Comfort Food, Main Course, Soups

Pride & Prejudice

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.

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“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
Ingredients
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.

2 Comments

  1. Lol! I know, I was shocked, too, when she told me what was in it. Unfortunately, I can't get Castleberrys up here in "yankee-land". Sigh

  2. Hi, Toby. I enjoyed reading about your Brunswick stew, well-stocked pantries, and other family recollections and recipes. Why does it stick in my mind, however, that this particular stew can have squirrel in it? I know that's true of burgoo sometimes, but that's Kentucky and you're a Georgian, right?I look forward of more of your engaging posts.Thanks,Dan

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