Beef Wellington is one of those dishes I will never make, so I make it a point to take a serving when I see it on a buffet table. It’s definitely a banquet dish: (kinda) complicated to prepare, serves a lot of guests, makes for a pretty display, and can be delicious and filling.
Definition: Beef Wellington is a large piece of steak coated with seasoned meats (such as pate or Italian ham) and mushrooms, and then wrapped in pastry before being baked. The finished dish is then sliced for serving.
Why is it called so? One theory, which I like, traces its name to the Duke of Wellington, who famously defeated Napoleon in 1815. Because his victory in the Battle of Waterloo is one of the pivotal points in world history, I think it’s important to show an image of this man:
So how does the duke’s name get into the dish? Apparently, he popularized the use of a certain type of boot which became a staple of outdoor wear in Britain in the 19th century. These are now called “wellingtons,” gumboots, Alaskan sneakers, etc. They look like these:
Modern rubber boots / made by Sievi, Finland
So… do you see a connection? Duke of Wellington –> wellington boots –>
large beef fillet wrapped in pastry and called Beef Wellington!