|Margarita's International Recipes|
Brunswick Stew, so named after the county in Virginia where it's thought to have originated, is a well-known stew throughout the South. It was originally based on squirrel or other game meats, but it's now mostly made with chicken, pork and beef. As is often the case with stews, what else you include depends on what you have at hand. Some essential ingredients are corn and tomatoes, though the Appalachian versions do seem to include one or more store-bought sauces.
The recipe below is a combination of several of the recipes from the Appalachian Cookery book. Traditionally, you would boil the chicken and pork separately, and then grind them and add them to the stew. I don't have a food processor, however, and I didn't want to take the trouble of grinding meat by hand so I decided to skip this step. Instead I bought raw ground-pork. I would have added raw ground chicken but I didn't want to make too much food as I was cooking only for Mike and I, so I skipped it. I had also meant to add diced potatoes to the stew but I forgot to buy them. I'm sure they would provide a much needed starch. I used canned corn and tomatoes for ease, though fresh produce would be just as authentic. You can also add other types of vegetables you have around such as lima beans. Other possible ingredients are vinegar, A-1 sauce, butter, Tabasco sauce and cheese.
All in all the stew surpassed my expectations - though they were pretty low as I was quite doubtful as to the qualities of ketchup as a cooking ingredient. It was pretty good, though the flavor was perhaps a little bit too intense. I didn't like the texture of the corn, but then again I don't like corn in general. Mike, on the other hand, liked it. I probably wouldn't make it again as I like my traditional stew better, but it's certainly worth trying.
2/3 lb. ground beef 2/3 lb. ground pork 1 onion, chopped 1 green pepper, chopped 2 carrots, sliced 1 can whole kernel corn 2 cans diced tomatoes 1/3 cup ketchup 1/4 cup bbq sauce 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce Salt and Pepper to taste oil
Heat oil in a large pan. Add chopped onion and fry until soft. Add meats and brown. Add green pepper, carrot slices, corn and diced tomatoes and mix well. Add ketchup, bbq and Worcestershire sauces and salt and pepper. Mix well, bring to a boil, then decrease heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1-2 hours, until vegetables are soft. Add water if the stew dries up. To decrease cooking time, pre-boil sliced carrots and add to the stew when somewhat soft.
Adapted from The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery