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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Beef Wellington a la Mexicana

A classic French Meal with a Mexican Twist

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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It started with the search for the bakery in Chapala that produces the wonderful bolillos sold throughout the village.

Bolillo is a white crusted bread loaf similar to a French baguette, but shorter and thicker. In Mexico and Central America, it's a type of very popular cheap bread made with wheat flour. It is not considered sweet, but it's not exactly sour, either.

Piles of bolillos in Chapala, Mexico

Freshly made bolillos

This bread is also known as “Pan Francés” with the French baguette recipe having been transformed in Mexico.

Upon finding the source, I inquired about buying a ball of raw dough. The vendor called it "masa," which normally means dough made of corn flour, so the name masa must just be a colloquialism here in town.

I wanted to make a Beef Wellington using local ingredients, so instead of puff pastry, I used local bolillo dough.

I gave the vendor 20 Pesos and took the bag of dough home.

Center cut, filet mignon

Center cut, filet tenderloin

After I purchased the raw dough, I placed it in the refrigerator while I went to my favorite butcher to get a tenderloin of beef.

He pulls out a large tenderloin, about two feet long and throws it on a stone slab. He cleans it up a bit by trimming the excess fat, and then asks me what part I want.

From my experience in the States, this would not happen. But because I buy a lot of quality meats from this man, New Yorks, Filet, Tenderloin of Pork, Leg of Lamb --he is now letting me know that I can choose from this full tenderloin with the head and the tail on - which part I want to buy.

I spread my hands apart about a foot, and place them above the tenderloin.

I want the center cut.

For this three pound piece of meat, I paid (after my discount), 400Pesos, less than $20USD.

I take it home, remove more fat and membrane, wrap it up with string and liberally season it. I then sear the outside of the meat in a hot pan sealing in the juices and set it aside to cool.

Now, I begin on the duxelle which is wrapped around the tenderloin between the meat and pastry.

Duxelle for beef wellington

Duxelle for the Beef Wellington

I finely chop mushrooms and shallots, and sauté them in butter extracting as much moisture out of the mixture as I can. If left wet it would leave the pastry soggy and uncooked.

 

 

 

 

Serrano ham

Serrano ham

Previously, I purchased eight thinly sliced pieces of Italian Serrano ham as this, too, will help keep the pastry from becoming soggy and it will add flavor.

I laid them out on a large piece of plastic, overlapping them.

Duxelle laid over Serrano ham

Duxelle spooned over Serrano ham

I spoon my duxelle over the Serrano ham spreading it out evenly.

Browned filet

Browned tenderloin

Meanwhile, the tenderloin has been cooling so that I can cut away the string.

As you can see, it looks pretty good!

Tenderloin with Dijon Mustard

Browned tenderloin with Dijon mustard

I gently remove the string so as not to disturb the integrity of the meat, and I cover it with Dijon mustard.

Placing the tenderloin onto the duxelle and Serrano ham, I roll it up. Having it in this large piece of plastic helps me keep control of all the ingredients, preventing them from flopping around.

I set it aside in the refrigerator.

Bolillo wrapped tenderloin

Bolillo-wrapped tenderloin with egg wash applied

Now it's time to roll out my bolillo dough.

It is spongy and thick, and every time I roll it out, the dough springs back to a ball.

Hmmm.

I continue to roll and roll, until I have broken down some of the yeasty hardiness. Finally it is now a flattened piece that will cover the tenderloin.

Carefully unwrapping the Serrano ham-covered tenderloin, I wrap the dough around it, and I brush it with an egg wash - a bit of whipped egg and water.

Browned dough covered tenderloin

Browned dough-covered tenderloin

One thing I learned though my years of cooking, is that I had to work with the ingredients, stove and utensils that I had, not what I wished I had.

Here in Mexico, we have a small gas range with 4 burners and an oven. Working in commercial kitchens for years, I am used to huge and powerful appliances, so I call this one in our place my "Easy Bake Oven." No temperature markings, basically high and off.

Just to make it challenging, I don't even know what the temperature is inside the oven, even after I have had it on to pre-warm for 20 minutes.

Placing my dough-wrapped tenderloin in a lasagna pan, I put it in the center of the oven and I check it every so often. I need to make sure the dough is done but not burned, and that the meat is cooked enough to be able to eat it.

To punch this dough with a meat thermometer would be quite rude to the presentation. I was trained as a Chef to carefully insert a thin blade knife into the center of the meat, and to test the temperature in that manner. When the knife is warm enough, the meat is done to the desired temperature.

At this point, the meat and the dough are resting on the cutting board, however it is still cooking while wrapped in the pastry. This is why I remove it from the oven a little early.

 

 

 

 

sliced Beef Wellington, bottle of wine

Sliced Beef Wellington

Meanwhile, I have been preparing the vegetables and a rich bordelaise sauce to complete the meal.

Here you see our Beef Wellington a perfect Medium Rare.

Beautiful, eh?

Complete Beef Wellington meal

Beef Wellington with crunchy herbed potatoes and a medley of fresh vegetables.

We are Retire Lifestyle Mentors. Our goal is to help you achieve your retirement dreams.

Needless to say, this meal was terrific!

But wait! There's more to this story.

Cinamon Rolls made from bolillo dough

Cinnamon rolls made from bolillo dough

We had left over bolillo dough, and we didn't want to throw it away.

So what did we do?

We made cinnamon rolls for the next morning!

Yum!!

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About the Authors

 
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

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