The Return of Waterloo – Bringing Wellington Back to France

5 Oct

On Sunday the 18th of June 1818, Napoleon Bonaparte’s rule as emperor of France was put to an end by the combined forces of a Prussian army and the Seventh Coalition, an Anglo-Allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington.

Well, on Wednesday, the 28th of September 2011, the “offspring” of the Duke of Wellington was put to rest as three chefs in a Parisian kitchen devoured an entire Beef Wellington loaf. If you’re used to the small bite sized appetizer Beef Wellingtons I’ve had before at cocktail parties, then this wouldn’t be very impressive. However, the one we created and then well, demolished, was the size and weight of a new born baby.

To conceive this bundle of joy, we baked over a kilo of beef tenderloin in the oven for about 10 minutes with a simple seasoning of salt and pepper. While that was roasting away, we laid out puff pastry dough on a greased cookie sheet and once the tenderloin was slightly cooked, we placed it in the center of it’s blanket-to-be. We then slathered the beef in a generous layer of goose liver pâté as well as freshly made duxelle (as previously seen in post A Snowfall in Russia). We then wrapped up our package, decorated it with some leftover dough, and baked it for about 20 minutes until the puff pastry crust was golden brown. To accompany this rather rich dish, we made a simple Madera sauce (as previously seen in Getting Sauced at School).

For a somewhat lighter finish to our meal we made isle flotant, the traditional French dessert of whipped egg whites and orange caramel sauce. We filled half of a baking dish with our fluffy egg white and confectioners sugar meringue mix and placed on top of that layer a small amount of freshly made caramel and thinly sliced orange rind that had been brewing on the stove. We then filled the remainder of the dish and baked it in the oven for about 15 minutes.

We removed the now very puffy egg white mountain, let it deflate slightly, flipped it, and covered it with the rest of the caramel and orange rind mix.

A beautiful combination of sweet and bitter, this airy dessert was the perfect end to our rather indulgent main dish. But then again, we did have Napoleon on the mind, and I’m sure he ate his fair share of gluttonous feasts.

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