Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

How To Nap Effectively: Beef Stew On The Grill


Today’s BBQ story begins out under neath my car. You see I woke up there, after a fashion – after a little routine maintenance amid its grungy under-carriage. I had it up on ramps in the garage a few weekends ago, television softly bantering in the shop, and was under there changing the oil like men do, when I at once felt a great and abiding drowsiness draw over me like a warm, wet, towel – feelings patron to the finer things in life, and I, being the capitalistic man that I am, seized it in due order. And I cannot tell you that the odd but savory sensations to be found napping under your automobile is representative of a stable-sounding individual, but I would stand be-funked to say that I didn’t enjoy it to no end. It was fabulous. Sheer pleasure it is, to dose off neath such a view as this: between struts, and ball joints, and the mechanical heavens snaking above. The sound of oil draining into a cold, plastic pan. Oh yes. The art of nap-seizing is something I learned from my elder brother long ago, and is a dark art, perhaps, settled nicely on the bottom of the family gene pool. I digress.

Elder brother, in his prime anyways, was known to fall asleep in the oddest of locales: from atop snow banks, up trees, half-submergedIMG_0696 in trout streams, half-inserted inside big machines on the factory floor in which he works, and yes, under his cars supposedly changing the oil. Who doesn’t like a good, albeit dubious, oil change now and again. I wouldn’t have even thought napping under cars was possible, had not I caught the man mid-drool one day, on his drive way, snoring peacefully under his jeep. He’s been doing this sort of thing for years. The wife would walk by and see him laying under it, soiled boots splayed at forty-five degree angles, and mistakenly assume he was being productive. She’d scamper up the steps into the house none-the-wiser, with her groceries in her arms. Elder brother had cracked the code and the highest level of unashamed loitering. After I saw that it could be done, and not to mention what could be so dubiously accomplished, whilst all the while maintaining your illusion as an upstanding and useful individual, I started taking some of my own naps this way. And a couple of Saturdays ago was one of them.

I came to under the car, eyes coming to focus on the catalytic converter, and promptly rolled myself out and sat up, hair tossed like a bad salad.

Crikies“, I thunk,” time to stir the stew!

I made my way for the pit with haste in my foot steps, and snatched the lid clear of the old kettle grill. There a well-seasoned 12 quart cast iron dutch oven looked up at me, piled high full of stew fixings. A beefy aroma rolled off the steaming vittles as I stirred it accordingly, nurturing unto a better place. Gray clouds and cold breezes swirled through the naked alders skirting the pond. A light mist dappled over the land. And a squadron of Canadian geese honked over-head. I dare say, no finer weather nor more apt a comfort food, than a delicious, and hearty bowl full of home-made beef stew. It’s real easy to do too, and here is how.


One chimney full of charcoal is all you need. Rip-roaring and hot, spill it out into your grill, making a quaint layer but abiding layer. Shape the bed of glowing coals just a trifle smaller in diameter than your intended dutch oven. There upon, and with the ape-like ease of a brick layer, place your dutch oven accordingly, and precisely over the fiery bed. Here we go now. Splash in a little cooking oil, and a good matter of stew meat, and brown it up. That is where the money is. This is the heart of beef stew, so take your time and pamper it. Better yet, and if you feel like it, shish kabob the stew meat, and brown them up man-style, right over the hemorrhaging flames, so to impart a bit of smokey goodness into your plunder. Can’t beat that!

Next step is to add the fixings.

This part of stew making rides on the street car named discretion. Do what you will and how you like it. We put in a big pile of peeled and quartered potatoes. Enough carrots to make bugs bunny weep. An entire bag of french cut green beans. An entire bag of corn. And a quarter cabbage, chopped. Fill the gaps with water, until it almost drowns everything and dash on some salt and pepper, that is it. Stew making 101. And anybody can do it. Let it go until the coals exhaust themselves. Ours was done in about 3 hours. We also used the big iron lid for Dutch oven most of the cook

The joy of stew however, good stew anyways, is that it benefits with the sweet passage of time. The longer we let it be, the better it gets. In point of fact, this stew will taste even better the next day, having mingled over-night amid its own host of distinct and varied flavors. So don’t rush it on the pit, tho it should be done in but a few, scant hours. Let in linger there. Let it dwell in the good ambiance of rising smoke and slanting sunbeams. And for a while at least, let this crazed drive-through-sort of world spin headlong with out thee. You will eat just fine. For good cooking should take time. Plenty of time. This to afford a man his freedoms you see, to go about his business for the day. To get some things done around the house, as it were, and maybe even go out in the garage and change the oil again. But don’t bring a pillow, cause that would just be weird.


Hearty, wholesome, and so easy to do. Home Made Beef Stew hot off the grill. Man! Oil change optional.

32 responses

  1. This is so GREAT! I used to catch my dad napping like that all the time as a little girl!

    December 11, 2013 at 10:52 am

    • No kidding?! Its common to the male species then! Thanks for chiming in!

      Take care,

      December 11, 2013 at 11:00 am

  2. Looks great. I made stew the other day, which cam eout more like soup so I threw in some barley and moved on. I have been know to nap while riding a snowmobile, so I get it. Of course as a mother of 2, I’ll take it wherever and whenever I catch a Z or 2.

