I tasted it an hour into cooking; Yum.
The end result, not so much.
It was Saturday night at the Zeigler house and I was on a mission to make a stew so mind-blowing that Marshall would take one bite and have his mind blown! I wanted to start at around 3pm but I unfortunately started a small binge fest of Bob’s Burgers on Hulu, so I actually got started at 4 o’clock.
I began cutting up my veggies and doing my Mise en Place (French term meaning ‘Everything in its place’). So I cut up my meat, got all the ingredients out and ready. I was set.
So, I began browning my meat, and Julia is very correct on one thing: dry the meat first or it will not brown. So here I am, Mr. House Husband, drying my meat on paper towels and browning them piece by piece, then continuing on with the dish. I add the stock, add some of our 5 Frenchmen wine we make at the store, drink a little bit of 5 Frenchmen we make at our store and I put the casserole into the oven for 2 1/2 hours to cook. Then resumed Bob’s Burgers!
An hour into cooking the dish I did a taste test and it tasted so succulent and balanced I could only respond with ‘Yum’. I just knew Marshall was going to love this dish! I felt like I finally got a dish right the first time around!
Another hour and a half later the dish was finished and I took he first official taste of the finished product. It had changed way too much. It was unbalanced now. It was just like any other stew you have ever had. Nothing great or amazing. I generally am not a huge fan of stews, because everything ends up tasting exactly the same. The carrots taste like the potatoes which tastes like the meat that tastes like the onions which is all bland.
I was honestly not impressed what so ever. I will be trying this dish again at some other time, but not for a bit because honestly, the meat isn’t on sale anymore. (I’m lookin at you Safeway!) I do however have a few alterations for anyone trying it at home.
Don’t blanch the bacon at the beginning, just skip that step. Don’t clean out the casserole at the end like she says to do, just strain the sauce out, and put everything back into the casserole. Also, season the meat before browning it, not afterwards.
If you wish to try to make this dish, make sure you have plenty of time. It will take all day. But have fun, drink your wine and have no fear!
Don’t be hard on yourself me and my husband Nick tried to make this as well and I will admit my part of the meal didn’t help it in any way. Then the week after he decided to make it again without the help of yours truly and wow! It was amazing. Lesson learned JC stays out of the kitchen.