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How To Make a Hearty and Delicious Brunswick Stew

It’s stew season! While you’re breaking out your Dutch ovens and slow cookers to whip up a delicious beef stew or chili chorizo recipe, there’s another tasty one-pot meal that you shouldn’t sleep on— the Brunswick stew. It’s perfect with a cornbread muffin or hunk of crusty bread.

There are some Brunswick Stew traditionalists out there who insist that it must contain chicken, pork, beef, lima beans, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes. But, the truth is, you can make an excellent Brunswick stew using whatever barbecued meat leftovers and random veggies you have lying around. Plus, if they were really traditionalists, they’d be using squirrel, opossum, and raccoon meat in their Brunswick stew, because that’s how they really did it back in the day.

We reached out to grilling extraordinaire and founder of the popular grilling blog, Hey Grill Hey, Susie Bulloch for an easy and delicious Brunswick stew recipe that you can feel free to tweak to your needs.

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Brunswick Stew Recipe

brunswick stew in a pot.
Photo by Artur Kornakov on Unsplash

(Courtesy of Susie Bulloch)

“I feel like Brunswick stew is the most common-sense solution for any leftover BBQ you’ve got sitting around after a weekend of smoking. This stew is no-frills, no-fuss, a little of this, a little of that, and loads of comforting smoky BBQ flavor. So if you have BBQ leftovers just sitting around, this recipe will be your saving grace. Just dump, simmer, and enjoy.”

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 1 pound grilled chicken thighs (diced)
  • .5 pound smoked pulled pork
  • .5 pound smoked brisket (chopped)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes (with liquid)
  • 1.5 cups frozen corn
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • .5 cup BBQ sauce (we prefer a sweet and smoky sauce)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste

Method

  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat your olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions, bell pepper, and celery until soft (about 10 minutes). Stir in the garlic and cook another 3-4 minutes.
  2. Slowly stir in the chicken thighs, brisket, and pulled pork. Pour in the chicken stock, canned tomatoes, corn, ketchup, BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
  3. Bring the stew to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Place a lid on the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until thickened to desired consistency.
  4. Serve warm with crusty bread.

Brunswick Stew Tips and Tricks

As we alluded to before, the great thing about Brunswick Stew is your ability to get creative. Here are some more ideas for your stew:

  • Try using an Instant Pot or another pressure cooker to cut down on cooking time and really pressure-fuse all those flavors together.
  • Fire up your pellet grill or smoker and pop in your Dutch oven without the lid. A nice and slow smoke for a few hours will add even more delicious smokiness to your stew.
  • If you don’t have leftover BBQ pork, chicken, or brisket you can improvise with frozen pre-cooked options.
  • If you’ve made a lot of stew and are looking to spice up the leftovers, try it over rice or another hearty grain.

Brunswick Stew History

Although the exact origin of this delicious American dish is foggy, there are two things we know for sure. One, it originated somewhere in the American South in the late 19th or early 20th century. Georgia (Brunswick) likes to stake claim to inventing the stew, however, it can be traced back to Virginia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas as well.

The other thing we can say for sure about the stew is it’s a staple side dish for BBQ joints across the country. That’s because it’s the perfect dish to repurpose all that delicious smoky meat that didn’t get sold. So if you had a big backyard BBQ and are looking for the perfect recipe for the leftovers, you’ve found it!

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