Thursday, March 11, 2010

Brunswick Stew

For this week's happy, I'm posting a recipe that I made the other night for dinner. I love to cook, and having a recipe turn out well is a very good happy! (See more happy here.)

When we were visiting North Carolina a couple years ago, we had a fabulous dinner at a BBQ place called Smithfields. YUMMY! One of the sides they offer is Brunswick Stew. I had never heard of it, but it was fantastic. Turns out, it is a very common side in the south. Every place has a different version of the recipe!

I went looking for a recipe recently, and kept finding recipes for HUGE amounts of this stew (think three whole chickens, a pound of potatoes, etc.) I decided to just take bits and pieces from these recipes and make up my own in order to make a more reasonable amount of stew.
About two weeks ago, my husband made pulled pork. He got this recipe from someone in the south also, and he has perfected it. It is super tasty! We saved out a portion and froze it to put into our stew. (We will be doing this from now on!)
OK - on to the recipe.

Brunswick Stew (My way)
1 yellow onion, diced
3 potatoes, diced (I used yukon gold)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can whole tomatoes (28 oz)
1 can cream corn
1 bag frozen lima beans
1 bag frozen corn
3 chicken breasts (cooked, diced)
1/2-1 pound cooked, pulled pork
s&p to taste
Herbs - rosemary, oregano... I used dried - big pinches of each and a couple bay leaves
Dash of worcestershire sauce
4 cups chicken broth, 4 cups water

First - saute the onion and garlic in a little oil. I did this right in my big stock pot. Add in the diced potatoes. I added a bit of salt and pepper at this point. Dump in the juice from the canned tomatoes, and break apart the whole tomatoes - add. Stir in your broth and water at this point and get the soup simmering. Add in your herbs and worcestershire sauce. Taste for saltiness. I didn't need to add much more because of the broth.

Add in the pork, chicken, and all veggies, except the cream corn. Let everything simmer for about 45 minutes-1 hour, until the potatoes are done. Add in the cream corn and let it all get heated up again. Serve.

You can also add some heat with a few red chile flakes. Many recipes I saw also called for added sugar. I skipped that. The cream corn is pretty sweet and added enough sweet for me. You can really vary this how you like it. I wanted to add okra also, but couldn't find frozen in our little local grocery. If you don't like lima beans, use something else. You could also do this with just chicken if you don't have leftover pulled pork. I think you would want to add in some spice though. (The pork has cumin, chipotle, brown sugar, etc. on it.)
This was an amazingly yummy stew! We ate it for dinner last night, and have a huge amount leftover. Yay! We have a frozen pork shoulder and Mike will be making pulled pork again soon. There will be a portion placed in the freezer for another round of Brunswick stew! :)


  1. Your Brunswick stew sounds great. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  2. Thanks for sharing your happy. Have a great week!

  3. This sounds awesome! How odd that people put sugar in a stew? I never heard of that before, I would have skipped it as well. I don't eat pork but you're making me want to try pulled pork too.

  4. Yum....sounds delicious. I don't think I've ever had Brunswick Stew.

    PS - LuLu is almost back to her old self! We are so happy. Thank you again for your thoughtfulness.

  5. Hi quick question from out of the blue ... are the stringy looking bits the pulled pork? And when you say "one bag", do you mean like a small little 200g bag or a home-done ziploc or something? Does the creme corn sweeten/thicken it at all? Looks so good and I've never even heard of it before.

  6. Hi Twyla - :) Glad to try and answer your question. The pork is a home-done ziploc - I would guess maybe 1/2 to 1 pound. (I don't know the conversion to grams) My husband makes the pulled pork and I use some of it in the stew!

    The creme corn does both - thicken and sweeten a bit. I saw several recipes that called for additional sugar, but I liked this with just the bit of sweet from the cream corn. I added it at the end to kind of pull the soup together. You could certainly add another thickener if you wanted more stew, less soup. :)

  7. I used to live very near Smithfield NC and we would go to a family style BBQ place as a treat. Huge portions, great food, served in big bowls and everybody shares. I can't remember the name of the place though. I really miss some things about rural North Carolina.