When I moved to North Carolina a few years ago, I had it in mind to embrace some of the Southern traditions to help me call this home. You know, run moonshine, noodle for flatheads, freeze out yankees… the list goes on and on.
One I could get behind pretty quickly was the everpopular Brunswick Stew. Like so many of the soups I’ve researched, the true origins of this one are in question. Brunswick, GA and Brunkswick County, VA both lay claim to this classic dish, although it is popular throughout the South. Historically, it is made with squirrel meat, but now recipes may use beef, pork, chicken, rabbit, or any combination of meats.
The recipe I chose back then included ham, so we stopped at the deli counter. With earnest expression, I ordered a pound and a half of squirrel meat, expecting some surprise, confusion, laughter… something other than what I got which was a sincere, almost wistful apology from the woman at the counter that they did not carry squirrel.
OK, that would definitely not be the common response here, but it did happen. Not in Ohio, my friends. I love it.
This recipe comes from no place in particular. I read around and the recipes were so varied I figured I’d go my own way. If you’ve got meat, lima beans, okra, and corn in there, you’re half way home.
Must be this soup intensive month, but I feel I hit this one on the head, if I do say so my own self. I’m fixin’ to have seconds.
A quick note on the cornbread crackers. One recipe I saw suggested serving with cornbread crackers. I’ve never seen a cornbread cracker and thought that sounded like a fine idea. I could not turn up a viable recipe, although Keebler elves seem to have the market cornered. I took a swing. I was shooting for something a little crisper, but more or less ended up with firm, flat cornbread. Holds up great dipped in soup though and I’d make ’em again so I’ll share that recipe here too.
2 tbsp butter
1 lb Beef
1 lb Pork
1 lb Chicken
1 Onion, diced
1/4 c white wine
8 c water
1/4 black pepper
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 small jalapeno, minced
1 tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
2 red potatoes
1 cup corn
1 cup lima beans
1 cup green peas
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup okra
In large pot, dust beef, chicken, and pork with flour and brown in butter.
Remove meat and place on paper towel to drain. Cut into bite sized pieces.
Discard all but enough to cover the bottom of the pot of liquid from pot.
Add onions to pot and cook until translucent.
Add wine and deglaze.
Return meat to pot and add water, spices, jalapeno, and worchestershite sauce. Bring to a boil, the reduce heat.
Cover and simmer 2 hours.
Add remaining tomatoes, potatoes, corn, beans, and peas and return to boil. Reduce heat.
Add okra. Cover and simmer 1 hour.
Call your kinfolk to supper.
1c corn meal
1/4 c water
1/4 c vegetable oil
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Blend (but do not overblend) all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
Roll flat between two sheets of greased wax paper. Perforate with a fork and cut into cracker sized rectangles.
Transfer to baking sheet greased and sprinkled with cornmeal.
12 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool before serving.
Originally: Brunswick Stew