beef wellington

Writing the first post is a little intimidating, so I figured I would start out with some pretty graphic food porn.  This beef wellington also happens to be one of the more decadent things I've ever allowed myself to make.  What could be a better occasion to make a foie gras laced, mushroom-smothered, puff-pastry wrapped, $30 filet loin than Valentine's Day?

As an aside, I hate Valentine's Day.  Too much pressure.  As a matter of principle, I refuse to go out to a restaurant to celebrate - even the most trustworthy places feel the pressure to lay out the white table clothes and include a heart-shaped molten lava cake on the menu.  I guess that makes it easier on the boyfriend since he never has to stress about getting that coveted reservation.  We've agreed on our yearly tradition - to forget about the normal food concerns like calories, cost, hassle, and time and make something ridiculous.  Last year it was sushi.  This year, it was something a little less restrained.

MEAT.  Typically I'm a cheapass about my food shopping...to an almost obsessive irrational degree, actually.  I drive way out of my way to get yogurt at Trader Joes instead of Whole Foods for a savings of like...$0.30.  But none of that on V-day.  On V-day, we go to Whole Foods with the justifications of sweetness and love, then painfully smile at each other when we get to the cash register and realize that we could have just surrendered to convention and gone out like everyone else for less money and without cleaning for an hour. 
Moving on...

Gorgeous mushrooms that were not called for in the recipe, but went into the basket on the "our love knows no monetary constraint" principle.

The recipe I used was a combination of watching the Gordon Ramsay beef wellington video on YouTube a thousand times, and the fact that Rob brought me a can of foie gras pate back from Paris that I had shamefully yet to use.  

I started by dutifully searing the meat.  Not a big deal normally, but since this was easily the most expensive protein I had ever handled, it was terrifying.  I pulsed a bunch of white button mushrooms in my spankin' new food processor (my most treasured possession, courtesy of the same boyfriend) and sauteed them in butter and thyme.  

While allowing the meat to cool,  I set about making a layer of super thin overlapping pieces of prosciutto on a sheet of plastic wrap.  I spread a thin coating of mushrooms on top of that.


And THEN, a thick layer of foie pate, which I didn't take pictures of, probably because I was too enthralled with what I was creating - layers upon layers of guilt.  I put the hunk of meat in the middle and got rolling, until I had the most beautiful log of meat.

Well, maybe not objectively beautiful.  I think it's kind of like when you think your baby is hottest baby on the block.  One more layer of rolled out puff pastry...

Out of the oven and wearing a badge of our love.  At this point, I'm both insanely proud and sweating with anxiety.  Sure, it was pretty - but what was going on underneath all of that?  What if I totally screwed it up?

I didn't.  

Click here to see Gordon Ramsay in all his craggly goodness...


Unknown said...

this looks absolutely delicious, cooked to perfection, and definitely much better than any restaurant could produce on valentines day!