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Unread 05-27-2014, 04:41 PM   #1
Ax
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Brunswick Stew: Do's and Don'ts.

For every person whose ever had Brunswick stew and thought "I should make this sometime" or for everybody whose ever made too many ribs or too much bbq (and that's smoked meat for you yanks that call grilling bbq) and thought "I should do something interesting with the leftovers." This thread is for you. If you're looking for a recipe, you wont find it here.... and here's why:

"Just what is Brunswick Stew?" you may be askin'. Well it's a stew (duh) with a Bar-B-Cue flavor to it. The meat, as you might expect, is generally speaking some kind of smoked meat. There's usually some BBQ sauce in it. The rest... well... that's kind tough. The origins of Brunswick Stew, I do not know, but I highly suspect that some southern housewife, looking to try something interesting with leftover BBQ pork or beef, threw some BBQ in a pot with a bunch of canned veggies she had lying around the house, added some flavorings and experimented a bit until she had a stew.

Usually Brunswick Stew contains the following, what I'd call essentials: BBQ Meat, BBQ Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Onions (I personally use flakes), and potatoes. After that, it's usually canned veggies, and I like tomatoes in mine, though I've seen it without.

So here's the thing. If you're following a recipe and you're not a restaurant, you're usually doing it wrong. If it tastes the same way twice, you're probably doing it wrong... so here's your dos and don'ts...

Dos:
  • Use any and all smoked meat. Beef, Pork, Chicken, Ribs, hell, I've had it with BBQ Venison. MMMM
  • Add onions
  • Add Potatoes
  • Add BBQ Sauce, if you don't have any... Tomato Sauce + Sugar (ketchup) + Vinegar and some spices are basically Memphis Style sauce.
  • Add worcestershire sauce
  • Add any canned veggie you have lying around and you like in a stew. I like Peas, Carrots, Green Beans, Corn, I've used black beans before too.
  • Add spices to taste. Garlic is usually good, I like Cayenne pepper. I've had cumin before, but just a pinch.
  • Experiment. That's half the fun of Brunswick Stew.

Don'ts
  • Follow a recipe. You can use one as a guide but you're killing the spirit of the thing here.
  • Use grocery store bought meat you didn't cook. From a restaurant is acceptable.
  • Make/buy meat just for Stew. You're doing it wrong.
  • Say "I've never seen anybody put in, it must be wrong." Don't lose the experimental attitude.
  • Try to be "artisan" or "fancy" with it. Just don't. You will be judged.

There doesn't exist a more southern food. Have cornbread on the side and make it a super southern meal. But remember: if your cornbread can be described as 'sweet' or 'moist' you're doing it wrong.

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Unread 05-27-2014, 05:27 PM   #2
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One of my hillbilly buddies says that "real" Brunswick Stew should have squirrel, rabbit, and chicken.

Then you have to add butter beans, corn, tomatoes, and string beans.
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Unread 05-27-2014, 05:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. RM View Post
One of my hillbilly buddies says that "real" Brunswick Stew should have squirrel, rabbit, and chicken.

Then you have to add butter beans, corn, tomatoes, and string beans.
I'm pretty sure if you have "real" Brunswick stew... you're not eating Brunswick stew.
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Unread 05-27-2014, 05:49 PM   #4
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I don't think this is a thing in New Orleans. I've never heard the term before... or had anything stew-like made with BBQ.
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Unread 05-27-2014, 05:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ax View Post
I'm pretty sure if you have "real" Brunswick stew... you're not eating Brunswick stew.
Ha! That is possible. I don't eat the stuff.

If you go to a BBQ joint in NC it will be chicken, butterbeans, corn, string beans, and tomatoes.
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