Brunswick Stew, the Recipe and the Controversy
Who would expect a simple stew to have a debate over its origination? If you know anything about Brunswick Stew, you are probably aware that it does.
Virginia and Georgia each claim it was first prepared in their fine state in the 1800’s, but some think it began in the first Brunswick city of Braunschweig, Germany.
It was also said to be a favorite of Queen Victoria which would also mean the 1800’s.
Even the state of North Carolina wants in on the discussion with its own recipe. That gives us plenty of choices, doesn’t it?
And perhaps each can claim originality since the recipes varied.
The Georgia recipe usually includes pork and beef, while the Virginia recipe leads with chicken. North Carolina adds in barbecued pulled pork in theirs. If you go back to the early days, the stew would include squirrel, possum, and rabbit. Today, those are less often included. That’s a relief to me.
I can picture the tasty stew, simmering away in the huge pot over an outdoor fire until the meat is fork tender. The women, in long dresses of course, using a huge ladle to scoop out servings of the rich meal to those with a bowl…
Nowadays it is easier to use the slow cooker. It’s a wonderful stew to simmer all day long, adding vegetables as the day proceeds. Doesn’t that sound wonderful for a chilly winter day?
My personal preference it to keep it a little lighter and go for the chicken version. It tastes wonderful with the many vegetables included, without being quite as heavy. The recipe here is also more soup like, but you can control that by using more or less water to suit your taste. It’s also easy to make the broth more tomato or chicken flavored by adding more of one of the other, another benefit you get with homemade soups and stews.
Potatoes, lima beans, corn, onion, and tomatoes blend with the chicken broth for a comforting, filling, and satisfying dish. Add okra, green beans or other favorite vegetables if you want. You don’t need to serve anything with it, but I’ll often include rolls or crackers along side the bowl.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how or where it originated. It matters only that you taste it.