Southern Soul Brunswick Stew 17.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Smoke Signals Jan 8, 2014

Georgians claim that Brunswick stew originated in their state. Their recipes often include green (English) peas; if you want to add them, do so in the last 10 minutes of cooking so they don't become mushy.

This recipe comes from Southern Soul Barbeque in St. Simons Island, Ga. It calls for 3 pounds of a variety of smoked meats, all of which are prepared at the restaurant. For home cooks, 2 pounds of pulled, smoked chicken and 1 pound of pulled pork may be substituted -- preferably freshly prepared at your favorite local barbecue restaurant. The sauces called for may be ordered online at, or you can find suitable substitutes at grocery stores or your local barbecue restaurant.

It's preferable to use fresh tomatoes, corn and butter beans when they are in season. The optional 2 extra cups of fresh chopped tomatoes adds texture.

Serve with corn bread or hush puppies.

Make Ahead: The stew can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 4 months.

17 - 20

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 17-20 servings; about 8 quarts

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) salted butter
  • 2 large onion, cut into small dice (3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup high-quality Worcestershire sauce, such as Lea & Perrins
  • 1/2 cup North Carolina-style vinegar-pepper barbecue sauce, such as Southern Soul's Red Swine Wine sauce (see headnote)
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet brown sugar-and-mustard-based barbecue sauce, such as Southern Soul's Sweet Georgia Soul sauce (see headnote)
  • 1 pound pulled smoked chicken
  • 1 pound chopped smoked pork
  • 8 ounces chopped smoked brisket (see headnote)
  • 8 ounces chopped smoked turkey (see headnote)
  • 36 ounces (4 cups) high-quality crushed, canned no-salt-added tomatoes (see headnote)
  • 8 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth, or more as needed
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped vine-ripened tomatoes (see headnote; optional)
  • 21 ounces (4 cups) frozen sweet yellow or white corn (see headnote)
  • 20 ounces (scant 4 cups) frozen butter beans (baby lima beans; see headnote)
  • 10 dashes Texas Pete Hot Sauce, Tabasco or similar hot sauce, or to taste


Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot 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, stirring to incorporate. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, then stir in the two barbecue sauces and all of the smoked meat, making sure to stir so that all the meat is evenly coated. Partially cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Uncover and add the crushed tomatoes and the broth. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the chopped tomatoes, if using, the corn, butter beans and hot sauce. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the stew is thick enough for a spoon to stand in.

Add broth as needed to adjust the consistency to your liking.

Serve hot, or divide into containers to cool completely before storing.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe provided by Harrison Sapp and Griffin Bufkin of Southern Soul Barbeque in St. Simons Island, Ga.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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