Italian Wellington

“Holy Moly, holy moly, holy moly!” That’s all I could say when Himself asked me to marry him over a beautiful dinner of Beef Wellington almost 19 years ago. It is sad that not many restaurants serve this British Classic any more, but you can imagine my thrill when my friend Maggie served it to us last New Year’s Eve. I love that delicate puffed pastry, the liver Pâté, the Duxelles, and that juicy, pink beef fillet. I priced out a beef tenderloin recently and had to move on, just too pricey for this time of year. Now we do like to splurge at Christmas a bit on fancier foods, but this would take the whole kit and caboodle of my food budget. I needed to figure something out, and fast.

With Ma’s voice echoing in my head, I heard her say, “Go with what you know.” I know the Italian dishes I grew up with and quickly turned to a pork tenderloin at more than half the price of a beef tenderloin to create my Italian Wellington, the new kissing cousin of the famous Beef Wellington.

Hollowing out a loaf of Italian bread and filling it with a seared pork tenderloin smeared with artichoke tapenade in place of the Duxelles, and rubbed with mustard and garlic, then topped with a bit of liver Pâté and enrobed with prosciutto, this Italian Wellington is absolutely mouth watering.

Loving my Pink Ties from Ma!

Italian Wellington with Balsamic Cream Sauce
1.5 pound pork tenderloin
Kosher Salt
black pepper
2 T. olive oil

From the tenderloin, remove excess fat and silver skin- that sinewy layer. Cut one end of the pork tenderloins so that they will fit down inside a one pound loaf of Italian bread. You can see I used the tenderloin pair instead of one since I wanted a big meal to serve many. Sprinkle each one with Kosher salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat oil and sear all sides of each tenderloin. Remove to a plate to cool and save drippings and excess juice.

1 pound loaf oval Italian bread
4 ounces prosciutto slices
1/2 cup Artichoke Tapenade, found in olive isle at grocer
2 ounces mild, fine liver Pâté, optional but classic
1 tsp. Coleman’s English mustard, or other favorite
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a serrated knife cut out a large rectangular “lid” from the top of the loaf and pull out the excess innards saving for another recipe or serving with the leftover liver Pâté (and a nice glass of wine.) Be sure to save the “lid” that you cut to top the Wellington for baking. On a large piece of plastic wrap, lay out the prosciutto, forming a large rectangle that will enrobe the entire tenderloin. In the center of the prosciutto, spread the Artichoke Tapenade into a smaller rectangle the size of your tenderloin pair. Now get that seared tenderloin pair and place them together over the center of the Artichoke Tapenade and brush with mustard. Mix together the garlic, salt, and pepper and rub it into the pork tenderloin. Spread the Pâté on top of the tenderloins and pull all the prosciutto up and over the pork to completely enrobe all the ingredients. It helps to use the plastic wrap to do this. Then I wrapped it all very tightly in the plastic wrap and placed it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to let it all set. Place the bundle down into the loaf of bread, seam side down, removing the plastic wrap as you push the bundle down. Top with the bread lid and tie shut with kitchen string or silicone ties, like mine. Place loaf on a cookie sheet and cover with foil so the bread does not burn or get too crusty. Bake until internal temperature reads 145 degrees. I got distracted and took mine up to 153, and still had a very tender juice, pink pork tenderloin. Mine took about 55 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile make the sauce. The sauce is optional, but my family loves it!

Balsamic Cream Sauce– not pictured, we ate too quickly!
1 1/2 T. flour
1 1/2 cups good chicken broth
1 T. Balsamic Vinegar
3 T. heavy cream
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

In the pan you seared the pork in, heat the drippings over medium heat being sure to add any drippings from the plate you used to cool the just seared tenderloins. Add the flour and stir into the drippings, scraping up the good bits from the bottom of the pan. Once thickened slowly whisk in the broth, stirring until thickened. Add the Balsamic and cream, then salt and pepper to taste- I enjoyed a heavy hand of black pepper with this sauce. Slice the Wellington into 1 1/4 inch slices and serve with Balsamic Cream Sauce. Serves 8.

Note-You may use only one of the tenderloins instead of the pair for small Italian Wellington Medallions to be baked in a French baguette, cut to the size of the tenderloin, in place of the large Italian loaf. These are lovely for heavy Hor d’ourves at your Christmas or New Year’s Cocktail party. The bake time for these would be about 25 minutes, being sure to wrap these completely in foil as they will crisp up very quickly.



  1. Heather (Heather's Dish)
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

    my eyes almost poppped out of my head when i saw this post…looks too good to be true!

  2. FOODalogue
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    Oh, my, this is killer (in a good way!)…ingenious…I love it.

  3. Big Dude
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    After reading the title, I couldn't wait to see what this was and I'm not disappointed – great idea and there seem to be other meat possibilities.

  4. Robin Sue
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

    Heather- Thank you! It is very good!

    Foodalogue- Thanks Joan, I could see you making this with some delicious twists of your own.

    Big Dude- Larry, thank you, Yes I think we could use other meats. Something smoked perhaps? Then placed in the bread…

  5. Biz
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    Yep, definitely making this one, sans the pate – that kinda makes me want to throw up in my mouth a bit!


  6. Robin Sue
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

    Biz- Hahaha! You make me laugh. OK you can sub the liver for onions!! Wink.

  7. Karen
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    Love this – and the idea about using one tenderloin in the baugette for hors d'ourves!

  8. Jenn@slim-shoppin
    Posted December 7, 2011 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

    Wow, what a fancy dish! Great job!

  9. grace
    Posted December 7, 2011 at 8:04 PM | Permalink

    that's so clever, and so much easier to handle than puff pastry. nice one. 🙂

  10. Penny Wolf
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:28 AM | Permalink

    I made this several years ago but just a pork loin in a loaf of bread basically. When I cut the package it did not stay together so well. Your additions will probably help that problem,Thank you!

  11. Sabrina
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    HOLY MOLY! That looks so good. Thanks for coming up with a budget friendly version. Some ladies and I were just talking about beef wellington and the expense. I will share your recipe.

  12. Robin Sue
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    Sabrina- Thanks! Do share!

  13. Stephanie
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

    Hey Robin, this sounds wonderful and I'm excited to try it but was wondering if you can suggest a suitable substitution for the unavailable Tapenade.

  14. Robin Sue
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    Stephanie- The Tapenade is very garlicky, so any garlicky spread with artichokes or olives will work. Can you find garlic herbed cream cheese where you are? Smear a layer fo that over top, like how we stuff chicken with hearbed cream cheese or Boursin and bake- I am thinking something like that would work too. If all comes to fail, then add a little extra garlic to the recipe. Let me know how it goes!

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