About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Brand X Secret to Brunswick Stew

I took on the formidable project of making Brunswick Stew after surveying numerous recipes.  It's one of those popular Southern dishes that ever body has a spin on.  The mixture of meats has covered everything from squirrel to rabbit to liver.  I left all of those out in favor of pork butt, beef brisket and chicken. Brunswick stew is not quick, easy or for the lazy but I have seen one appalling recipe that used canned meats.  It took me quite a while to assemble the proper ingredients over the last months.  I blanched and froze the corn and limas last summer and prepared the smoked meats then froze them also.  I thought this would be a great thing to pull out  this Thanksgiving weekend when I have family home and there's more to feeding them for a few days than turkey. 

The secret, besides individually preparing the meats, is my Brand X barbecue sauce (see 6/17/2013 post).  Most of the Brunswick Stew recipes call for similar spices and condiments that go into a barbecue sauce, so it was easy for me to pull out my personal version and pour it in. Barbecue sauce is as controversial as Obama care. It varies from county to county and folks can get pretty riled up about it.  Most of the debate revolves around a ketsup or vinegar base for the sauce.  My solution was to compromise and combine the two and Brand X takes care of all the seasoning here.  The bigger secret to Brand X is the essence from the smoked meats I flavor it with.  Now that is really what makes this stew special.  Makes for a very tasty sauce that pleased all but the narrow minded and stubborn.

5 lb pork butt; use your favorite rub and smoke, then pull the meat
1 1/2 lb beef brisket (see Atlanta Brisket)chopped
1 fryer chicken, cooked on a rotisserie (see Rotisserie Revelation)pulled
1 quart chicken stock
28 oz can + a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes and the juices
1 cup sweet corn
2 cup cooked lima beans
1 cup Brand X BBQ sauce
3 cups diced onion
2 tbls minced garlic
6 tbls butter

Melt the butter in a 10 quart stock pot over medium heat. Cook the onions until soft  6-7 minutes then add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.  Add the diced tomatoes and heat to simmer. Add the pork and heat, 3 minutes; add the brisket and any sauce; heat 3 minutes; add the chicken and the chicken stock; heat to simmer and add the corn and limas.  Then add Brand X BBQ Sauce.  Cook over low heat 1 hour or longer.  Add more Brand X if desired.  Freezes well.

P.S. I don't care for potatoes in this stew so it may not be as thick as some like.

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