The humble genesis of Brunswick stew is a contested one. There are two camps that claim its namesake: Brunswick County, Va. and Brunswick, Ga. But no matter which side your allegiance stands, we can all agree, Brunswick Stew is the stew of the South.
Brunswick Stew: Southern Living
Every weekend before Thanksgiving, my family removes a thick layer of dust from our heirloom-worthy, well-seasoned cast iron cauldron. The secret to this stew? Time. Southern Living's classic recipe (and the easy recipe) takes 6 hours. But believe me, it's a labor of love.
Our annual Brunswick stew is an all-day event, beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m. And it's certainly no secret that Southerners are known for their slow cooking style, take pit-smoked pork, for example.
Constantly stirred with a well-weathered maple plank, pounds of potatoes and onions are the first in the pot. Then come shredded chicken and pork, in lieu of squirrel (which happened to be the meat of choice for the original recipe). Forged and harvested beneath the summer sun comes jars of canned tomatoes, green beans, and cream corn, all from my grandmother's garden.
The final ingredient is a family secret--hot sauce. That's right, approximately one bottle to give our stew that extra kick, warming you up in more than one way.
By 5:00 p.m. only coals remain of the fire and the flavors of the stew are set. Carefully ladled into bowls, each member of the family indulges in a hard-earned meal, with a side of stick-to-your-bones skillet cornbread, naturally.