Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crockpot Brunswick Stew

I really enjoy using my crockpot when I know I will be otherwise occupied and not able to cook dinner.  Where some may resort to fast food or frozen dinners, I always prefer homemade food, though using the crockpot does require some advance planning.  The crockpot is ideal for meats and stews, which require long cooking times anyway.  Like this Brunswick Stew.

For those not familiar, Brunswick Stew is a Southern thing. Both Brunswick County, Virginia and Brunswick, Georgia claim this well-loved stew as their own. Both State Legislatures have issued proclamations claiming to be the rightful birthplace of the dish.

There have been many good natured "stew wars", but most agree on a couple of points. The stew should be very thick and should have a good kick of heat. Virginia stew leans more toward chicken, while Georgia stew is more pork based, associated with barbecue, and presided over by pit-masters. (Historically, game was used--squirrel, rabbit, venison, etc.)

Here, I have used both chicken and pork, along with bacon for a smoky element.

Crockpot Brunswick Stew
4 slices bacon
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 lb. boneless pork ribs
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. potatoes, sliced or diced
1 pkg. frozen cream style corn, thawed
1 pkg. frozen butter beans, thawed
1 quart tomatoes and their juice
1 Tbsp. Worchestershire sauce
Several squirts Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
2 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. sage
Salt and pepper to taste

Build layers, in the crockpot, first the bacon then the chicken. Top with onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Add a layer of the potatoes, then salt and pepper heavily. Add the corn and then the butter beans. Sprinkle oregano and sage over the beans.  Add the tomatoes, Tabasco, Worchestershire, and mustard. Top with the pork and cover each piece with BBQ sauce.

No need to stir at this point. Put on the lid and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce to low and cook for 7-8 hours. Stir all together, breaking apart and shredding the meat. Adjust seasonings.

Serve with saltine crackers or hushpuppies, along with hot coffee, iced tea, or cold beer.  And don't forget to pass the hot sauce!


  1. Wow, that's sure not what I thought Brunswick stew was. That sounds delicious. I see tons of flavor there. I may have to try that.

  2. This looks wonderful. I really need a crock pot.

  3. I'm with LeAnn, delicious and need to try. I love the layering for a little separation of cooking, yet done all in the crock pot. Thanks once again.

  4. Love this! I don't use my crock pot very often since most recipes leave me uninspired but yours sounds awesome and I know my family would gobble it up! This is getting bookmarked for one of my crazy days when dinner needs to be done.

  5. Your stew sounds insanely good! It's packed to the hilt with delicious stuff. And I love that you used the crockpot! I just bought my very first one and have only used it a few times.