When I visit my parents, we almost always end up eating out in Stevens Point, WI because it has an abundance of delicious restaurants. Usually we end up eating at Father Fats, an incredible tapas restaurant. However, the last time I went out with them, we went across the street to the chef’s sister restaurant instead, Chef’s Kitchen. This place is interesting because the menu changes frequently based on what type of cuisine is being featured. We decided to eat at Chef’s Kitchen that weekend because the cuisine of choice that evening was Caribbean, a personal favorite of my mom and dads. For an appetizer I got a soup called jug jug, and I fell in love with this amazing, flavorful, and fiery dish. After researching, I realized the chef had put his own personal spin on it because it seemed like most of the jug jugs I found on the internet were green and had a pea base, and his seemed more tomato-based. I definitely wanted to try to replicate the dish I had at Chef’s Kitchen, so I was glad I had a picture of his menu, which listed some of the main ingredients. After a little experimentation of my own, I think I have gotten as close to mimicking it as I can. Warning, this stew definitely has a kick behind it. If you aren’t a fan of hot and spicy cuisine, check out my Beef Bourguignon instead for a more savory beef stew.
¾ cup Diced Yellow Onion – about 1 small onion
¼ cup Diced Jalapeno – about 3 small peppers
½ cup Diced Green Pepper – about 1 pepper
4 tsp Minced Garlic
6 oz Bacon – cooked and chopped
13 oz Beef Stew Meat or Chuck Roast chopped into ¾ inch pieces
¼ cup Flour
½ tsp Black Pepper
½ tsp Salt
3 tbsp Olive Oil
4 cups Beef Broth
6 oz Tomato Paste
½ tsp Dried Thyme
1 ½ tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp Cajun Seasoning
2 tsp Hot Sauce
1 can Corn
1 can Red Beans
1 can Navy Beans
1. Dice the onion, jalapenos, and green pepper. Try to dice them into pieces that are about 1/4th of an inch or smaller to avoid having a super chunky stew.
2. Cook the bacon. 6 oz is about 5 thick slices. After it is fully cooked, chop into small pieces.
Kitchen Tip: I personally prefer to bake my bacon. This can be done pretty easily. Place a sheet of tin foil down on a cookie sheet and lay the bacon out on it. Make sure the bacon isn’t touching. Set the oven to 400 and put the bacon in right away so it is cooking while the oven is warming up. I have a convection oven so it takes between 13-15 minutes for my bacon to be done to my desired crunchiness, but this might take longer if you have a regular oven. Once the bacon is done, set it on a paper towel lined plate to remove some grease. The best part of this cooking method is that the tin foil can be crumpled up once the grease hardens and there is no mess to clean up!
4. Put the flour, salt, and pepper in a Ziploc bag and shake until combined. Add in the beef stew pieces and toss until it is completely coated.
5. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and then sear the beef stew cubes until all of the outsides are partially cooked. Set on a paper towel lined plate to remove some grease from them.
6. Use the same frying pan to mix together the broth, tomato paste, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, cajun seasoning, and hot sauce. Simmer until everything is combined and the tomato paste is blended in, about 10-15 minutes.
7. Mix together all of the ingredients in either a large pot or slow cooker. Simmer on low for five and a half hours.
Overall, this stew is the perfect dish for people that like a kick to their food. I recommend serving it with some Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Muffins. They taste absolutely amazing dipped into the broth of this stew!