Friday, September 9, 2016

That Time Beef Wellington Almost Made Me Cry

Apparently, Gordon Ramsey is enough of a super-chef that he doesn't even need to be in the kitchen yelling at you in order to trigger a meltdown. In fact, all you have to do is attempt his Beef Wellington and the tears will be on stand-by.

For real though.

Last week, I made Gordon Ramsey's Classic Beef Wellington and Red Wine Sauce. The end result?


Hey- not too shabby! But let me walk you through the 24-hours leading up to this.

1. Make grocery list. I need 2 1-pound roasts of beef tenderloin, 16 ounces of wild/mixed mushrooms, and 8 slices of prosciutto, plus beef trimmings for the sauce. Easy day.

2. Go to Byerly's to buy mushrooms, prosciutto and tenderloins. My bill is $75.00. This better be good.

3. Go to Cub to buy the ingredients for the red wine sauce. Ask if they have beef trimmings I could use. No. They use that for hamburger. Okay. Ask what meat out on the floor would be a good substitute for flavorful, fatty trimmings. Shoulder-shrugs all around. Thanks guys. Buy one beef shank steak for $2.50. Buy puff pastry and remaining sauce ingredients. 

4. Get home and wrap beef in plastic wrap to "shape". Open giant bottle of Barefoot Merlot and drink, leaving 750ml so I have enough wine for the sauce tomorrow. Go to bed.

5. Sear beef and set aside. Awesome. Feeling good.

6. Start making mushroom duxelle. Realize I forgot to brush beef with English mustard as soon as it came out of the pan. Couldn't find English mustard, substitute cream-style horseradish. No clean food brush- have to use hands. Whatever. 

7. Back to the mushrooms. Hands are starting to burn. Mushrooms are not. Finish the duxelle and set aside to cool.

8. Start to make the red wine sauce. Feeling back on track. 

9. Begin to wrap the tenderloins. Grab plastic wrap and discover it's too thin. Oh well.

10. Attempt to lay out prosciutto, but it's sliced very thin and is stupid-delicate. Smear on duxelle to "glue" it together.

11.  Lay beef on duxelle and roll up. Feeling good. 

12. Unroll from plastic wrap and discover I've rolled the whole thing wrong. Duxelle has burst through the prosciutto. 

13. Heart starts to sink. Maybe I can rewrap if I just peel the prosciutto away? Stupid-thin prosciutto is having none of it and falls apart in my hands. Heart sinking rapidly. 

14. Okay. What if I salvage the duxelle and get more prosciutto? Try to separate prosciutto from duxelle. It's like a clingy ex and just dissolves into the duxelle. Heart thoroughly sunk.

15. The red wine sauce seems to be doing well, but it's hard to tell while I'm laying on the kitchen floor in defeat, desperately trying to get my older sister on the phone to ask her what I've become.

16. Pull myself together. Don't have time to go back to Byerly's. Go to Cub and get packaged prosciutto which is sliced even THINNER. What. the. fudgesicle. 

17. Grab tenderloin. Slap on salvaged duxelle, coat in scraps of idiot prosciutto, smother in plastic-wrap and throw in the fridge.

18. Be extra attentive when I take out the second tenderloin and reserved Byerly's prosciutto. Spend 5 minutes mentally wrapping the tenderloin before actually doing it. This one works. Throw it in the fridge with it's Franken-brother. 

19. Open another bottle of wine. Pour a drink. 

20. Take out puff pastry to thaw. Finish up red wine sauce.

21. Forget about puff pastry and realize it's too soft. Toss in freezer to re-firm.

22. Forget about puff pastry and realize it's frozen again. Set on counter to thaw again.

23. Roll out puff pastry. 

24. Somehow manage to roll both wellingtons without issue. Place in fridge.

25. Preheat oven, take out wellingtons and coat in egg wash. Make little decorative marks. Have another glass of wine. 

26. Wait for wellingtons to cook while my husband wines about being hungry. Glare at him until he changes his tune and pours me more wine. 

27. Take out the wellingtons and let them rest. Transfer to cutting board and slice.

28. Burn my hands. 

29. Beef is medium instead of rare/medium-rare. Goddamnit. 

30. Drown the wellington in red wine sauce. Drown myself in red wine. 

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