This past Christmas, I cooked a delicious Venison Wellington that I can’t wait to make again! It was the first Christmas I cooked the entire dinner myself and I knew I wanted to make something special. I had backstrap still in my freezer from the doe I shot the year before, just waiting for the “right” recipe to use it.
Well fast-forward to a few years later and here is my moment to finally make that prized dish.
Here’s the recipe that I got my inspiration from, Beef Wellington – AllRecipes. I know pâté is a key ingredient in Beef Wellington, but I didn’t really want to use that. So I found a recipe without it.
Like all best-laid plans, I ran into problems. Read the grey box below for the story, it renewed my belief in the Christmas spirit. If you’re just hungry and want to see pictures galore of how I made this delicious Venison Wellington, skip to the bottom of the grey box!
I shopped for the ingredients on December 23rd. Stores were packed full of last minute shoppers, like me, getting what they needed for Christmas dinner. I was down to my last ingredient—puff pastry—and made my way to the freezer aisle. I saw puff pastry rounds and looked at the wide, empty space next to them to see no puff pastry sheets left.
Another woman with a full cart was standing near it. “Puff pastry?” she asked in a somewhat sympathetic tone.
I said, “Yes, is that what you’re looking for too?”
She replied, “Yes, what are you making, Beef Wellington?”
I sadly said, “Yes…” realizing the main ingredient was now nowhere to be found.
She replied, “Me too….”
“What do we do? Can we use these little rounds and make them into a sheet?” I asked.
At that moment, another man came by with his full cart and realized our predicament. He explained no, we shouldn’t use the round puff pastries because it would be incredibly hard to even get two of them together.
A conversation started of possible substitutes: pie crust, crescent rolls, filo dough? Pros and cons were discussed for each. Eventually I remembered coming past a recipe that used crescent rolls. I searched Google for puff pastry substitutes and crescent rolls came up.
That was the answer… crescent rolls. Together, the woman and I made our way to the section with crescent rolls. We laughed about both making the same thing for the first time and both now missing the key ingredient. We were happy to not be in this alone figuring out what to do.
We found the rolls, original or butter flake? The questions of what to do seemed endless. We both agreed butter flake sounded better and loaded up on cans. We had no idea how many we’d need, I grabbed two since I was only making a couple and she grabbed 6 for hers.
We walked toward the check out lines and wished each other the best with making the Wellington and a Merry Christmas. It was a funny and random interaction that restored some of my faith in people during the holidays. Usually the store is the last place you’d want to be, with people too busy to get out of their own worlds.
But three strangers came together to fix a problem, and quite frankly, save Christmas dinner.
Ok, you came to this post for a recipe, here it is!
Start with whatever cut of venison you’d like to use. I used the backstrap, seasoned with a little salt and pepper.
Once your steak has a nice sear, take it off the heat and let it cool.
Next, chop your mushrooms, onion, and parsley.
The recipe I followed said sliced mushrooms. Definitely dice them to a similar size as the onion. You’ll see below I had to do that later to get it to be more like a paste.
Once everything is cooked down, remove from the heat. If you’ve diced your mushrooms, yours should resemble more a paste.
Lay out your crescent roll dough (hopefully puff pastry if you shopped ahead, unlike me) and place the steak on top. Make sure your steak has cooled before this step. Add your mushroom, onion, and parsley mixture on top.
Fold the dough around your steak and make sure all the edges are sealed. If you’re excited like I was at this point to actually have it together, you can proudly say, “A little baby Wellington!” in a British accent. Or not, however you like to cook, I was definitely trying to channel Gordon Ramsay through this whole process, ha!
Next, brush an egg wash over the top of the dough. Beat an egg with a little water and you’ve got an egg wash.
It’s ready for the oven! Since I had crescent rolls and not puff pastry, I decided to preheat my oven to 375 degrees. If you’re using the puff pastry, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Place your baking sheet in the oven and let it cook. This is where I really started winging the recipe, I cooked mine for 25 minutes and then checked the temperature. The most important part of this recipe is to definitely use a meat thermometer. There’s really no way to know what’s going on inside of your dough.
I love a medium-rare steak, so I took the steaks out of the oven when the internal temperature was 125 degrees. It will continue cooking a little bit as you let it rest outside of the oven.
Violà! A Venison Wellington, right out of the oven.
If you’ll notice, I cooked it on wire racks. All the recipes I read advised this so it didn’t get mushy on the bottom. However, use better wire racks than me. The dough on mine cooked between the racks. This is when the crescent dough was not the greatest choice.
Since this meal isn’t leaving my mind, I’ll definitely be trying it again, but with puff pastry! I’ll update this post once I cook that and let you all know how it turns out.
Have you cooked a Venison or Beef Wellington? How did yours turn out? Any crazy Christmas dinner stories from this year? Share in the comments below! And let me know if you try this dish!