Brunswick Stew is a popular dish in southern cuisine, but it’s origin is unknown. There are two counties in the south, one in Virginia and one in Georgia that claim it originated there, but it has not been verified. What attracted me to this recipe, is that it’s mostly made up of leftovers, or items you may already have in your refrigerator. Nowadays, you can find cooked meat at the grocery store, if you don’t currently have any on hand, but traditionally this pot of stew is made with scraps of vegetables, fresh or frozen, and roasted meat like chicken, beef or pork. Since, you may have some of those pork roast leftovers from last weekend’s recipe, or have a cup or two of shredded roast chicken from a meal this week, it’s the perfect time to prepare this meal.
What makes Brunswick Stew so incredibly flavorful is that it tastes like it has a barbecue broth. Traditional recipes do not add barbecue sauce to the mix because that well-known taste is created by using roasted meat and other pantry items like sweet chili sauce, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. The other reason this dish is so compelling is that it’s sort of a dump recipe, if you know what I mean. You can add almost any variety of frozen or fresh vegetables, beans and tomatoes to the pot, making it the perfect clean-out-the-pantry meal.
I happen to have had more shredded pork in my refrigerator, so I used that as my protein. You can always grab a rotisserie chicken at the market, or any other roasted meat. I used frozen green beans because I had them in my freezer, instead of lima beans, and I think it gave this stew an early-spring taste. This is one recipe, that may look super simplistic, but it tastes like so much more. It’s also done in 20 minutes or so, and reheats easily at lunchtime with the kids.
1 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded pork, chicken or beef
14 ounce can diced tomatoes, roasted are best
2 cups frozen corn
2 cups frozen green beans, lima or edamame shelled
6 ounces sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon mustard, any variety
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
oil for cooking
hot sauce & lemon wedges, to garnish
- In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add 2 teaspoons oil, onion and garlic, stir. Sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, shredded meat, tomatoes, corn, green beans, chili sauce, mustard, Worcestershire, salt and pepper, stir.
- Place lid on pot and when boiling, turn heat to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with a couple dashes of hot sauce and a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy!