It’s not named for our county, but it’s delicious and this recipe makes it easy.
Brunswick Stew is widely considered a favorite Southern dish.
Virginians and Georgians have had a rivalry for years about which state claims to be the birthplace of Brunswick stew. Each state has a Brunswick County, as does North Carolina, but the origins of this meaty dish are most clearly documented by Virginians, which suggests that Brunswick Stew indeed belongs to the state of Virginia.
Originally a stew of onions and squirrel meat, it was often made over an open fire on hunting trips in deeply wooded areas. Squirrel may not be as commonly used as it once was, but rabbit and other game meats are still used in many regions.
Over the years, the recipe has evolved depending on what meats and vegetables were available to use. The version of Brunswick Stew made in Georgia almost always includes peas, while the North Carolina version usually includes lima beans, corn or okra.
While my husband is not a hunter, he often enjoys grilling and smoking meats and vegetables for gatherings with our friends and family. His outdoor kitchen includes a Kamado Joe smoker, perfect for smoking chicken, pork, beef, corn and onions.
Often times we have leftover barbecue chicken and smoked pork, which are important ingredients for making a quick pot of savory Brunswick Stew. My recipe makes a thick, zesty stew made of chicken, pork, sweet corn and lima beans in a rich tomato-based broth. Barbecue sauce and smoked paprika add a hint of spice and warmth to the stew.
I serve Brunswick Stew over middlin rice with a side of freshly baked cornbread. The rice soaks up some of the rich flavor of the stew and the cornbread adds some sweetness, along with great texture to this comforting Southern classic.