Okay, I know it's trashy, but I'm a sucker for some reality TV shows. I have a tendency to watch American Idol in the early part of the season, telling myself I'm going to stop watching once the shitty singers are all eliminated; but then by the time fucking Sanjaya gets voted off I'm in it for the long haul. The last couple of seasons we started watching Hell's Kitchen with regularity, and although we started with a kind of train-wreck fascination at this bastard of a Head Chef making the contestants cry, we were soon persuaded by his passion for what he does and his genuine concern and care toward the careers of each contestant. Gordon Ramsay won us over by the end, and this season we shared and understood his frustration at people who just couldn't get shit right.
Apparently a staple of the Hell's Kitchen menu is beef wellington. Usually someone would order it and Chef Ramsay would wind up screaming at the contestant who made it because it would come out woefully undercooked.
The impression we got from seeing wellington on the show was:
1) It must be tough to make, because no one on the show can goddamn get it right.
2) It must be expensive, because Hell's Kitchen is "fine dining".
3) It must be delicious, because 1 and 2.
So we (I'm speaking of myself and my roommates Brian and Katie) have been wanting to try some beef wellington for a while. Well, tonight was Katie's birthday, so I decided to attempt to make a beef wellington for the occasion.
There's lots of recipes out there. I chose to go with one that didn't require foie gras or specialty cheeses. So what we had was not the full BEEF WELLINGTON EXPERIENCE. I made a few mistakes -- I didn't make enough mushroom mixture for the interior of the pastry shell and apparently that's a big part of it -- but you know what? It was a perfect medium steak, in a very tasty flaky shell, with some great sauces and flavorings that came together nicely. It wasn't fine dining, but for a first time attempt I think I did a damn fine job.
I feel like I should try to tie this into filmmaking or something somehow, but I just spent 5 hours preparing the freaking wellington and I'm too tired to be pedantic. I really just posted this to say that I made a delicious beef wellington, bitches. Josh from Season 3 can suck it.