Baking with Burris: SRHS teacher and former chef David Franzman shares his beef Wellington recipe

Every year on Christmas, it’s a tradition that history teacher David Franzman makes his family Beef Wellington for dinner. “[My] family enjoyed it so much and that always gladdens my heart. So there isn’t necessarily a story behind it, it’s just what we’ve done. It’s a tradition,” said Franzman.

Article and photo by Jaden Burris, Social Media Editor

With the holidays coming up, families are coming together. The foods that we eat during our holidays are what bring us together. To history teacher David Franzman, it’s a tradition that his family always has Beef Wellington on Christmas.

Since Franzman is an ex-chef, he takes pride in his dishes. “As an ex-chef, I take food very seriously. I plan it everyday,” said Franzmen. “I cook everyday and I do the shopping as well, because I don’t trust [my wife] Linda to shop.” 

Franzman considers food more than just food, he sees it as an art form. “For me, it’s an art form, to cook. Because it is an art form that I thoroughly enjoy, even for just my wife and I, I garnish the plates with parsley, little slices of lemon because I think food is integral to who we are as humans. It’s a part of our culture, part of our society, and I have always been a big believer in the better it looks, the better it tastes. Again, it’s an art form, and I like to give my all for that.”

Franzman did not make up his own recipe for his Beef Wellington, however, he considers it a very old traditional recipe. “I started making it a long time ago when [my] kids were little and everybody liked it so much that I would continue to do that.”  

Making this dish was definitely a challenge because I had never had Beef Wellington before, but I do know it’s usually very expensive at restaurants. When you make Beef Wellington, you have to get a log of Filet Mignon which is the most expensive part of this whole process. You need that specific cut of meat, a mushroom garlic and onion layer and puff pastry. I also hate mushrooms, so that was difficult for me to process. Franzman recommended that I pair this with twice baked baked potatoes and green beans, so I did.

Surprisingly, I couldn’t taste the mushrooms in this dish so, I actually enjoyed it. The meat was slightly more cooked than what I was used to, but It was good. Weirdly enough, puff pastry pairs really well with meat and I am still very much surprised that it’s good. 

I think the real question for me is, will I ever make this again? My answer is no. It caused a really big mess in the kitchen and again, it was very expensive ($80 for 3 pounds of meat), but I did enjoy the satisfied looks on everyone’s faces while they were enjoying it. 

I am glad I got to take a peek into what David Franzman’s Christmas is like. 

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