that it is somewhat thin. Take out your assembled roll from the refrigerator or freezer. Just before you unwrap the roll, use it, horizontally, to measure how much excess of puff pastry there is from the sides (left to right). If there is excess, trim it off. Once trimmed off, do not throw any excess away. You can if you want, but you can use the excess puff pastry to decorate the wellington by either putting your initials or words of your choice on it. Or, you can make puff pastry appetizers like a puff pastry dumpling. Unwrap the cling film from the roll and place the roll horizontally on the bottom layer of the puff pastry, just like the previous step when you wrapped the crepe, prosciutto, duxelles, and pork tenderloin. Before rolling the puff pastry, take the two egg yolks and brush the puff pastry all around. Do not use the entire egg yolks because you will need some of that for the next step after rolling. The egg yolks work as glue in order for the puff pastry to stick. Same as the "Assemble Part One" step, take the cling film from the bottom and gently roll again. Once the back end is towards the front, tuck in the back end and roll it. Same as before, twist the side ends and turn it in to make it into a tight roll. Once twisted, cut off the side ends. The next step is completely up to you. You can set it in the fridge for five minutes to let it firm or you can pop it in the oven, up to you. I found that setting it in the fridge for five minutes really helps the wellington to firm up more and allows everything to stick.

Step Eight: Decorate, Garnish, and Bake

If you did the optional step, setting the wellington in the fridge, take it out. Once it is out of the refrigerator, take your egg yolks and brush it literally everywhere, including the sides. Do not miss a spot. This purpose is to allow the wellington to have that nice golden brown color. Without it, it does not have that beautiful wonderful golden brown color. Once completed, you can start decorating the wellington with excess puff pastry or score it with a knife. If you are scoring it with a knife, do not use the front, use the back of the knife. Do not go too deep as you can accidentally puncture the wellington. If you are using excess puff pastry, make sure you brush the wellington again with egg yolk. As soon as you designed your beautiful creation, garnish with a tiny pinch of kosher salt. To top it off, add three sprigs of thyme and gently place them on top of the wellington. As soon as you have finished with all of that, take a baking sheet/tray and place tin foil or grease-resistant paper on top of the baking sheet/tray. Set your wellington on top of the tin foil or grease-resistant paper and bake it for eighteen to twenty-five minutes range at the center of the oven. Not on top, not on the bottom, the center. Put it on top, you burn the wellington. Put it on the bottom, it does not cook as well. It has got to have that wonderful golden brown color.

Step Nine: Let It Rest

Carefully, remove the pork wellington out of the oven and gently remove the wellington from the tin foil or grease-resistant paper. Place it on your cutting board, BUT, let it rest for five minutes. I have mentioned in one of my previous articles about the importance of resting your meats. If you cut it right away, you lose all the wonderful juices it has. Let it fully rest and just look at the wonderful creation that you just made. Be proud that you created such a mouthwatering masterpiece.

Step Ten: Serve and Enjoy

Once it is fully rested, you can start slicing. Slice from left to right or right to left. Put a slice of the pork wellington on a plate and put as much of the cranberry sauce as you would like. Now just enjoy that wonderful pork wellington. You have the juiciness from the pork tenderloin, the saltiness from the prosciutto, but balanced out with the sweetness from the honey Dijon mustard, and the wonderful flaky puff pastry. To top it off, there is the additional aromatic sweet taste from the cranberry sauce giving it that wonderful Thanksgiving vibe.

If you liked my recipe or have any questions, feel free to contact me. My food Instagram is @petertruongfood.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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