I did manage to make a stew yesterday though. The excitement of receiving my Le Creuset dutch oven made me do it. I was keeping tabs on the shipment of my LC DO via the UPS website and had bought all the fixings needed for the stew over the weekend. The day I got the DO I immediately marinated the beef chuck, which was the first step of the Ina Garten recipe I was using to christen the LC. I've never marinated anything before...and definitely have never marinated any kind of meat before...and now I know why:
It doesn't look appetizing at all! It had kinda grossed me out. I think if I was marinating the chuck in anything other than red wine I'd be fine, but the wine was a little too reminescent of blood. Hence being kinda grossed out.
Anyways, yesterday was the first day in a week where I didn't pass out as soon as the baby fell asleep for his naps. I took every opportunity I had, from when the baby slept to when he would actually play in his jumperoo without throwing a fit, to prep and cook up the stew. I even had the time to clean up the kitchen in the process! Now that's what I call a successful day!
The stew came out absolutely deeelish! I'm quite proud of myself! Especially since I have never made a stew before. There are a few things I would change the next time I make this recipe though, like following one recipe rather than the 2 versions given. Yes, that's right. This recipe has 2 versions. The online/Food Network version, and the Barefoot Contessa's version from her very own book. I had bought ingredients given in the latter's version, then freaked out when some ingredients weren't mentioned in the former version. Very confusing! Luckily I watch enough of the Food Network to kinda know the gist of how to make a stew. Next time though, I would definitely omit the dredging of the marinated beef chuck in flour before browning it. Not unless I did it wrong (which is highly likely!), but my beef ended up having a thick crust and didn't really brown the meat itself - and the whole point of browning the meat is to add flavor. I would also hide the wine from Brett next time too. The recipe calls for marinating the chuck in an entire bottle worth of wine. I used only half a bottle. Which made Brett think the leftover wine was fair game. I'm just glad that I had extra beef stock on hand to make up for the difference.
Overall, the stew was a success...and there is soooo much left over! We'll be eating well for the next few days with the leftovers!
*Sorry for the abbreviations...I'm just too tired and really didn't want to sound repetitive in having to say and type Le Creuset and dutch oven so many times!