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Beef Wellington Christmas Dinner Delivered from GourmetStation
Posted: December 13, 2012
Many thanks to Mark Vogel at www.foodreference.com for his detailed account of how beef Wellington came about. Below is an excerpt written by Mark describing the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo by British Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, and the birth of beef Wellington. Enjoy the narrative. If you are seeking an authentic beef Wellington Christmas dinner delivered, consider GourmetStation….four delicious courses delivered in complimentary gift packaging ready to heat and serve in about 30 minutes.
"It was Sunday June 18th 1815, about a mile south of the small village of Waterloo in what is now modern day Belgium. Approximately 190,000 men fought one of the most epic battles of the modern era. Napoleon Bonaparte had been defeated the year prior. Abdicating his throne he was exiled to the island of Elba. In March of 1815 he returned to Paris and reclaimed his crown for a period known as the “hundred days.” His previous enemies were determined to nip Napoleon redux in the bud. The seventh coalition, an amalgamation of numerous European countries and states amassed their armies. Gebhard von Blucher commanded the Prussian forces while Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, presided over a British army and its Anglo allies. It was not Napoleon’s finest hour. In fact, historians agree that he failed to display the tactical brilliance which highlighted his previous reign. When all was said and done nearly 50,000 men were dead or wounded, the French army was in tatters, and Napoleon was once again forced into exile, this time for the rest of his life.
Wellesley was awarded the title Duke of Wellington in 1814 after Napoleon’s first dethroning. After Waterloo came more accolades and advancement including the Prime Ministership. Even the culinary world sought to immortalize him with the classic dish that would bare his name: Beef Wellington.
Beef Wellington is a beef tenderloin encased in a pastry crust and cooked. Like so many classic recipes, where and when the dish was first created is a quagmire. France, England, Ireland, and even Africa have been sited as possible birthplaces. My vote goes to France. Wrapping meat in pastry was certainly not a novel idea in 1815. The French already had such a dish in their culinary repertoire known as “filet de boeuf en croûte.” Someone, somewhere merely rechristened it “beef Wellington” in honor of Wellesley.
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