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Is there anything more delicious than a well-cooked Beef Wellington? If you’re about to take on the ambitious task of making Beef Wellington, or are serving it at your next event, then you’ll need to know how much to serve to your guests.
Caterers suggest serving Beef Wellington in 12-ounce portions. Beef Wellington can come in multiple serving sizes; however, the smallest is 4 ounces, including only the steak, not the bread and mushrooms on top. Servings of Beef Wellington are rarely more than 12 ounces.
In all reality, 12 ounces is just a rule of thumb—how much Beef Wellington you should serve can be influenced by several factors. In this article, we’ll talk about the origins of the dish, its different serving sizes, how to make it, as well as where and how you can serve Beef Wellington. Read on!
What is Beef Wellington?
If you’ve ever been served Beef Wellington, you’ll know that it basically looks like a hunk of bread until it is sliced, revealing a large piece of steak inside. This is an English dish not unlike the Cornish pasty. The difference between Beef Wellington and Cornish Pastry is that instead of cutting the meat into chunks and mixing it with onions and vegetables, the beef tenderloin is kept intact and seared lightly before wrapping it in another meat, covering it with chopped up sauteed mushrooms, wrapping it again in puffed pastry, and then baked. Another name for Beef Wellington is a beef joint pastry.
Most standard Beef Wellington dishes contain the following ingredients: a juicy fillet steak in the center; a coating of pâté and duxelles made from mushrooms, shallots, spices, and other vegetables; another type of meat (foie gras in the French tradition but more commonly ham or prosciutto) wrapped around the beef and duxelles in order to keep in the juices; and of course the buttery puffed pastry wrapped around all three. The final product comes out looking like a tasty pie or bread.
You can either wrap the whole steak in the pâté and duxelles, extra meats, and pastry dough and bake it all together, or you can slice the steak cuts individually for individual serving style Beef Wellington. Either way, this dish is hearty, filling, and massively indulgent. In other words, it’s a definite crowd-pleaser.
Varying Serving Sizes
So you’ve made your Beef Wellington, you are ravenous, and your guests are waiting to eat. How do you know how much to serve to each person? Well, that depends on your serving size!
If you are sticking with a standard serving size for meat, which is 4 to 6 ounces, carve out a piece about the size of your palm. But be warned, Beef Wellington is delicious, so you might find yourself cutting seconds (or thirds!).
If you are wanting a very filling meal, then you may want to opt for the full 12-ounce steak. This may seem pretty large, but according to Caley’s Catering and Events, this is the standard size for Beef Wellington, though it comes in many sizes. To measure 12 ounces, carve out a piece about the size of your palms put together, excluding your fingers. If you want more help discerning portion sizes, click here.
How to Plan Beef Wellington for a Gathering
You can plan Beef Wellington for a small or large gathering by doing simple math.
Firstly, determine the number of guests attending the event. Depending on the type of occasion for the gathering or event, people may be required to RSVP so you can get an accurate headcount and determine how many people will be attending.
Then you need to determine how many of the attending people are kids and how many are adults, as kids eat less than adults and may not eat the Beef Wellington at all. If you do not care about getting close approximations for how much food to buy, then you do not need to worry about this step. However, if you want to be precise with the amount of food to get, then determining how many kids and adults are attending is important.
After getting the total number of guests attending, you should figure out how much food to serve on each plate. For adults, you will want to plan about 12 ounces of Beef Wellington per person, and for kids plan to serve about 4-6 ounces per person. This will help prevent you from overbuying food and being left with too many leftovers.
By knowing how much each person will eat and planning on getting a little extra just in case something happens or people are still hungry after eating, then you are set to handle some math. All you will do is multiply the serving size of Beef Wellington by the number of people that are attending. Then, add a few more servings just in case. Then you can order the right amount of meat and purchase the correct amount of pastry and fillings for the amount of Beef Wellington you are serving.
For example, if you are making Beef Wellington for 30 adults and 10 kids, you will need to multiply the ounces of meat in a serving by the number of people. As a serving size for adults is about 12 ounces of Beef Wellington, and kids about 6 ounces, multiply 12 by 30 and 6 by 10. Your totals will be 360 ounces and 60 ounces, equalling 420 ounces of Beef Wellington. Convert that number into pounds, and you will need to purchase or make about 26 pounds of Beef Wellington for your event.
