Brunswick Stew. The story is told that it was invented right here in Virginia. Brunswick County, to be exact. So most folks here in Virginia lay claim to this hearty stew. Although, I’ve had the discussion with some friends in Georgia who think it was invented there. Either way, it’s a great, hearty, rib-sticking stew that is known very well here in the South. Like any good, old recipe with lots of history, it has many, many variations. Kinda like barbecue.
Brunswick stew is a tomato based stew that contains different types of vegetables and beans. It usually has a smoky flavor and contains one or more types of meat. It’s kinda like a vegetable soup with meat- only thicker. Back in the the day, this stew was probably made with whatever hunters could get their hands on; rabbit or deer. I’ve had many versions that included chicken and pork.
When it comes to the veggies in this, I’ll say that I really love it with okra. However, I still haven’t quite gotten my hubby to enjoy okra as much as I do. So, the recipe I’m sharing today is one I created to appeal to a broader range of tastes. But if your family loves okra, please feel free to add that in here since it is traditional in this recipe.
2 lbs. ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (18 oz.) bottle barbecue sauce
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cans corn, drained well
1 can northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, undrained
5 cups beef broth (or stock)
In a large pot, brown and crumble ground beef along with diced onions over medium heat.
While the meat is browning, peel and cube the potatoes.
And drain and rinse the northern beans.
I don’t drain and rinse my pinto beans. I like to get the kind that is seasoned with pork.
So I want to keep that yummy pork flavor and not rinse it away.
Make sure to drain the corn too.
When the ground beef is cooked, drain excess grease.
Put ground beef back into large pot and start adding all the other ingredients. Add in can of crushed tomatoes.
Add in can of pinto beans along with drained northern beans and corn.
Now add 5 cups of beef broth.
Add in diced potatoes and bottle of barbecue sauce.
Give it all a good stir. It looks and smells so good at this point. Now, all you really need to do is get it all warmed up and make sure the potatoes are cooked.
This is why you need a large pot because it will be full. Cover pot and simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes (until your potatoes are fork tender). Or, you can put all of it in the crock pot to finish cooking and keep warm until you are ready to eat (about 4 hours on the low setting).
Serve with crackers.
Cook’s Note: If you want to use chicken or other white meat with this, just substitute the beef broth with chicken broth.