What brought me to this recipe? Well, admittedly, it was “candy” in the title. I wondered, “How is this? Is it a disgusting joke?

The recipe was posted more than three years ago on Smitten Kitchen. Let me tell you, it’s not a joke. This is not at all the standard task of making candy, with a candy thermometer and corn syrup. See the short ingredient list and calm down. We do not take any temperatures, here.

Candy,” as far as I can tell, is just a word to get our attention.

This is what I call a “weekend stew.” It cooks by itself in the oven, without my involvement or concern, for more than three hours. Yes, we use 1 cup of sugar (sweet), but we also have ¾ cup of fish sauce (funk) and 4 lbs. of pork chunks, slow-cooked until it can shred. What may initially be pungent ingredients, stew into a complex, savory blend.

This recipe is an accurate and easy process.

To maximize my time, I melt and stir my sugar sauce (the “caramel”) in a pan, while browning the pork chunks in my Dutch oven, before I combine the two.

I dress defrosted edamame beans and julienne carrots as the recipe suggests -- with rice vinegar, water, sugar, salt -- and keep them aside at room temperature while the stew stews.

Isn’t every stew a fabulous crowd-pleaser? Long-stewing will always give us soft and rich meat, with a gravy. And here, we enjoy the stew formula of meat + rice + vegetables. The white rice is enhanced by the color and flavor of the meat and gravy. The vegetables add yet another flavor and texture to the plate.

You cannot lose with this stew. After all, it cooks itself.