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Brunswick Stew

| February 10, 2014 | 16 Comments

Brunswick Stew Recipe, as seen on Taste of Southern.
Follow step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to make our delicious, and hearty, Brunswick Stew. We’re combining Chicken, Pork BBQ, and some of our favorite vegetables, to make this stew from scratch.  Brunswick Stew is a traditional side dish served in barbecue restaurants throughout the South, but it’s great as a main course of its very own.  Just add saltine crackers or bread.  Printable recipe included.

 

Brunswick Stew, slider.
Brunswick Stew Recipe:

Let me just start out by saying this recipe is MY version of Brunswick Stew.  You’ll literally find hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to prepare Brunswick Stew, if you start searching for a recipe.  It seems there is pretty much no right or wrong way to make it.  It just depends on who you ask.

Let me also say that both Brunswick, Georgia -and- Brunswick, Virginia, lay claim to being the home of Brunswick Stew.  Well, we also have a Brunswick, North Carolina, but they haven’t gotten into the foray just yet.  So, I’ll not try to convince you that this is a North Carolina original, other than the fact that I was born and raised here in North Carolina.

The only thing that is really consistent about good Brunswick Stew, is that it’s tomato based and THICK.  It’s different from vegetable soup in that it contains meat, and it’s always made thicker than soup.  Quite often, it’s made from leftovers, which is probably why there isn’t any one recipe that is considered to be the original, or authentic.

Brunswick Stew is often served as a side dish at many of the barbecue restaurants throughout the South.  The recipe probably varies at each and everyone of them, but as mentioned, it’s always thick and hearty.  You can even order it by itself if that’s your preference.  Served with Hushpuppies, Saltine Crackers, or just plain Sunbeam Bread, it will warm you up real good on a cold winter day.

Back in our own restaurant days, we would save leftover vegetables at the end of the day and freeze them.  As long as they hadn’t been over cooked by then, they would be stored in a large container as a base for making soup or stew later.  Leftover fried chicken, could be picked off the bones and frozen as well.  And of course, pork barbecue often ended up being saved for including in the recipe.

Because of what you had on hand, on the day you decided to make Brunswick Stew, the ingredient list was often different from one batch to the next.  But, you knew what went in “your” Brunswick Stew, so you tried to make it the same.

My cousin Curtis, cooks up a great big pot of Brunswick Stew at his home once or twice a year.  It’s his own special recipe, (which he has YET to share with me) and invites family and friends over for an evening of food and fellowship, usually outdoors around a big fire.  He has a long wooden paddle that he stirs that great big pot with, and lets “his” Stew cook for hours, until it’s just right.

So, I’m going to share with you the way that I like to make it here at home.  Most of the time I’m using frozen vegetables, and I pretty much always make it the same.  I like it with beans, corn, and potatoes, along with chicken and pork barbecue.  It freezes well, so I make up a big pot, enjoy some for supper, then freeze the rest for later.  I do hope you’ll like it.

I highly suggest you just take our basic recipe, and make it your own, by adding the vegetables you have and like.  Just remember, it’s got to be tomato based, and it HAS to be thick, not like soup. Ready to give it a try?  Alright then, Let’s Get Cooking!

 

Brunswick Stew, ingredients you'll need.
Brunswick Stew:  You’ll need these ingredients.

I know it looks like a lot of stuff, but you’ll only need a small part of the vegetables shown.  Save the rest for later.

 

Brunswick Stew, remove the giblet pieces.
Most packaged whole chickens, come with a packet of “giblets” packed inside the bird.  This includes various parts like the heart, liver, gizzard, and neck.  Don’t throw them away.  They make great “Giblet Gravy,” or can be used when making chicken stock.  If you don’t intend to use them right away, label and freeze them for later.  Either way, just make sure you remove them from the chicken.

 

Brunswick Stew, rinse under cold running water.
Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water.  Be sure to look the chicken over good for any pin feathers that might not have been removed when the bird was processed.  They usually pull out pretty easily.  Be sure to check the neck cavity and rinse that out.

 

Brunswick Stew, cover with water.
You could cut up the chicken at this point if desired.  I just pulled out the enameled canning pot and placed the whole chicken inside.  Any large pot will work.  Cover the bird with water and place it on the stove.

I start out on High heat and let the water come up to a rolling boil.  Then, I reduce the heat down to Medium and let the bird cook at a low boil for about one hour, or until it’s done, checking it about every 15 minutes or so.  You want to make sure you have enough water in the pot to cover it and keep it submerged while it cooks.  You might also want to turn it after about 30 minutes.

