As the weather cools down a bit, our eating preferences make a serious U-turn toward comfort. It means we are in the mood for hearty, cozy and warm dishes to satisfy the soul. Although there are a slew of dishes that fall under that category there is one that encompasses all that is right with the beginning of fallBrunswick stew.
The beginning of fall is a “tweener” season. There are still real great summer vegetables that are available which lend themselves well to Brunswick stew. Fresh corn, beans, and okra make a great addition to this dish and stick with tradition of the recipe. Depending on who you talk to Brunswick stew was conceived in either Brunswick, Georgia or in Brunswick County, Virginia and is traditionally made with squirrel, opossum, or rabbit, as well as chicken, pork, or beef.
Well, I’d have to say that North Carolina changed it up a bit and got it right. Here we use our staple protein of Eastern North Carolinapulled pork. Famous the world over, Eastern North Carolina pulled pork with its vinegar based sauce is the perfect flavoring for such a dish. Brunswick stew is a complete meal in itself with all its vegetables and laced with tender, succulent pork.
Although the list of ingredients is a bit long it is a snap to put together. Allow enough time to cook down to a thick stew. The potatoes breaking down some will help thicken up the stew, along with the okra. Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand, add leftover chicken, steak and most certainly the pulled pork.
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Brunswick Stew 5 Slices-Bacon-sliced into thin strips 1 ½ Cups-Sweet Onion-medium diced 1 Each-Baking Potato-large, peeled, cut into 1” pieces, about 2 cups 5 Cloves-Garlic-chopped very fine ¼ Cup-Worcestershire Sauce ¼ Cup-Yellow Mustard 2 Cups-Eastern North Carolina Barbeque Sauce-or see recipe below 1-1 ½ Pound-Pulled Pork Barbeque-rough chopped 1 Teaspoon-Cayenne Pepper 2 Teaspoons-Black Pepper 1 Tablespoon-Kosher Salt 1-35 Ounce Can-Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes-or regular diced canned tomatoes 1-35 Ounce Can-Crushed Tomatoes 4 Cups-Chicken Stock-or water 1 Cup-Fresh Corn-cut off the cob-or frozen 1 Cup-Butter Beans-or lima beans frozen 1 Cup-Fresh Okra-thick sliced, or non-breaded frozen To Taste-Tabasco Hot-or your favorite
Directions1. Warm a large pot/Dutch oven over medium high heat, add bacon and cook until slightly crisp.2. Add onion/potato and cook until onion begin to brown, 3-5 minutes.3. Add garlic and cook for one minute.4. Add worcestershire, mustard, bbq sauce, pulled pork, cayenne, pepper and salt.5. Combine to completely coat everything, cook stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes.6. Add both tomatoes, stock, corn, beans and okra.7. Lower heat and simmer until cooked to a thick stew consistency, 1-1 ½ hours.8. Add tabasco to taste and serve with corn bread.
Simple NC BBQ Sauce 1 Cup-Ketchup 3/4 Cup-Apple Cider Vinegar ¼ Cup-Water 2 Tablespoons-Smoked Paprika-or regular Paprika To Taste-Crushed Red Pepper/Black PepperMix all ingredients until well combined.