This won't be my usual introduction but here goes: I hope you are reading this review of Trader Joe's Beef en Croute before you make this. Or at least before baking this fully according to the directions. A while back I reviewed the turkey en croute. But there is a key difference: the turkey is cooked, but this isn't.
Should you go by the directions alone and you are a real fan of red meat, you will be in trouble. Unless you enjoyed well-done beef. Again, I hope this review reaches you in time before potential holiday-related disasters ensue. If not, then I'm sure you'll be sharing your thoughts in the comments section which is always appreciated.
So let's go over this product before I (hopefully) help you with the way the directions should be written.
Here is a frozen item that needs to be defrosted before being popped in the oven.
The premise is pretty simple: it's puff pastry, a layer of mushrooms, and some well seasoned beef. Basically, this is the dish better known as Beef Wellington.
It's a beautiful and impressive holiday dish. But again, cooking this to perfection is more challenging than the turkey en croute which is sold right next to this dish.
But here is the problem: the directions. The package makes reminds you that the goal temperature is 145. However, if you cook beef regularly please follow these guidelines:
Medium Rare- 130F
Medium Well- 150F
Well done- 160F (or throw away...but that's me).
Keep in mind for the most part the meat will continue to cook after it is out of the oven, so if you remove it from the oven it will reach another 5 degrees in doneness.
So why am I getting bent out of shape over the directions? The directions suggested removing this at about 35 minutes.
I pulled mine out of the oven at 30 minutes because the exterior pastry was getting quite brown. The ends when I cut into it (after giving it the required rest) were well done.
The dead center was medium at best. Now, normally I'd use my thermometer, but let's be honest, most people will follow the directions on the box. If you do this will be the most well-done roast.
The meat is well seasoned and has a bit of kick to it. The puff pastry is good but a tad soggy on the bottom. The mushrooms are good, well seasoned but were wishing for a bit more of them.
In the real world, this might serve closer to 4 portions as the ends aren't quite as meaty as the pastry has done its thing and puffed out.
And I know there are those of you who would set a timer and forget it. If you are one of those people, I hope this review reaches you in time.
If you cook this to temperature and not to time, this is a solid holiday dish. This item was clearly labeled on my receipt as being a holiday item so you might way to buy an extra or two if you really love it.
If not, then you can always consider getting one of these thermometers which have prevented me from overcooking a number of roasts. So in the long run it's paid for itself. Best of all it gets paired to my phone which is pretty much always next to me.
Frequently asked questions
Trader Joe's sells Beef en Croute or Beef Wellington during the winter holiday months. It is a seasonal item
Defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Preheat your oven to 425F. Be sure to start checking the temperature as early as 20 minutes if you are looking for a roast that isn't overcooked.
These terms refer to the same thing. En Croute is the French term for anything in baked in puff pastry.
For $14.99 it isn't badly priced either.
Would I buy this again? I would actually buy Trader Joe's Beef en Croute again, but I would be more careful to cook by temperature and not the time listed on the box.
This is a seasonal item so if you fall in love with this you should stock up before they disappear.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
The visual rundown
The box if Trader Joe's Beef en Croute:
The nutritional information, the ingredients, and instructions
Out of the package you get:
After 30 minutes of cooking
And sliced down the middle:
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
The Bottom Line
Don't forget to share your thoughts by going to the "user review" at the bottom of the box (click on the number of stars you believe this product deserves) and leave a comment below.
Trader Joe's Beef en Croute
Product Name: Trader Joe's Beef en Croute
Product Description: Trader Joe's Beef en Croute is a seasonal holiday offering located in the frozen section.
Trader Joe's Beef en Croute is a new frozen holiday special.
- Taste is good
- Pastry was solid
- You'll want to cook by temperature and not by time. If you go by the minimum time listed you'll have a well done meal rather than the pink centered picture.