Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CSA member submitted recipes: Fakey Beef Wellington

I am constantly on the lookout for new and interesting ways to use ground beef. For one, I have several hundred pounds of it in the freezers at any given time so we eat a lot of the stuff. Each beef we harvest yields between 125 and 175 pounds of ground beef (depending on how the meat cuts are broken down) so our CSA members see quite a bit of hamburger in their shares (averaging 2.5 pounds of ground per 10lbs per month). Our grass finished ground beef is nice and lean so the rich, meaty flavor is not masked by a higher fat content. 

Nevertheless, even though the ground beef has such a wonderful flavor, after too many meals of the same old hamburgers, tacos and spaghetti, it is easy to become bored of the stuff.

When our friends Ian and Lauren visited this spring, Lauren brought recipes for her "ground beef greatest hits" - meals that push beyond the standard ground beef fare. The following recipe is not only easy and delicious but also inspiring to step outside of the normal, go-to ground beef recipes once in a while. 

Lauren's Individual "Fakey" Beef Wellington
adapted from AllRecipes.com

Makes four individual servings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the fennel seed and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 minute more. Meanwhile, beat the egg in a bowl, then mix in the ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, and salt. Add the cooked vegetable mixture, and stir until combined.
  3. Separate the crescent roll dough into two squares. Divide the meat mixture among the crescent roll squares, then seal the dough around the meat. Place seam-side-down onto the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the pastry has turned golden-brown, and the center of the pastries registers 160 degrees F (71 degrees C) on a kitchen thermometer, about 30 minutes. Slice and serve.  

The fennel and the beef go so well together and by using the refrigerated crescent roll dough, the meal came together quick and easy. Puff pastry or philo dough would work well too and can be found in the refrigerated section of the market if you aren't keen the rolling and folding and chilling and rolling and folding and chilling involved in making puff pastry at home. So spice up your weeknight menu or invite some friends over for an economical, yet elegant meal. Thanks so much Lauren for sharing!

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