When Woo Hwang was selected for a second chance, I was skeptical. He made undeniably one of the worst final two picks in Survivor history, costing himself the million dollar win. Tony Vlachos, the winner of the season, was also massively unlikeable. So what does that say about our friend Woo? Nothing good, I’m afraid.
Naturally, watching Woo’s BvBvB failure was not the first time we’d crossed paths. Woo was auditioning with Ben and I for a lifetime backed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles telemovie. While Ben was flaunting his assets for the role of April, Woo was gunning for Leonardo. In a massive twist of fate, the casting agent was so impressed with Woo he snagged the role of April AND Splinter (Ben’s second choice) right out from underneath him. As you can imagine, there is a very long suffering grudge between the two.
To see Woo fail was massively rewarding in his first season, but I was really gunning for him in Cambodia. Despite not being one of my personal returnee choices, he seemed to really grow a backbone out there, even at the risk of copping an Abi-Maria coconut to the head.
How can we best comfort Woo for being voted out too soon?
The Stew Hwang is the ultimate in sweet spicy comfort food. Slow cooked to tender perfection and served by the generous bowlful, this is the perfect non-alcoholic way to drown your sorrows.
1kg lean topside of beef, diced into 1-inch cubes
100g streaky bacon or lardons, roughly chopped
1 large brown onion, diced
4 small cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups red wine
3/4 cup plum jam
2 tablespoons minced chilli
2 400g cans diced tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
4 sprigs rosemary
Preheat oven to 140°C. In a large cast iron Dutch oven, brown diced beef in batches and set aside.
In the same pan, brown lardons and onion until soft and aromatic. Add garlic and red wine and allow to simmer for five minutes or until liquid is reduced by a third.
Add jam, tomatoes, stock, chilli and rosemary. Cover with tight fitting lid and bake in oven for up to four hours, stirring hourly, until meat is very tender. Cook for final 30 minutes uncovered so sauce can reduce.
Serve with warm toasted bread or mashed potatoes.