    December 11, 2013 at 10:55 am

    • Haha, wow, napping while snowmobiling….Now that’s a new one! Well done!

      Stew weather is upon us!

      December 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

  3. looks delicious!

    December 11, 2013 at 11:03 am

  4. Now alls ya need is a scoop or two of steamed rice and your golden, ALOHA POTP!

    December 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    • There ya go! I never think of these things until its too late!

      Aloha auntiedoni!

      December 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm

  5. One question. Does your kitchen stove ever get used? Who would have thought of making a stew on a BBQ? Sorry, the answer is right before my eyes.

    December 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    • Yes, I used the stove just the other day in point of fact, to set the groceries on!

      December 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm

  6. laurie27wsmith

    I wonder how many great thoughts have been born under the family car? Recipes created, sleep caught up on. I have to say that stew is my all time favourite dish. I could eat it every day. Now the next time you are under the car have a thought about connecting an oven to the manifold and cook while you drive long distance. 🙂

    December 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    • Yes indeed, the under belly of a car is breeding grounds for greatness. Womens may not understand.

      I have heard of the old manifold trick, but havn’t gathered the gum-shun to try it yet, tho it sounds feasible. But so does a 12 volt crock pot, the aromas from which waft with every mile marker on along drive.

      Thanks Laurie!

      December 11, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    • Ha!

      December 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm

  7. Very nice! I do all of my vehicle maintenance but I’ve yet to snooze while under an automobile. That being said, in my military days, I was known to sleep quite well while standing with a fully loaded rucksack on my back.

    December 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    • Oh yes, it is especially savory on a hot day, I should wager. A day in which it is noticeably cooler under the car, with a gentle cross-breeze there, and tweety birds singing sweetly from distant trees. You safe under there, and protected I guess. And naps come easy.

      I didn’t know you were in the military. Very cool. Happy belated Veterans Day to you, Duncan!

      Take care,

      December 11, 2013 at 4:33 pm

  8. A nap under the car good thing you didn’t forget where you were and sit up suddenly, ouch! Stew on the grill, not thats a great way to make beef stew.

    December 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    • Oh good point! What a rude awakening that would be! And everything is better on the grill, you know that!

      Thanks Suzanne.

      December 13, 2013 at 10:12 am

  9. awesome post, as always. you do us men proud with both your strange napping habits and beef stew victories.

    at first, i thought “beef stew on the grill? that’s just excessive.” and then i thought, “excessive is just a more negative word for awesome.” good on you, patrons of the pit.

    December 11, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    • Aw, thanks as always to you, Misha. Appreciate it! Yeah we probably coulda done it on the stove top like normal folk, but it’s just more fun outside!

      December 11, 2013 at 9:45 pm

  10. yes, yes. Indeed a nap is a good thing, especially if there’s some smoked goodness waiting for those “wake up” hunger pangs.

    December 11, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    • Oh yes, nothing quite so fine. Nothing like a good nap and a fully belly from the pit to set a man right!

      December 11, 2013 at 9:48 pm

  11. Sleeping on the boat, waiting for sunrise is a wonderful way to sleep. Just an hour feels like four. Then the scenery you wake to is far better than the underside of any jeep. Give it a try and let someone else stir the stew. 🙂

    December 12, 2013 at 9:59 am

    • Oh I forgot about boat napping. Yeah, we’ve done a good bit of that too. I agree, its far better than a jeep under belly. The only problem we’ve had is people think the boat is abandoned, and therefore come up to it and disturb our napping. Some times taking us for dead. But yeah, that is the best napping of all, slowly rocked to sleep in the bosom of thy boat. Good stuff.

      Thanks TJ!

      December 12, 2013 at 10:16 am

  12. Note to self – nap under car. Bloody sensational idea!

    December 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    • You can also nap at the computer if you train your mouse hand to twitch once in a while, so to ward off the screen saver.

      December 12, 2013 at 1:55 pm

  13. Liz

    Stew on a grill? I shouldn’t even be surprised that you thought of this (and pulled it off successfully), but I am a little. Wow! Glad you’re getting your naps in when you can. Are you the patron with the baby? The little ones tend to make sleep all the more precious.

    December 12, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    • It’s all an excuse to play with fire and be out-of-doors, I guess. Plus I was in the mood for some dutch oven work. I love those things. And no, that would be the other patron who has the baby. And you’re right, he has been going “belly-up” when ever he can, and relishing every second I think. Me, I’m just a recreational napper. It’s a hobby!

      Thanks Liz!

      December 13, 2013 at 10:08 am

  14. The last time I look under my car all I could see was black plastic – I cannot do anything to my car Audi knows how to keep you from trying to fix anything yourself!

    December 17, 2013 at 3:05 pm

  15. I’ve only recently taken up the hobby of napping. That last job I had wore me out, so it was sorta like a survival technique. Now, I’m retired and can nap whenever the hell I like.

    December 21, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    • Darn right you can. Happy napping in a happy new year to come! Thanks for swinging by.

      December 22, 2013 at 4:45 pm

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