It’s official: the festive season has begun! Holiday parties, family gatherings, and all manner of get-togethers are already marked on our December calendar, a sure sign that you’ll need a few fresh recipes. Whether you’re a guest looking for a perfect offering or a host hoping to wow, you’ll enjoy these moreish mouthfuls to celebrate the season. You’ll find them and other tasty tips for entertaining in my newest cookbook Festive Flavors of Ireland. To order signed copies, visit irishcook.com.

MINI BEEF WELLINGTONS WITH HERB MAYONNAISE

Makes 24

Both easy and elegant, these mini beef Wellingtons are perfect holiday appetizers. Use top quality beef tenderloin for best results, and for more intense flavor, mix wild and mushrooms. Serve them with Herb Mayonnaise.

For the beef

2 pounds beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes

Salt

Ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the filling

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

10 ounces finely chopped white mushrooms

Ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

For the pastry

2 sheets frozen puff pastry

Dijon mustard, for spreading

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

For the herb mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Dash of Tabasco sauce

Salt

Ground black pepper

Steps:

     1. Make beef. Toss beef with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over high heat, heat oil. Working in batches, cook beef on all sides for 1 to 2 minutes, or until seared (do not overcook). Transfer beef to paper towel-lined plate to drain; cool to room temperature.

     2. Make filling. Return skillet to medium heat; heat oil. Add shallots; cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft but not browned. Add mushrooms; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Stir in pepper, parsley and thyme; cool to room temperature.

     3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper.

     4. Make pastry. Unfold pastry sheets; cut along fold lines into three strips. Cut each strip into four 3-inch squares; spread each square with mustard. Top with mushroom mixture; place a beef cube in center. Pull opposite corners of pastry into center; repeat to create a pouch. Pinch to seal. Transfer to prepared baking pans; brush with egg wash.

     5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden. Serve warm.

     6. Make herb mayonnaise. In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, chives, parsley, tarragon, lemon juice, Tabasco, salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate).

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Tags: Baking, Cooking, Desserts, Irish Kitchen, Irish cooking, Meals, Recipes

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