Anyone who watches cooking shows on a regular basis knows about the wonderful flavors that are a part of the beef wellington. It isn’t the easiest dish to make, which means famous chefs like Gordon Ramsay have made it their signature dish. It’s a stunning filet steak that is used as the foundation of the traditional recipe and the meat is then coated with some sort of paste. Goose liver is often used, but an herb compound butter, vegetables, or even a thickened brandy or wine would work. The meat is then wrapped in a puff pastry.
Is the Beef Wellington Named For a Famous Hero?
There are two theories about how the name of this iconic dish came about. The first is that it was named after the Duke of Wellington, who became famous for his stand against Napoleon. The other, which is less dramatic, says that this recipe was invented in order to provide a dinner party with something fresh and unique in Wellington, New Zealand.
The story about this dishes invention is that the Duke, to celebrate winning the Battle of Waterloo, created the dish because it resembled the boots that he loved so much. Meat is often baked in pastries, so the claim is plausible – even if the man was prime minister not once, but twice. For the first reliable references to the dish that is known today as Beef Wellington, however, it is necessary to go to a NYC restaurant guide that offers what we’d known as the traditional recipe.
There’s also a third theory that says the dish was born in Ireland, where the good Duke was born, but the reality is that Julia Child shot this dish into the stratosphere with her revolutionary cookbook about French cooking and it has stayed there sense.
Is There Any Way To Verify That Arthur Wellesley Invented the Dish?
There’s not. If you go through any number of cookbooks from the 19th century from the entire UK region, you’re only going to find some vague references at best to the dish that is enjoyed today by many. Some claim that the White House served Beef Wellington to the Kennedys and the Nixons from a traditional 19th century recipe, but there’s no verification of the claim. The earliest reference, in fact, comes from a 1903 mention from an LA newspaper, but even that Beef Wellington dish wasn’t close to the traditional recipe.
That means the invention of the Beef Wellington is likely a modern tradition that’s been given a wonderful backstory to create some patriotic nostalgia. Could it have been made centuries ago and enjoyed as a part of daily culture? There’s nothing to say that it wasn’t. All of the traditional stories about the first Duke of Wellington could be true. Or it could be a dish made up from a New York City restaurant that was given an English name in order for it to sell.
Either way, there’s no getting around the fact that this is one super tasty recipe. If you’ve never had a medium rare Beef Wellington, then you need to find somewhere that serves this dish to a high quality and try it today. You will be amazed at the flavor profile.
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