Brunswick stew is a thick tomato based stew popular in Southern USA, it contains lima beans, corn, potatoes, okra, other vegetables and meat. Meats used can be either pork or chicken but experts says authentic ones uses squirrel, opossum or rabbit meat.
The origin of the dish is still unknown but three locations compete for its origin, Georgia, Virginia and Germany. There are some key differences on each American version, the Virginian version usually uses chicken and/or rabbit and the Georgian version uses pork and beef. The Virginian version also claimed that the dish was created in 1828 but the Georgian version says that it wasn’t created up until 1898.
Each of these places have their tales to tell, in Virginia it was said that a Virginian State Legislator went into a hunting trip with some friends and a chef named Uncle Jimmy Mathews. Since Jimmy was the chef he was the appointed camp cook, so while his friends hunted he did a bit of shooting as well from where he is camped by shooting some squirrels. The then prepared these squirrels and cooked in an iron pot alongside other ingredients like onion, butter, stale bread, herbs and some spices. He cooked it for hours and when the hunters came back and tasted it they were all satisfied with this strange stew that was concocted.
On the other hand, Georgia’s version said the first account of this dish was in St Simons Island near the town of Brunswick. There were no written or account of the person who created it but stories was all based on the historical pot in the town that states “the first Brunswick stew was made on St Simon Isle July 2, 1898”.
For me I don’t really mind where it comes from but I am glad this was ever created as I love it, it’s quite a unique stew compared to most of the ones I tried, it’s smoky and sweet, it’s something really different.
- 700 g pulled pork shoulder
- 2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 2 cups frozen baby lima beans or edamame
- 2 potatoes, cubed
- 4 tbsp butter
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 2 400g chopped tomatoes with sauce in can
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1½ cups barbecue sauce
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a large heavy pot melt butter then sauté garlic and onions, cook until onions are soft.
- Add the pulled pork, tomatoes, chicken stock, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire, brown sugar, cayenne, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmering heat and cook in medium low heat for 1 hour.
- Add the corn, lima and potatoes and cook for 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn heat off, serve with hot sauce and soda crackers.
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