 

Brunswick Stew, remove and drain.
Remove the chicken from the pot when its done, and place it in a colander to let it cool.  Once it cools enough to handle, we’ll pick the meat off the bones, but for now, lets get to work on the vegetables.

 

Brunswick Stew, place beans in colander.
Back in our restaurant days, we often used leftover vegetables to make the stew.  As long as they hadn’t been over cooked, they worked perfect for making Brunswick Stew.  Maybe you keep a bag in your freezer where you store leftovers.  It’s a great way to count those pennies and save on the grocery bill.

I’m just using some frozen Baby Lima Beans, since I don’t happen to have any leftovers.  Place them in a colander so you can rinse them.

 

Brunswick Stew, add the corn.
Add the corn.

 

Brunswick Stew, rinse away any ice crystals.
Rinse them under cold running water to remove any ice crystals and to help thaw them out a bit.

 

Brunswick Stew, add to the pot.
Place the rinsed vegetables in a large stock pot.

 

Brunswick Stew, rinse the potatoes.
I like to rinse my potatoes before peeling and cutting them up.  I do this in the colander as well.

 

Brunswick Stew, peel and cube the potatoes.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into small pieces.  Toss them into the pot with the beans and corn.

 

Brunswick Stew, add water to cover.
Add enough water to the vegetables to cover them by about 2 inches.

 

Brunswick Stew, cook until tender.
Place the pot over Medium-High heat on your stove and let it come up to a low boil.  REDUCE the heat down to Medium, and let the vegetables cook until they are tender.  The potatoes will be done before the beans and corn, but that’s OK.  Just let them cook until the beans are almost done.

 

Brunswick Stew, remove the meat from the bones.
Once the chicken has cooled, carefully pick the meat off the bones.  This can be a bit tedious, but it’s well worth the extra effort to pick through it carefully and make sure you remove any skin pieces and bones.  You don’t want someone to bite into a bone while enjoying your Brunswick Stew.  Shred the chicken into small bite size pieces.

 

Brunswick Stew, prepare the bbq.
I’m using some frozen Pork Barbecue leftover from one of our family pig pickings.  Back in the restaurant days, we would also freeze many of the unsold cooked meats at the end of the day.  You couldn’t just throw it away, that was your profit.  Most of the time, it ended up re-purposed in another dish, like soups, stews or pot pies.

This barbecue is already seasoned and adds some great flavor to the stew.  If you buy yours, make sure you get a good quality with some chunks of meat in it.  It will add good texture to the stew as well.

 

Brunswick Stew, add tomato sauce.
When the vegetables are about done, remove any excess liquid that you might have.  You only want just enough liquid to cover the tops of the vegetables.  Don’t throw the liquid you remove away just yet though.  We might still need it.

Go ahead and add in the Tomato Sauce.

 

Brunswick Stew, add the vinegar.
Add the Vinegar.

 

Brunswick Stew, add the brown sugar.
Add the Brown Sugar.

 

Brunswick Stew, add black pepper.
Add the Black Pepper.

 

Brunswick Stew, add the salt.
Add the Salt.

 

Brunswick Stew, add butter.
Add the Butter.

 

Brunswick Stew, add the hot sauce.
Add the Hot Sauce.

If you’re thinking this is a lot of hot sauce and you might not like so much, feel free to cut back on it. I’m using Texas Pete® which is made here in North Carolina.  It’s not super hot so I can get away with adding a bit more.  Better to be safe, and start out with a little, if in doubt about what you might be using.  You can always add more as needed.  The sauce is added for flavor, not to make it hot to the taste.  Keep it kid friendly and you’ll be happy.  Actually, I ended up adding half a cup.  I don’t like spicy hot foods and this was still fine for my taste.

 

Brunswick Stew, add tomato paste.
Add the Tomato Paste.

 

Brunswick Stew, add worcestershire sauce
Add the Worcestershire Sauce.

 

Brunswick Stew, stir well.
Grab a big spoon and give it all a good stirring.

 

Brunswick Stew, add chicken and bbq.
Add the chicken and bbq.

 

Brunswick Stew, stir it again.
Stir it up again.

 

Brunswick Stew, add some catsup.
Finally, top it off with some Ketchup, then give it another stir.  Let the stew simmer over Medium heat, stirring often, until the chicken and barbecue meats are good and warm.  If its a bit dry looking, you can always add some of the cooking water that was removed earlier.  Or, you could add either more water, or maybe some chicken broth.

Brunswick Stew should be served thick, not watery like a vegetable soup.  We know the chicken and barbecue were already done when we added them to the pot, we just need to let it simmer until all the vegetables are good and tender.  Taste it to see if you think it needs anything else your family might enjoy.  That’s the thing with Brunswick Stew, you’re basically using leftovers, or what’s on hand, to make a hearty thick stew the family will enjoy.  Make it your own.

