So on episode 4 of Ctrl-Alt-Chicken, Alex Albrecht and Heather Stewart make Beef Wellington. I know the show is supposed to be about people who don’t (can’t?) cook, but who nevertheless are cooking things. But come on; this was pretty bad.
Let’s start with the obvious: If you’re making something according to a recipe, and you aren’t the best of cooks to start with, you really should follow the recipe more closely. To paraphrase Alton Brown, cooking is like jazz. Improvisation needs to wait until you have the chops for it.
So Heather, even though you don’t like chicken livers, use ’em anyway, and pick ’em off when you’re done if you don’t want to eat ’em. Alex, here. ‘Nuff said. Pie crust doesn’t “puff” like puff pastry does, so it really makes a difference. And yes, using “real” ham probably makes a difference over Deli Selects. (That said, I do enjoy the Deli Selects. Just not for something like this.) Also, nobody really wants to watch mushrooms being chopped, it’s boring; prep ’em beforehand and put ’em in custard cups like you did for the garlic and tomato puree.
If I had sufficient funds to buy filet, I’d totally make this myself (with photo documentation). I’m not that much of a cook (and definitely not a chef), but I think I could probably turn out a more appetizing (or even simply edible) result. Oh, well… maybe after I win the lottery.