What have I got myself into?!

This coming weekend, Junkii and I are joining my Mom and Step Dad for a gourmet cooking weekend. We all love to cook, so, as we do every year, we're gonna try out some high-end recipes and put our kitchen skills to the test. Two days of food and drink. What could be better? Diet be damned!

So what are we making? Well, loads of things, actually, but for me the whole meal is going to centre around an attempt at Beef Wellington.

I've been wanting to try BW since I started watching Hell's Kitchen years ago. It always looks so tasty on television. Tender beef wrapped in puff pastry: What's not to like? So when Cook's Illustrated listed their Welly recipe, I snatched it up and stuck it on my to-do list. Thing is, I added it to the list before I had a chance to read through it.

Well, last night I finally read it and it's a real doozy. It takes about 3 DAYS to make!

Just for a start, you've got to let the beef dry-age in the fridge for two days. But aside form the waiting, there are about four parts to the recipe, each of which take several hours of prep time – including a puff pastry wrap and a wine sauce that needs to reduce form a whole bottle of red down to about two cups. That's a lot of reducing.

While the final product looks and sounds delicious, the whole process is gonna take hours to make. And what's worse is that it all needs to come together just in time for dinner at the right time, with all the sides, following the soup course.

Now, in fairness, the Chef Ramsay version of Beef Wellington seems much simpler; it's readily available on the intertubes. But what the heck. May as well go all out if I'm gonna try this. I'm not promising perfection, but I do trust Cook's Illustrated to steer me on the right course.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

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4 responses »

  1. Im interested to hear how it turns out. I made it before….before the kids came…Johnny always joked that he wanted that for supper if I asked…so one valentines day I decided to do it….mine did take hours, but not days….mine was OK..i wouldnt fax you the recipes or anything…I hope yours is better.

  2. margotinto says:

    Bon courage, mon ami. I've made Chicken Wellington before, but only because Supperworks had it on their make-ahead menu :). They said it is extremely popular for the Christmas holidays because it has such an impressive presentation. And a whole lot of cheating.

  3. It calls for a beef tenderloin I believe – although I wouldn't need the whole loin. I fully expect to get a piece about 8" long – about 2" per person.And yes, I think I'll get it at a butcher.

  4. I'm impressed, Cher. Didn't know you had tried a Wellington before. Nice.I'll definitely write a blog post about the cooking weekend. We'll have to make sure to take loads of photos – both of final presentation and a few action shots.

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