 

Brunswick Stew, freezes well.
Brunswick Stew freezes well.  Let it cool completely, then place it in freezer containers and stack it in the freezer.  I froze these five containers to enjoy on the cold days ahead, but it’s good any time of the year.

 

Brunswick Stew, enjoy.
Serve up a big bowl of Brunswick Stew with some saltine crackers, or a couple of slices of Sunbeam bread.

Enjoy!

 

Brunswick Stew

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 12-14 Servings

Brunswick Stew

Follow step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to make our delicious, and hearty, Brunswick Stew. We're combining Chicken, Pork BBQ, and some of our favorite vegetables, to make this stew from scratch. Brunswick Stew is a traditional side dish served in barbecue restaurants throughout the South, but it's great as a main course of its very own. Just add saltine crackers or bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Chicken
  • 1 lb. Pork Barbecue, fully cooked.
  • 1 lb. Baby Lima Beans
  • 1 lb. Corn
  • 4 medium Potatoes, diced
  • 1 can Tomato Sauce - 8oz.
  • 2 cans Tomato Paste - 4oz
  • ½ stick Butter
  • ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Texas Pete Hot Sauce
  • ¼ cup Ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Instructions

  1. Rinse the fryer under cold running water.
  2. Place fryer in large stock pot and cover with water about 6 inches over chicken.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and let chicken cook for one hour.
  4. Remove cooked chicken from pot, set aside to cool.
  5. Place the frozen baby lima beans and frozen corn in a colander. Rinse well.
  6. Add the beans and corn to a large stock pot.
  7. Wash, peel and cut up the potatoes, add to the beans and corn.
  8. Add enough water to cover the vegetables by about 2 inches.
  9. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until vegetables are tender. About one hour.
  10. While the vegetables cook, pull the chicken meat from the bones. Discard bones and skin.
  11. Shred chicken into small pieces.
  12. When vegetables are done, remove any excess liquid, leaving just enough to reach top of vegetables.
  13. Add tomato sauce.
  14. Add apple cider vinegar
  15. Add brown sugar.
  16. Add black pepper
  17. Add salt.
  18. Add butter.
  19. Add Texas Pete Hot Sauce.
  20. Add tomato paste.
  21. Add Worcestershire Sauce.
  22. Stir well.
  23. Add chicken to the stew.
  24. Add pork barbecue to stew.
  25. Add Ketchup. Stir well.
  26. Return to stove top and simmer on medium, stirring often, until warm, prior to serving.
  27. Stock or liquid from vegetables may be added if needed to obtain desired consistency.
  28. Serve warm and Enjoy!

Notes

Brunswick Stew is always tomato based, and thick. Make it your own recipe by adding the vegetable ingredients you have on hand and like.

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Your Comments:  Have you ever made your own Brunswick Stew?  What ingredients do you like best in yours?  I’d love to hear your comments on our recipe in the Comment Section at the bottom of this page.  It will only take you a minute or two to share them with us, and if you try our recipe, your comments might encourage someone else to try it.  Just know, all Comments are moderated.  That means that I personally read each and every one of them before they are approved for posting on our family friendly home here on the Internet.  I appreciate you taking the time to share your results with us, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you.  Your comments do not appear immediately.  I’ll review them and post them just as soon as I can.  I also try to respond to as many comments as possible, so be sure to check back in a day or two for that.  Thank you in advance.

Sign Up For Our FREE Newsletter:  While you’re here, be sure to sign up for our FREE Newsletter. Each week, I try to send out a reminder to let you know we’ve posted a new recipe here on Taste of Southern.  Also, if anything else is going on around here, like a Giveaway, or something else of importance, I’ll send out a special note about that.  Usually it’s one a week, but sometimes you might get an extra one.  It’s easy to sign up, just use the box below, or the one you’ll find in the top right hand corner of each page of our site.  Should you ever decide you’re no longer interested, it’s even easier to unsubscribe.  But, I hope you’ll never feel that way.  Thank You in advance and for all of your support. I’ll look forward to seeing you on our list soon.  I do hope that you’ll also share our recipe information with your family and friends.

Be Blessed!!!
Steve

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Category: Chicken, Main Dishes, Soups & Stews

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Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (16)

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  1. Faye says:

    I made this for my daughter who had a baby last week. It was delicious. Just as good as Smithfield’s. You do a great job with this web site!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Faye, Thank You so much for your compliments on our site and on the Brunswick Stew recipe. CONGRATULATIONS on that new Grandbaby. Boy or Girl?

