Tailgate recipe: Brunswick stew

brunswick-stewBrunswick stew is my favorite side at the most reputable barbecue places in the South. In fact, if you’re favorite place to order BBQ doesn’t have Brunswick stew, you need a new favorite.

The origin of this thick, meaty stew has been debated, mostly between Brunswick, Ga., and Brunswick County, Va. The story first told to me was that a politician in pre-Civil War fed those who rallied for him this concoction. Well, even that story doesn’t jibe with the Virginians.

The Virginia story: A state legislator’s chef invented the recipe in 1828 and served it after a hunting expedition.

The Georgia story: An iron pot plaque says the stew was first made on nearby St. Simon’s Island in 1898.

The German (yes, German) story: The original recipe came from Braunschweig, Germany.

My story is to use the recipe from Tuscaloosa’s famous Dreamland restaurant. However, I’ve discovered the best stew probably comes from the best sauce and the best tasting meat (I know: Thanks Captain Obvious).

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (32-ounce) jar Dreamland Barbecue Sauce (or your favorite sauce)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can yellow corn
  • 1 1/4 pounds pit cooked pork
  • 1 1/4 pounds cooked and pulled chicken>

In a stock pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potato and chicken broth and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the barbecue sauce, tomatoes, corn, pork and chicken. Cook for 2 hours over medium-low heat, stirring every 15 minutes or so to prevent sticking. Add additional chicken stock if the stew gets too thick. But, FYI, it’s supposed to be thick.

Hey, got a great recipe for tailgate or homegate parties? Please leave it in the comments below. Thanks!

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