This Surf And Turf Wellington Is 'Next Level'

Beef Wellington is a classic dish, with iconic versions by the likes of Julia Child and Gordon Ramsay. Lobster Wellington is a good shellfish-themed take on it. But you know what could make either recipe even better? Combining them.

And that's precisely what Michael Ponzio, executive chef at the Union League Club at Chicago, did on New Year's Eve. On Instagram, he revealed his Surf and Turf Wellington, which is essentially a beef Wellington with lobster filling. "Surf and Turf Wellington... why only have filet when you can take it to the next level?" he asked. This unique dish also includes shallots, garlic, portobello mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, prosciutto, and puff pastry.

Without a doubt, the recipe has blown the minds of Ponzio's followers. "Bro this is next level!" one wrote. "Who even are you bro???" another asked. "Putting us all to shake [sic] with this one. You have some major talent, brother." Between the ingredients and measurements Ponzio provides in the video's description and the video itself, you can try putting together the Surf and Turf to see just how next-level — or to use Master Chef's favorite word, "elevated" — the dish really is. 

The next level remains traditional

Some may see this take on beef Wellington and complain about how certain dishes are classics, or say that we don't need a fusion for everything. Be that as it may, there is nothing particularly traditional about beef Wellington to make it sacrosanct.

The name suggests some connection to the Duke of Wellington, the general who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. The blog Center of the Plate shares that some assume beef Wellington was named after the Duke because he loved eating it before battle. However, there is no credible evidence to support this myth. In fact, the earliest recorded instance of the name "Wellington" being applied to this dish appears to be from 1903, in the Los Angeles Times.

However, as Gambero Rosso notes, shoving beef into a puff pastry is a very traditional thing to do in English cuisine, more notably Cornish pasties. "Cornish pasties have long since become popular street food even in big cities like London, but in the past they were simply typical local recipes, a must in pubs and taverns, already present since the seventeenth century and always characterised by rich, spicy and delicious fillings." If anything, combining lobster and beef into a meaty Wellington stodge actually remains true to the spirit of this simple yet filling recipe.