This method will ensure you have enough food for everyone and don’t order or make too much food. Beef Wellington is best when it is cooked fresh rather than eaten as leftovers.
|Number of People||Number of Children Attending (6 ounces Per Person)||Number of Adults Attending (12 ounces Per Person)|
|5||30 oz (1.875 lb.)||60 oz (3.75 lb.)|
|10||60 oz (3.75 lb.)||120 oz (7.5 lb.)|
|15||90 oz (5.625 lb.)||180 oz (11.25 lb.)|
|20||120 oz (7.5 lb.)||240 oz (15 lb.)|
|25||150 oz (9.375 lb.)||300 oz (18.75 lb.)|
How to Make Beef Wellington Go Further
Beef Wellington is an expensive meal to make and/or buy. The beef tenderloin used in the recipe can be expensive, and it is hard to plan this meal for multiple people. So, to make the cost go down and to make the Beef Wellington last longer, here are some tips:
Firstly, you can plan on serving people less Beef Wellington per person. Paying for 12 ounces of Beef Wellington per person costs a lot of money, especially because the typical steak used in Beef Wellington is a steak tenderloin, and that cost adds up quickly when you are serving a crowd of people. To save money, reduce the portion size to 8-10 ounces instead of 12. Your guests likely will not notice the difference.
Now, with the main course being served in a lower amount, you will need to compensate the space left on the plate with more side dishes. If you plan on serving more of each side dish, then it will be enough to fill your guests’ stomachs, and they will leave the event feeling happy and full.
For sides, there are many options that go well with Beef Wellington. You can make a vegetable dish over the stove, potato side made in the oven, a salad dish, and you can pair it all with a nice sauce and quality wine. If you plan on having different types of sides, pick a recipe that many people love that also pairs well with Beef Wellington.
You can choose to oven roast some potatoes, or you can make some mashed potatoes. Whatever your top pick is for potatoes will work well in a Beef Wellington meal. You can also make a salad to go on the side, as well as the side dish. The most popular type of salad includes fresh salad with various vegetables and a vinaigrette salad dressing. A salad with a creamy dressing like a Caesar Salad goes better with pasta meals, but it is up to you what salad you serve. Have multiple dressings available to cater to the preferences of your guests.
As Beef Wellington is typically served as the main course. After an appetizer is consumed, you can serve appetizers before the Beef Wellington and reduce the Beef Wellington portion sizes. Because your guests will eat at least two meals during your event, they will not leave hungry if you reduce the Beef Wellington portion size.
After choosing sides to go with the meal, you will want to portion each part of the meal to make it filling for your guests. Below is a table that includes portions that you should consider when putting together the meal. These portion sizes can be adjusted.
|Amount of Beef Wellington||Amount of Salad||Amount of Vegetables||Total|
|4 ounces||6 ounces||6 ounces||16 oz (1 lb.)|
|6 ounces||5 ounces||5 ounces||16 oz (1 lb.)|
|8 ounces||4 ounces||4 ounces||16 oz (1 lb.)|
If you are measuring out this food for your guests, then you can estimate the amounts. One trick to make estimating easier is to know that 8 ounces equal 1 cup. This means that 4 ounces will equal a half cup. You can vary the amounts of food you serve depending on your guests’ appetites, and you can change the amounts of each serving to include more salad and fewer vegetables.
You can also switch out the sides in the chart to what you are serving. For instance, if you are serving a fruit salad or mashed potatoes, then you will use the same amounts listed. This chart is amendable to your needs, and if you total about 10-16 ounces for everyone, they will have plenty to eat.
How Much Beef Wellington to Make for Appitizers
Making classic Beef Wellington is expensive, and it can cost a lot to serve your guests, so one way to serve this delicious meal without paying a lot of money is to make Beef Wellington appetizer size! Then, you can plan to serve a few of the Beef Wellington balls to each guest and have the overall cost go way down.
One popular recipe for Beef Wellington appetizers is from the Food Network, and it will take over 1 hour to cook. But, it is simple to follow along, and if you were to get all of the ingredients brand new from the store, it would cost about $40. This is a much less expensive price tag than buying 12 ounces of meat per person, and if you find that you need to double it, you still shouldn’t spend more than $80 on this appetizer.
Ingredients you likely have at home already are salt and ground black pepper, along with olive oil. These you can likely find in your pantry, and it would bring your cost to about $30 for the appetizer. Then if doubled, it would only cost $60 for the remaining ingredients.
This recipe calls for 2 pounds of beef tenderloin, 10 ounces of cremini mushrooms, 1 shallot, 2 sheets of puff pastry, then the salt, ground black pepper, and olive oil mentioned above. In total, this recipe will make 24 pieces of Beef Wellington appetizers for your guests. If you need that doubled, you will be making 48 pieces.
Depending on how many guests you are expecting, this recipe should make the amount you need. If you are planning on serving 3 of these to each guest, then here is a table of how much you will need in total:
|Number of Guests||Number of Pieces||Times Using Recipe||Estimated Cost|
This table should help you determine what your budget needs to be when you serve Beef Wellington, assuming you already own the oil, salt, and pepper. This should also help you decide if you want to make Beef Wellington by itself, or if you would rather include it in a meal or an appetizer.