      I do appreciate your comments and hope that you’ll get the opportunity to try some of our other recipes. Just because you have a Grandbaby doesn’t mean you can stop cooking. (Smile) Thank You for your visit, I hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  2. Judy says:

    Hi Steve,

    I just started getting your news letters. My mom just recently passed away and this brings back lots of memories. Mom use to make something similar to your Brunswick Stew, except she called it, “chicken stew” and she would use chickens and vegetables that we grew on the farm.

    Also, I didn’t know there was still Sunbeam Bread around!!! I grew up in Northern California, mom would usually buy Wonder or Rainbow Bread. But when my brothers and I would visit our grandparents, they had Sunbeam Bread. I thought that was only available in the bay area. I remember asking my grandmother for peanut butter and jam sandwich on the toaster bread. I think I called it that because she had an old sunbeam toaster!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Judy, I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. I’m sure you miss her dearly and hope you have lots of great memories to keep her close in your heart. I’m glad we could bring back a few memories for you with our Brunswick Stew Recipe.

      Little Miss Sunbeam and her bread is still available in our area. I think it’s made just up the road from us around Greensboro, NC, among other places. Do you remember Merita Bread? It was another favorite growing up.

      I appreciate your comments and your visit. Hopefully you’ll give some of our recipes a try and let me know what you think about them. Maybe we can do one for Chicken Stew in the near future. Thanks again, and do stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  3. Tom Parrott says:

    Hi Steve, Great web site! Great recipes and excellent photos of the actual preparation and cooking the recipes. When I read your articles about Southern Food they bring back a lot good memories for me growing up in North Carolina. We are all looking forward to what you have for us next.

    Sincerely,

    Tom

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Tom, Thank you so much for the very nice compliments. I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and that you enjoy the recipes. I’m glad we can bring back some good Carolina memories for you.

      Thank you for your comments and I do hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. Al Sevcik says:

    My Brunswick stew turned out great! Excellent recipe. One thing, I believe the one-hour time for cooking the vegetables is much too long. For me, 20 minutes was plenty. I simplified the recipe a bit by using a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Made a fine dinner, with lots of good leftovers to freeze for next time.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Al, I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and that you tried the Brunswick Stew recipe. As for the cooking time, whatever works best for you is certainly what you need to do. As I mentioned at the top of the recipe, Cousin Curtis cooks his for hours in a great big pot, which is pretty typical when making a big batch. I’m just happy you tried the recipe and that it turned out well for you. I appreciate your visit and do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. Tracy says:

    Love Brunswick stew and this sounds great. Thing is, I don’t care for Lima Beans… Do you recommend another bean/pea to substitute? Love your blog!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Tracy, I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and our recipe for Brunswick Stew. The great thing about this stew, is that you can add your favorite vegetables to it. Just go with whatever you like best. Green Beans would work well if you like those.

      I hope you’ll give the recipe a try, and come back and let me know how they turned out. I appreciate your visit and hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  6. Miz Karen says:

    I have only made Brunswick stew using the “canned” barbecue recipe since so many recipes I read seemed too complicated. I do like your recipe and plan on making it soon. Thanks for sharing

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Miz Karen, Thank You for your comments on our Brunswick Stew recipe. I’m glad that you like it and hope you’ll be trying it soon. Come back and let me know what you think… OK?

      I appreciate your visit and do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  7. Sylvia says:

    Thanks. Love some Brunswick Stew. Stay warm.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Sylvia, Just waiting for some more snow at the moment. Guess I need to pull another container of this Brunswick Stew out of the freezer, just in case.

      Thank You for your visit and I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Mary C. says:

        I am so excited to find this recipe for Brunswick stew. I’m from Ohio and didn’t grow up eating this. However the first time I tried it I was a fan. Don’t think I’ve ever had a Brunswick stew that I didn’t like. The few people I knew that made it themselves made it seem so complicated. They talked about also cooking it outside in a big pot for hours. So I’m delighted to see that I can make my own. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with great pictures and detailed steps.

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Mary C. I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and the Brunswick Stew recipe. You can certainly add a lot more items than what I’ve included, but we try to give you the basic recipe so you can then make it your own.

          My brother and I visited a family up in Virginia just a few weeks back on a business trip for his company. They had seen this recipe but they cook their own and wanted me to try it out. We both enjoyed our visit and the mighty fine Stew they had prepared. This gentleman has a 50 GALLON cast iron pot that he cooks his in. It was humongous to say the least. They cook Brunswick Stew often for the family, fundraisers, and other events. It was really good though and I can understand why so many folks enjoy it. I’ll be like you and just stick with cooking it in smaller batches on my stove top.

          Thank you for sharing your comments. I do hope you’ll enjoy it and that you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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