Brunswick Stew Recipe
This rich, hearty stew has a very unique sweet flavor thanks to its tomato and barbecue sauce base. It is best if left simmering for the better part of an afternoon so that all of its strong flavors have a chance to mix with each other. It makes a wonderful supper served with thick slices of sourdough bread toasted and buttered.
Brunswick stew has a very colorful and disputed history. If you're curious, here's a great article by Heidi Edidin. This recipe drew its inspiration from Spanky's Seafood Grill & Bar.
For a vegetarian / vegan version of this recipe, click here.
Brunswick Stew Recipe
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed with the flat of the knife then sliced
- 2 fifteen-ounce cans chicken broth (about 4 cups)
- 3 medium sized potatoes, diced
- the meat from half of a medium-sized baked chicken (about a pound of meat)
- 3/4 pound smoked pork
- 1 thirty-two ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes (about 4 cups)
- 2 cups corn (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- 2 cups peas (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- 2 cups lima beans (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- 2 1/4 cups sweet tomato-based barbecue sauce (this recipe works very well)
This is the sort of recipe my husband and I set aside for a Saturday or Sunday when we are going to be around the house all day long and can leave a pot of stew simmering on the stove all afternoon. And there is a lot of prep work to be done before you even start the stew, because the barbecue sauce needs to be made and the meat needs to be pre-cooked, unless you either buy it already cooked, use some leftovers, or have stored some baked chicken and smoked pork in your freezer. Even if you have meat that is ready to be added straight to the stew, you'll still want to give it plenty of time to simmer on the stove to give the stew a really rich flavor.
If you are preparing the meat yourself, smoke the pork on a covered grill, and bake the chicken by whatever method you prefer. When the meat is finished, prepare the barbecue sauce. Click here for a sweet tomato-based barbecue sauce recipe. When the sauce is ready, dice the onion and potato. Press the two garlic cloves with the flat of the knife then slice. Now you are ready to begin.
1. A gallon stew pot will just barely fit this stew and spills will be likely. If you have something a little bigger, use it. In your large stew pot over medium-low heat (low if using a gas range), melt the butter and saute the onions and garlic, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent.
2. Add the chicken broth, potatoes, baked chicken, and smoked pork. Increase heat to medium or medium high until it reaches a rolling boil, stirring every few minutes.
3. Cut up the fire-roasted tomatoes, retain the liquid from the can.
4. When the potatoes are done (when a fork can be stuck into them easily), add the chopped, fire-roasted tomatoes and the liquid from their can. Then add the barbecue sauce, corn, peas, and lima beans. Reduce heat to medium-low (low on a gas range), cover, and let simmer for at least two hours (but preferably the good part of an afternoon), stirring occasionally.
5. Brunswick stew is traditionally served with barbecue, but we prefer to let it stand on its own. We serve it with a good toasted and buttered sourdough bread instead. Enjoy!
Brunswick stew is also perfect for leftovers. Store a pot of it in your fridge and dip into it throughout the week.
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