wellington beef with sauce on a plate on a white background in London, England, United Kingdom
Food - Drink
The Noble History Behind The UK's Beloved Beef Wellington
Beef Wellington is a supremely British icon that can be found on royal banquet menus and home dining tables alike. The dish consists of puff pastry wrapped around a whole steak rubbed with duxelles (a mix of herbs, shallots, mushrooms, and sometimes cream), and naturally, such a luxurious foodstuff has ties to British nobility.
After Arthur Wellesle, first Duke of Wellington, won the Battle of Waterloo against Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815, he became Prime Minister of Great Britain. Culinary lore has yet to establish whether Beef Wellington was created to honor the Duke for his accomplishments, or if the dish already existed and was renamed for him.
One theory says that the Duke’s chef created the recipe, and another says the dish got its name from the now-iconic Wellington boot, which was conceived by the Duke. The third possible origin is the French dish filet de boeuf en croûte, which could have been renamed Beef Wellington in Britain following the Duke's famous victory.
All we truly know is that Beef Wellington is a British invention — and there’s strong evidence that America made it globally famous. Beef Wellington's appearance in a 1939 New York City dining guide elevated it quite a bit, and its notoriety soared after appearing in a White House cookbook and on Julia Child's television show.