The Best Stew of all Stews

Yum! Such good stew, even Amanda likes it! :)


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat (or 2 pounds chuck roast, cut Into 2-inch chunks)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 or 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • one 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef stock , plus more if necessary
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 large carrots (or a bunch of small ones), roughly chopped into chunks
  • 1 or 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • one 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Jalapeno, chopped, seeds too if you can handle the spice (optional, but DO IT)
  • 2 bay Leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Generously season beef with salt and pepper.
  3. Working in batches if you need to, sauté the meat, turning every couple of minutes but not stirring constantly, until nice and brown on all sides (but just on the outside; you don’t need to cook the meat all the way through at this point).  Using tongs, move the seared beef to a plate, keeping all that brown juicy goodness in the pot.
  4. Add the onion garlic to the pot and cook, making sure to scrape up those brown bits and stains from the bottom with a wooden spoon. (in other words: Flavor!) Cook for a couple of minutes, then add your tomato paste again scraping those brown bits. Cook for another minute or two.
  5. Add beef stock to the pot, getting the last bits of brown up from the bottom one last time. Add the Worchestershire sauce and sugar, then return that seared beef to the pot, plus any juices that accumulated on the plate. Cover, reduce heat and simmer on low for 2 hours (this seems like a short time for stew, but there’s another step!)
  6. Uncover and throw in the carrots, celery, beans, jalapeño and bay leaves. Cover again and let simmer for another hour (if you can wait that long), until the vegetables are tender and the meat is totally forkable.  If you prefer a thinner stew, add some more beef stock (or water), a little at a time.
  7. Taste. Add some salt and pepper until you deem it perfect.
  8. Serve over mashed potatoes! Yum!


Super Duper Watson Nuggets

These turned out pretty dang good for a quick ad-hoc dinner with no measuring and very little planning before turning the stove on.

What you’ll need:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Seasoning
  • Olive Oil
  • Pan that can get hot – ideally cast iron
  • Some sort of side to go with this meat dish, I did a pan fried mix veggies with what we had in the fridge (onion, bell pepper, asparagus)

What you’ll do with the meat to turn it into Watson Nuggets:

  • Cut up the breasts into about 1.5 inch squares. For the chicken breasts I used it was about 12 chunks for 1 breast.
  • Combine your favorite dry seasonings in a bowl. I used a combination “to taste” of italian bread crumbs, black pepper, red pepper flakes, Ms. dash garlic & herb seasoning, garlic salt, and basil.
  • Lightly coat chicken cubes with olive oil
  • Dump them in handful sized batches into the dry seasoning mix moving them around as if you’re kneading bread until the cubes are covered in the seasoning and mostly dry to the touch.
  • Throw the chicken cubes into a pretty hot cast-iron pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil. It should be quite a sizzle when they hit the pan.
  • Flip each cube after about 3 minutes or until darker-than-golden brown on the first side.
  • Pan fry another couple minutes until second side is browned to perfection
  • Serve and enjoy! No dipping sauce required, but would be good with whatever you like on chicken nuggets… BBQ sauce, ketchup, honey, mustard, etc.

Pork Tenderloin and Fruit!

What you need:

  • unseasoned pork loin or tenderloin (about 2 pounds)
  • a bunch of spices
  • dutch oven
  • some fruit (I used 1 apple and not very ripe pear)
  • olive oil
  • an oven and a stove

I have no idea how you should do it, but this is what I did:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450
  2. Put dutch oven on high flame on the stove to warm up with some olive oil in it
  3. Lather the meat with some olive oil (use your hands, don’t be afraid to get a little dirty)
  4. Rub all over loin your favorite spices. I used red pepper flakes, garlic powder, basil, pepper, and garlic salt.
  5. Brown loin on all sides in dutch oven for a total of about 8-15 minutes depending on cut and heat. Start with the fat side up.
  6. Dice pear and apple into about 1 inch chunks
  7. Turn off stove and add pear and apple plus the dutch oven lid
  8. Place in oven
  9. After about 10 minutes remove the lid
  10. Pull out after another 5-15 minutes depending on cut. Use the old fashioned poke test to know when to pull it out of the oven.
  11. Let meat rest on cutting board for 5-10 minutes and place fruit in a serving bowl
  12. Slide meat against the grain into about half inch thick hunks
  13. Enjoy!

We served this with a delicious Kale salad that I have no clue how to make.