Growing up, my mom had a pantry that would make any off-the-grid survivalist proud. She and my dad had converted the entire southern wall of the kitchen and adjoining breakfast room into a never-ending wall of torturous louvered doors (I’m not kidding… it was our punishment to clean them) that concealed…well… every canned good available at the market…. three of each, in fact. It’s odd to think about it now, but any “good” home cook always had a well stocked canned goods pantry – just in case… you know.
The beef stew you made looks a tad shy? Dump a couple of cans of kidney beans into it.. Voila! Food for an army… or for the Corn Clan. We were hungry little buggers...
I’m pretty much a snob when it comes to encased, packaged, processed foods in recipes. If a recipe that begins with “2 cans of…” or has more than one ingredient that requires a mechanical device to open it, I toss it into the shredder. I know, I’m a bad person….
Be that as it may…
My family loves Brunswick Stew. To me, the mark of a great BBQ place is the quality of their Brunswick Stew. I’ll try every BBQ joint in a 50-mile radius to see if anyone has a good one. Usually, there aren’t many winners.
It is either too gloppy, too saucy, too bland, too..just bad…
My mom has this recipe for Brunswick Stew. I don’t know where it came from, we’ve had it forever. We make it for funerals, family get-togethers, church socials, family dinners – you get the picture – it is the quintessential, all-purpose, guaranteed-to-get-100-compliments, recipe… I mean it’s STELLAR stew.
I asked mom for the recipe.
I am officially suitably humbled. Although, I’m telling people I made it from scratch.
Trust me, the ingredients are going to look really odd, but I swear on my stack of Julia Child Cookbooks, it’s the best Brunswick Stew you’ll ever eat.
“The Dump” Brunswick Stew
The brand names listed are important. I have tried substituting different ones, but it just doesn’t taste right.
Makes 1 Gallon
1 Large Onion – Chopped
3 Tablespoons Oil
3 Cans Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Cream Corn – White
1 Can Whole White Corn
1 Can Baby Lima Beans
2 Cans Swanson’s White Chicken meat
2 Cans Castleberry’s BBQ Pork
2 Cans Castleberry’s BBQ Beef
1/2 Cup Heinz Ketchup
1/2 Cup Hunt’s Honey Hickory BBQ Sauce
1/2 Cup Cider Vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke
1 Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Large Bay Leaf
1 Cup Water
1 Large Stock Pot
1 Can Opener
1 Really Strong Arm (to open all the cans)
- Place the stock pot over medium high heat with the oil
- Saute the onions until transparent
- Add all the other ingredients
- Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 hours ( check the pot frequently and stir to keep the stew from sticking)
- At the end of the cooking time, add 1 teaspoon of sugar and stir.