All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015
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OK! I was away a while but I should be posting more often now. Today, let me present – Brunswick Stew. Apparently, this is a traditional southern dish, but, despite dating a man from Arkansas for three years – I have never heard of it. Apparently, there are lots of variations of this tomato-based soup that usually consists of lima or butter beans and one or two kinds of meat – the most authentic using rabbit, squirrel or opossum – and vegetables. Since most people aren’t often in the mood for those delicacies – chicken & pork are often used.
I did not use any back yard meat sources. Or any real meat products. I used Beyond Meat vegan chicken and their beefy crumbles – and these vegetables (plus a few more)!
This could be done in a slow cooker on high for a few hours but it comes together on the stove in about an hour. That time is mainly needed to make this dish thick – like a stew – and not just a hearty soup. You could hasten that thickening by whisking a TBS of cornstarch into 1/2 cup water & adding it to the pot. I went the old fashioned way & just let it simmer for a while. And it was even thicker & more yummy the next day.
In a quick aside – look at this picture I caught of my cutie latest foster – Sid Vicious! Isn’t he the sweetest little 7 pound guy?
Anyway – here is the recipe. The list is long but the ingredients are easy.
Easy and Spicy Brunswick Stew (Vegan or Vegetarian or Not!) – with Chicken and Beef
Feeds 4-6 very well – more of you serve it with steamed rice
9 oz vegan chicken (or real chicken)
9 oz beefy crumbles (or real ground beef)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 medium onion – diced
1 green bell pepper – diced
12 oz frozen or canned lima beans
6 oz corn
6 oz okra
2 red potatoes – diced (I skipped these to cut the carbs but potato is traditional in this recipe)
1 or 2 (10 oz) can Rotel or other diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes) – I used one can because I don’t like a lot of tomato in my soups
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce (or tamari/soy sauce – if you are vegan/vegetarian)
2 TBS steak sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce)
1 TBS BBQ sauce (or more – to taste) – I used some of the Korean variety I show below AND some Spicy Stubb’s brand.
1 TBS ketchup
1 TBS Dijon
1 TBS hot sauce (I love Crystal – seen below) – more if you love heat
4 oz diced canned spicy jalapenos (optional) – I used all of a 4 oz can but use less if you dislike heat
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp cayenne
Garnish ideas: avocado, cilantro, chopped raw onion, HOT SAUCE, steamed rice, diced fresh tomato
I tossed the chicken (in the bag) with enough flour to coat it.
Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Cook the chicken until it sears & browns a bit. Take it from the pan & set it aside. Later – when it is cooled – you can shred it with two forks – though this step is not necessary. I did shred it.
If you are using real meat – cook both the chicken & beef (separately) in a bit of olive oil. When done – shred the chicken & set both meats aside.
Add the onion & green pepper to the same pot. Add a little oil if you need to. Scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan & cook until the veggies are soft – only a few minutes.
Then, just add everything else. Bring to a boil & then simmer on low for about an hour. If it gets too thick – add water. If it is too thin – whisk 1-2 TBS cornstarch or flour into 1/2 cup water. Bring the stew to a boil again & add the mixture. It should thicken up pretty fast. Season to taste with S&P, hot sauce & maybe more BBQ sauce.
Serve in bowls or over rice & garnish as you like.