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Brunswick Stew 1

“The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook” by Matt Lee and Ted Lee, c2006, via
About 4 servings
Prep info
20 min prep + 20 min cook + 1hr30min simmer + 30 min cool meat & shred & bring back to boil + 25 min simmer + 30 min simmer + optional 24 hr fridge
Prep time
30 minutes
Cook time
3 hours
Time required
3 hours, 30 minutes
Oven preheat


  • 30 g bacon
  • 1 chili (stems trimmed, sliced, seeded, flattened)
  • 113 g pork shoulder (boneless skinless, cut to 1" dice)
  • 500 g chicken thighs (boneless skinless)
  • 1/2 t sea salt (to taste)
  • ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 2 c water (mixed with stock cube)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 chopped celery stalks (in 2 or 3 pieces)
  • 1/2 lb chopped potatoes (waxy, peeled)
  • 90 g chopped carrots
  • 200 g chopped onion
  • 175 g pinto beans
  • 250 g canned chopped tomatoes (with liquid)
  • 1 T vinegar (red wine)
  • 1.5 T lemon juice
  • Salt (Sea) (to taste)
  • ground black pepper (to taste)
  • tabasco (if desired, to taste)


1. In a large stockpot, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until it just starts to crisp. Transfer to a large bowl, and set aside. Leave most of the bacon fat in your pan, and with the pan on the burner, add in the chilis. Toast the chilis until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove to bowl with the bacon.

2. Season liberally both sides of the pork and chicken pieces with sea salt and pepper. Place the pork pieces in the pot and sear off all sides possible. You just want to brown them, not cook them completely. Remove to a separate bowl, add canola oil if needed, and then add in chicken pieces, again, browning all sides nicely. Don't crowd your pieces. Put the chicken in the bowl with the pork. Set it aside.

3. Add about 1/2 cup chicken stock to the pan and deglaze the pan. The stock will become a nice rich dark color and start smelling good. Bring it up to a boil and add the remaining stock, bay leaf, celery, potatoes, chicken, pork, and any liquid that may have gathered at the bottom of the bowl the meat was resting in. While you bring the pot back up to a low boil/high simmer over medium/high heat, finely dice the chilis and crumble the bacon, and add to the pot.

4. Once the stew has come back to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Stir every 15 minutes, give or take. Simmer, on low, for approximately 1.5 hours. Taste it: according to the recipe, it "should taste like the best chicken soup you've ever had".

5. Remove the bay leaf and celery; discard. Shred the chicken and pork.

6. Add the carrots, and stir gently, allowing it to come back to a slow simmer. Simmer gently, uncovered, for at least 25 minutes, or until the carrots have started to soften.

7. Add the onion, beans, and tomatoes. Simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring every so often until the stew has reduced slightly, and the onions and beans are tender.

8. Remove from heat and add in vinegar and lemon juicestir to blend in well. Season to taste with sea salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce if desired.

9. You can either serve immediately or refrigerate for 24 hours, which makes the flavors meld more and makes the overall stew even better. Serve hot, either on its own, or with a side of corn bread, over steamed white rice, with any braised greens as a side.


SJ Note 24 April 2010: I made this yesterday, and reheated it on the stove in a pot tonight, adding chicken stock as necessary to make the consistency right.  It is yummy, and filling.  It worked out really well as a make-ahead meal: no fussing with it in the morning, so we could get out the door faster, and it reheated in the amount of time it took to cook the rice to go with it.  Nice flavor; a keeper.


  • This version (Sun, 05 Jan 2020 12:49)
  • Brunswick Stew 1 (Sun, 25 Apr 2010 13:31)