Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Chris's Brunswick Stew

My brother, Chris, is seemingly obsessed with thinking of recipes for my web site. Well, actually, he probably doesn't really care about the web site. He just wants me to cook for him. Either way, he gives me great ideas, so we'll run with it.
He called me the other day to ask me if I've ever made Brunswick Stew. To be honest, I had never even heard of it. So, of course, I went right into research mode. I found out that it's a very very thick tomato based stew, with lots of beans and vegetables, and usually several different kinds of meat. Most recipes claiming authenticity call for squirrel or rabbit meat, but chicken, pork, and beef are also common ingredients. Personally, I think I'll skip the squirrel and rabbit. A debate currently exists as to whether Brunswick Stew was actually originally made near the town of Brunswick, Georgia, or in Brunswick County in southern Virginia. The main difference between the Georgia and Virginia versions has been the types of meat used. The Virginia version tends to favor chicken as the primary meat, while the Georgia version tends to favor pork and beef. As there is no "official" recipe, some variations have chicken, pork, beef, and other types of meat, all in the same recipe. I was going to come up with my own version, but Chris's sounded delicious, so I decided to just post it as he gave it to me. Thanx, Chris!

OK, here's how I make it...
I start with chicken stock. ( I try to make my own when possible)
Lots and lots of onion.
Season with oregano and garlic powder.
Then I add a can of tomatoes (whatever I have).
One bag of generic mixed veggies.
I usually bump up the corn with about a half bag of frozen 'cuz I like corn
I use beef most of the time, but ham or pork or veal or lamb or venison
or leftovers or road kill work.
Just add some kind of meat is what I'm trying to say.
Cook it until it's done.
Then add two tablespoons BBQ sauce, a squirt or two of ketchup and a
few dashes of hot sauce if ya like.
Salt and pepper
I try to cook this low and slow so that it gets all thick and yummy.
Put it in a bowl and eat as much of it as you can.
The end.

Tip from Joey:
I kind of like the idea of adding several different veggies, so I would add more than one bag. Lima beans or butter beans, corn, and okra seem to be favorites for this stew. I'd also add some liquid smoke, or a smoked meat, or maybe some chipotle in adobo sauce since a smokey flavor is also one of the distinguishing characteristics.
Chris suggested cooking it in a crock pot for, like, a LONG time until it's REALLY thick. I'm good with that.

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