From the classic Beef Wellington, a Pork Wellington is a wonderfully delicious replacement. It can be made in an elegant presentation for holidays and special occasions. Your family and guests will be impressed; and more importantly, they’ll enjoy the delicious flavors. I love to complement its flavors with a side of fried apples which I’ll be posting as my very next recipe. Stay tuned.
In my version for a Pork Wellington, I use pork tenderloin, a healthy layer of Italian flat-leaf parsley and thyme over a layer of sliced prosciuttos. A store-bought puff pastry is purchased to remove the stress of making one, as well as making it easier to prepare. (Other versions of a Pork Wellington will use spinach or reduced crimini mushrooms.)
While the steps to make a Pork Wellington are rather long, parts of it can be made a day ahead of time and then completed a couple of hours before serving. It’s really quite easy. The pork tenderloin is well seasoned with salt pepper. Chop a bunch of Italian flat-leaf parsley and mix in thyme. Spread the parsley mix over layers of prosciuttos. Then roll this with the pork tenderloin. (This part can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.) Lay the roll of pork tenderloin and prosciuttos on the edge of the puff pastry and create another roll. Score the pastry, brush on an egg wash and bake. Here are images of some of the key steps:
2 large bunches of Italian flat-leaf parsley, rinsed and spin (or pat) dried
1/4 ounce fresh Thyme leaves
2-1/2 pound pork tenderloin, about 12” long, evenly shaped, rinsed and pat dried.
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil or any oil that has a high heat emission
10 thin slices prosciutto
1 - 9”x14” puff pastry dough, rolled out for smoothness
Egg wash (1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water)
Preheat oven 425 degrees F
Roughly chop parsley and mix in thyme leaves. Set aside.
Heavily season pork tenderloin with salt and pepper (Use less salt according to your taste.)
In a large saucepan, bring oil to high heat.
Sear pork tenderloin on all sides in the hot oil. Remove the tenderloin to a cooling rack, allowing juices to fall to a plate and the tenderloin to cool.
On a sheet of clear wrap that is at least 16” long, place slices of prosciutto on top of each other in the manner of a fan with about 1” between the tops of each slice.
Evenly spread the parsley and thyme mixture over the prosciutto.
Roll the cooled pork tenderloin in the prosciutto and parsley. Do this by placing the tenderloin lengthwise at the edge of the prosciuttos (Not with the long side of the prosciutto). With a hand at each end, pull up the clear wrap lifting the prosciutto so that it comes up and over the pork tenderloin as you roll it. Keep the rolling process very tight. Twist the ends and place them under the roll. Cool the rolled pork in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes. (Remember, at this step you can make the Pork Wellington up to a day ahead.)
While the pork tenderloin cools, gingerly roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface. Add a little flour on the rolling pin. Be sure to retain the 9” x 14” size. This step is just to make sure that the puff pastry is smooth on its surfaces.
Remove the pork tenderloin from the refrigerator and unwrap. Place the roll across the edge of the pastry, placing it along the pastry length. Lifting the pastry at each end and at the center, roll it along with the pork. Fold the ends under the roll.
With a sharp knife, score the top of the puff pastry crosswise. Then score at an angle to form a diamond shape.
With a bush, coat the top and sides of the roll with the egg wash. Place on a shallow baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until internal temperature is 145 degrees F. Allow the Pork Wellington to rest for about three minutes before serving.
It may be necessary to cut the end(s) of the pork tenderloin to make it evenly shaped. If it is not evenly shaped, this could result in the tenderloin not cooking evenly, such as the ends are done but not the center.
I confess that I didn’t try this but will next time I do: After baking, rest the Pork Tenderloin on a cooling rack or rest it on the parchment paper. This will absorb any juices. Otherwise, the juices will soak into the puff pastry and may make the bottom a bit soggy.
The instructions for the puff pastry may suggest you should only lay it out. But packaged pastry is often wrinkled and can ruin your presentation.
I find that the flavor of the parsley is more pronounced when eating the Pork Tenderloin as a leftover. If you love parsley, like I do, you’ll enjoy the leftovers even more.