My ventures to Georgia's greatest bbq joints has me often sampling Brunswick stew along with the bbq. Some folks get it right, and some folks simply have something more akin to a vegetable stew claiming to be Brunswick stew. It is said that the origin of Brunswick stew is debated between Brunswick, Virginia and Brunswick, GA. Despite the fact that I am a Georgian by birth and residence, I find more credibility in the Brunswick, VA origin. Sampling the stews from all of these joints along with the regular smoking on my Green Egg has put me in the position of being not only a serious barbecuer but also one that has now learned to fix up a Brunswick stew that can rival the work of any of the 'q joints that I've hit. Just this evening, I've fixed up a bit pot of stew using the following recipe.
I start the Brunswick Stew process with a 12 quart pot which is large enough to handle all of whatever I decide to throw into the mix.
- Begin the stew with one chopped onion in the pot cooking it down for about 15 minutes.
- Next, pour in two cans of diced tomatoes. If you grow and can your own tomatoes, that is even better, but two cans from the store work just as well.
- Add one cup of Heinz catsup.
- Add one green pepper or you can use red peppers if you wish.
- Add your Boston Butt, turkey, ground beef, venison, or whatever meat base you wish to use. My grandmothers would have probably thrown in a squirrel or two into the mix, but I think I'll pass on that addition. I typically prefer the Boston Butt for the meat base as it gives it the perfect fat consistency to really bring the best flavor to the stew. Tonight's stew has me using a good portion of turkey breast that I had smoked on the Green Egg. Cook these ingredients for about 30 minutes.
- The balance of the ingredients is what makes preparing Brunswick stew fun. Frankly, I'll add some staples, but I'll also search both the pantry and refrigerator for any ingredients that I think will add to the mix. You can empty any partial bottles of bbq sauce, wing sauce, a little Dale's, or whatever.
- One teaspoon vinegar.
- One teaspoon sugar.
- Salt and pepper.
- One can of cut okra.
- One can of lima (butterbeans) beans.
- One can of corn.
- Stir the ingredients for a while and then cook for another 30 minutes.
You may need to add a little salt and black pepper if you prefer, but after a little cooling down, you've got meals for the next few days. This stew is realistically as good as you'll find in any of the bbq joints' I've found. Once again, the fun thing about this is that you can literally add most any ingredient to your liking to this mix.