Sunday, February 07, 2010

Brunswick Stew

This weekend, I finally tried out the somewhat new Woody's BBQ place in Park West.  They had Brunswick Stew on their menu, and our server was nice enough to bring our table a little sampling of it.  It was pretty good even though the meat in it wasn't shredded...which is what I prefer.

I had never had Brunswick stew until I was in college at UNC.  Liz and I took an anthropology class on Southern Culture, and for one of our last assignments, we did a group presentation.  I was assigned to do a group presentation on Brunswick stew.  I'd never heard of it, but several of my group members talked about how awesome it was.  As part of our presentation, we actually cooked some (heated it up in the St. A's kitchen) and gave it to our class.  That one group project launched my love for this culinary creation.  I've had it at many different restaurants, and I think that the best Brunswick stew that I've had was in a small BBQ joint called Clem's Place in the very small town of Norlina, NC.  Clem's Place also has some of the best barbecue that I've ever had.  It's a little hole in the wall that's right next door to a car wash on US Highway 1.  It's been years since I've been there, but I will never forget it!

Where Brunswick stew originates is quite controversial with people from Georgia and Virginia arguing that they are the ones who created it.  Whoever it was, I thank them! 

As is often the case when I have something out, I decided to try to make Brunswick stew myself this weekend.  A friend from a messageboard had posted a recipe a few months ago, and it looked perfect to me....not too complicated and made in the crock pot!  It was definitely a hit here! 

Here's the version that I made.
Brunswick Stew
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste, (6 oz.)
4 pound boston butt
1 1/2 cups frozen sliced okra, thawed
1 cup corn kernels, frozen thawed or fresh
1 can lima beans
1 chopped onion
1 large baking potato, chopped into 1 inch chunks
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 1/2 cups chicken stock

Cook pork in crockpot with chicken broth for 2 hours on high. Combine tomatoes and tomato paste; stir to blend. Add sliced okra, corn, onion, lima beans, potato, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and oregano. Cover; cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. Remove pork from the crock pot, shred, and return to the stew. Before serving, remove bay leaf and stir well.  Serve with hot sauce.

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