Bruns-Witch Stew ☆

Brunswick stew is a thick, hearty tomato-based stew that is firmly rooted in Southern culture, full of shredded meat and vegetables. Both Brunswick County, Virginia, and Brunswick, Georgia, claim to have originated the dish. Both claims of authenticity call for squirrel, rabbit or opossum, but chicken is most commonly used in modern versions.

Whatever its origin, it is an iconic Southern dish whose ingredients and preparation are particularly scrutinized among the purists of the South. Since I cannot claim to have made an authentic version of either variety, I have given my recipe an similar name, in the spirit and style of the original. It is based on one published by a restaurant in St. Simons Island, Georgia, but better suited to my diet. It is a great meal for a wintery evening, a potluck dinner, or guests.

  • 4 oz unsalted <butter>
  • 1½ cups onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp <salt>
  • 1 oz reduced sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup Bob-BQ barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup Bob’s B. S. (Barbecue Sauce)
  • 8 oz turkey kielbasa, cross-cut and halved
  • 8 oz turkey ham, ¾” cubes
  • 8 oz chicken thigh meat, ¾” cubes
  • 2 (14½ oz) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen sweet yellow corn
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 5 dashes Taubasco sauce, or to taste

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent.

Stir in the garlic and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until fragrant, then add the cayenne pepper, black pepper, <salt>, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, then stir in the 2 barbecue sauces and all of the meat. Stir until all the meat is evenly coated. Partially cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Uncover and add the diced tomatoes and the stock. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for an hour, stirring occasionally. Add unsalted stock as needed to maintain the desired consistency.

Add the corn, edamame, and hot sauce. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the stew is thick enough for a spoon to stand in.

Serve hot. Let any leftover stew cool cool completely before transferring to containers for the freezer.

Serves 8 to 10.