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Brunswick Stew




"Cooking is at once one of the simplest and most gratifying of
the arts, but to cook well one must love and respect food."
~ Craig Claiborne

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 Southern Heritage
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Brunswick Stew
The Heritage of Southern Cooking

By Camille Glenn, 1986, Workman Publishing Co., Inc.

“When the farmers or hunters brought squirrels and rabbits to our hotel kitchen door, we knew we would have Brunswick Stew next day, and we loved it.
Brunswick Stew is a hearty, thick game and vegetables dish, somewhere between
a soup and a stew, and eaten with a spoon. It has a touch of red pepper but no Worcestershire sauce. It is not a burgoo. It is believed to have been created first
in Brunswick Country, Virginia, but it is well known all through the good ham country of the South. The vegetables in a traditional Brunswick stew are
tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, lima beans, and corn, with the emphasis on the lima beans and corn. Any delicate game such as squab or pheasant or dove
is admissible, but the ham bone is necessary. I you can only get chicken and ham,
you can still have a delicious Brunswick Stew. Serve with corn muffins.”

Serves 15 to 18

1 baked ham bone, from a Virginia or other good-quality
country-cured ham if possible
6 quarts water, or as needed
1 stewing hen or 2 fryer chickens, 5 pounds total, split
1 young rabbit, 2 1/2 pounds, ready to cook and cut into 4 pieces
1 small young squirrel, 1 1/2 pounds, ready to cook, cut into 4 pieces
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme, or several sprigs fresh
4 sprigs parsley
2 ribs celery, cut in half
2 small onions
Several black peppercorns
4 cups tomatoes, fresh or canned, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped peeled carrots
2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
3 large or 4 small mealy potatoes (Idaho or russet), cubed
2 cups lima beans, fresh of possible, or home frozen
3 cups corn, fresh if possible, or frozen
1/2 crushed dried red chile pepper, or 1 fresh chile pepper, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Put the ham bone in a large kettle with the water, bring to a boil, reduce
the heat, and simmer 1 hour. Let the stock cool down a bit.
2. Rinse the hen or chickens, the rabbit, and the squirrel thoroughly and dry them well with paper towels. Add the hen or chickens to the kettle. (Use
the giblets for another purpose or discard them.) Add the rabbit, squirrel, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, halved celery ribs, whole onions, and the peppercorns. Simmer, uncovered, until the chickens, squirrel, and rabbit are thoroughly tender, 1 3/4 hours.
3. Remove the ham bone, chickens, squirrel, and rabbit. Cover the meat and set it aside. Strain the stock and discard the seasoning vegetables and herbs. Skin some of the fat from the stock.
4. Add the tomatoes, carrots, chopped celery and onions, the potatoes,
lima beans, corn, and red chile pepper. Simmer, uncovered, until all the vegetables are tender, 45 minutes.
5. Bone the chicken, rabbit, and squirrel, and remove any pieces of ham (free of fat) from the ham bone. Return the meat to the kettle. Add more water if needed to make a thick soup. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to let the flavors ripen and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

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