Brunswick Stew: Make Father’s Day Smokin’!

JB's Brunswick Stew

My buddy and fellow blogger Jerry Tails from the WagginMaster stated he wanted me to “Post a photo, I have a scratch and sniff monitor” of my famous Brunswick Stew.

A little History: I have had a long-standing relationship with pork, all kinds of pork, ribs, chops, bacon, pulled pork and Brunswick Stew. Growing up in North Carolina I treasured my summer days as a kid when my father was teaching summer classes at UNC Pembroke and the staff would hold a “Pig Pickin” on campus. My mother worked full-time so my father would drag me along where ever he went in the summer, sometime he was holding classes and sometime we would run errands or head up to the Bronx to visit my grandmother. Regardless summer was time for my dad and me to “hang”. Each year around father’s day those wonderful memories come springing back and my stomach craves Brunswick Stew.

UNCP has a very unique history of diversity and was established to train American Indian teachers. We would always attend the annual showings of Strike at the Wind an outdoor musical drama based on the true story of the Lowery War. My father loves the rich history of the area, at 86 he still cherishes his friends and colleagues from North Carolina. Our campus family would gather together in summer to hold a pig pickin’ almost every other week. My father loved to chow down on, well anything, but loved pulled pork and Brunswick Stew; so with me in-tow we would feast with some of the best Native American pit masters on some of the most mouth-watering BBQ in the state.

After moving from NC to Savannah GA for college, I discovered the differences between North Carolina BBQ and Georgia BBQ along with the similarities of their Brunswick Stew. NC stew is thinner and has more vinegar tang than the original GA batches. Both NC and GA have stuck to the same main ingredients with pork and chicken as the focus.

When ever my pit master hubby makes pork butt/shoulder we always have enough left over to make the stew. Here is my top secret recipe which is based upon the original Brunswick Georgia historical version (without the squirrel and rabbits) but includes my North Carolinian spin. If you ever want to take the Brunswick Stew challenge you can enter the annual Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, step-dads and grandfathers, we are blessed to have you in our lives. Hope you enjoy! Cheers

JB’s Brunswick Stew

Make the Sauce:
Melt 1/4 cup of butter then add:
1 3/4 cups of catsup – I use half catsup and half of my hubby homemade BBQ sauce
1/4 cup mustard (French’s prefered)
1/4 cup white vinegar

Blend until smooth then add:
1-2 cloves of fresh garlic
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper  or Tabasco (leave out if you don’t like it HOT)
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 of a fresh squeezed lemon
If you meats aren’t smoked then you can add 1 tbsp of liquid smoke for taste but we smoke all our meats so never need this step.

1/4 cup dark around sugar and stir constantly (do not boil) 10 mins then remove from heat and set aside for later.

The Stew:
Simmer until soft but not mushy in salted water:
5 medium sized red or new potatoes
3 cups of frozen lima beans
Once potatoes and limas are almost done add 2 cups of frozen okra and finish simmer for 2-5 mins. Drain water and set aside.

In your largest pot, melt 1/4 cup of butter then add:
1 cup diced onion (I use Vidalia onions or sweet onions)
Diced potatoes cooked from earlier
3-4 cups smoked chicken
3-4 cups smoke pulled pork
Cover ingredients with chicken stock, 1 (12 oz) bottle of light beer, 2 (14.5 oz) cans of stewed tomatoes then simmer to a slow boil. I use my own chicken stock which I make from boiling boneless/skinless chicken thighs, pinch of salt, and 1 bay leaf. I use the chicken in my homemade enchiladas then save the broth for later use.

After you bring the pot to a low boil add the following:
2 (8.5 oz) cans creamed corn
Lima beans and okra cooked from earlier
Prepared sauce and bring back to a low rolling simmer, taste for any additional spices needed such as more salt, pepper, heat, or liquid smoke.

Simmer just a few more mins to ensure that all flavors have some together nicely then serve in a bowl with a side of buttered toast in triangles for dipping.

*Note you can always slow cook the chicken and pork in a crockpot and add the liquid smoke to the sauce to give it that “smoked” flavor.


5 thoughts on “Brunswick Stew: Make Father’s Day Smokin’!

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  1. Great piece! I work at UNC Pembroke, so I share your love of eastern NC barbecue. Our media monitoring service picked your blog up. Can you tell me your father’s name? I have been here quite a while and I may remember him.Good to hear he stays in contact. Your comment about Strike at the Wind also struck a chord. I saw it in 1978 or thereabouts.

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