Real southern Brunswick Stew is made with chicken. Just a small amount of smoked pork or bacon is added for flavor and NO brown sugar. The first Brunswick Stew was made on St. Simon Isle, Georgia, July 2, 1888.
The key here is to trim the pork shoulder roast... very, very well. If you don't, You'll wind up with fat soup. Forget the brown sugar. It'll be way too sweet. I use a good quality bourbon or Tennessee whiskey type of barbeque sauce. I also use the more traditional butter beans or field peas instead of lima beans. Go easy on the chicken stock. Gauge your fluids; otherwise you'll wind up with a real chunky but tasty soup. I also use 2 more potatoes so I can use a stick blender to thicken the sauce.
I love brunswick stew and grew up with a grandmother who truly make it from "scratch" with all fresh ingredients. I LOVED this recipe, but I agree that it was a bit sweet for my taste. I decreased the brown sugar to 4 T on this attempt and will likely decrease again to 2 T the next time. I also substituted a 3 lb pork loin roast for the boston butt so I did not have any issues with fat. I also used 12 ounce packages of frozen vegies plus a similar size package of coined carrots. You will need all 12 hours of cooking time. Very chunky but tender and flavorful!
I cooked the pork separately first (12 hours on low). There was a lot of fat, so I drained and shredded, then combined with the other ingredients the following day to make the stew, also in the crock pot, adding meat for the last hour or so. My family loved it and it would be great to serve to a crowd. Add some Liquid Smoke for the smokey flavor. It's much easier and quicker than the traditional method using smoked meat. It would be easy to adjust sweetness by omitting sugar and type of BBQ sauce used. My family added some chipolte Tobasco sauce to spice it up a bit. Serve with cornbread. It's a keeper!
Made this yesterday a good recipe for a busy weekend prep did not take long. Next time I would use less bbq sauce after having read the other reviews I omitted the sugar completly.I also used kidney beans instead of lima and added carrots and cauliflower because they were in my freezer. I would make this again my family enjoyed it.
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