Brunswick stew is something you will find at fundraisers and church potlucks in the South. As you drive around country roads you will see large hand written signs letting the local community know where they can buy brunswick stew that has been simmered for hours to bring out its depth. Its hearty and warm. It has multiple meats, lots of veggies and a tomato base. There is bbq sauce, bacon and worcestershire! I mean, how could you not get something delicious out of all that!?
My discovery of this southern staple was somewhat accidental. The first time I had it was at a well-known restaurant in Durham, NC. I went for chicken and dumplings and was introduced to brunswick stew. It was the beginning of a great love affair! We moved away from Durham, across the country to Colorado, and while there are many amazing things to eat in Colorado (hello green chile!), brunswick stew is not one of them. It wasn’t until we came back to the Durham area that I was able to again reacquaint myself with this winter dish I loved so much. I discovered a restaurant not far from my in-laws that has the 2nd best brunswick stew I have ever had. Every time we visit I try to find a reason to go to Stuarts and get a bowl or bring back a quart … or two. This last time I brought home 2 to freeze, only 1 made it to the freezer. *sheepish grin*
I have found though, in other parts of NC, not many know how to make it “right”. I decided I need to learn how to make brunswick stew. I have not seen it on the menu at any of our local restaurants and we do not go back to Durham hardly at all anymore.
Most recipes call for stovetop preparation. I thought I was being clever and put everything in my crockpot to have in time for dinner tonight. Umm no (that’s another story). It took a little tweaking, but I finally got it to where I wanted it. I looked at several recipes just to see what was the traditional flavorings but really flew by the seat of my pants when putting it together. I wanted it a little less sweet than many, but with the same depth of flavor and heartyness. This may be a new Fall and Winter favorite!
It’s a work in progress (recipe to follow when I feel like it’s gotten to where I want it). I am just really excited I was able to start on the right path to duplication! Woot!