Brunswick Stew

Gary’s version of Brunswick Stew

The ingredients are classic, but Gary put’s his unique twist to putting them all together to make a Brunswick Stew that’s authentic. You could probably just throw all the ingredients in a big pressure cooker and turn up the heat to make the stew, but Gary does it his way, with TLC. Be patient. When all the work is done, and you taste that first spoonful, you’ll be happy you did. Brunswick Stew: a culinary work of art (a bit of corn there).


1 “family pack” of bone-in pork chops, 3-5 lbs.

1 “family pack” of chicken thighs, with skin & bones, 3-5 lbs.

3-5 lbs. of deer, fresh or frozen, whatever you can get from the deer hunter

1 qt. butterbeans (I bought a bag frozen from Piggly Wiggly)

1 qt. white sweet corn (also, frozen)

2-4 lbs. Russet (“Irish”) potatoes (depends on how much potatoes you like in your stew)

2 red or green hot peppers, fresh

1 MacIntosh apple, peeled and cored, diced

2 large onions

2 large cans (28-32 oz.) crushed tomatoes

6 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

4 oz. salt cured ham pieces

Sage, fresh about 1/8-1/4 cup

Thyme & rosemary, fresh, a couple of sprigs

Fresh ground black pepper



Cooking oil (I use olive)

Day 1 (my method takes 3 days):

Cut deer into 1-inch cubes. I utilize an Instant Pot (new-fangled pressure cooker) to cook the meats. Heat 1-2 Tablespoons oil in pot, add the leaves of sage and thyme and 2 cloves garlic: sauté a couple of minutes. Add deer. Teaspoon salt. Pour in enough water to cover. Process it for 45 minutes in the pressure cooker. Cool. Separate the meat from the broth. Cover and refrigerate until Day 2.

Day 2:

Add 2 Tablespoons oil to pressure pot, 2 cloves garlic, 1 hot pepper (cut in half), some sage; sauté 2 minutes. Add about a quart of water and all the chicken thighs, teaspoon salt; add enough water to cover the chicken, plus about another inch over. This broth is the main liquid in the stew. Process it for 45 minutes in the pressure cooker. Remove the cooked chicken from the broth; cover both and refrigerate until Day 3.

Day 3:

Debone the cooked and cooled chicken.

Prepare pork chops just like the chicken, 2 cloves garlic, sage, hot pepper (can use dried flakes or 1 fresh), 45 minutes in the pressure cooker. Separate from broth. Cool and debone the pork and set aside the broth.

Now comes the BIG POT. I had to borrow a heavy-duty stainless-steel stock pot with lid. (The olde method was to cook in a black iron wash pot over a wood fire outside.)

Dice a large onion and all the potatoes, big or small chunks of potatoes, your preference.  I leave peelings on. Add to the BIG POT and just enough water to cover, and cook until fork tender.

In a separate pot add a tablespoon of oil and the 4 oz. of ham pieces; sauté for a couple minutes. Add a tablespoon of flour and stir into the oil until it browns a bit. Add the butterbeans, a teaspoon of salt and enough water to cover the beans. Bring to boil and simmer until butterbeans are fork tender. With a slotted spoon dip the butterbeans from their broth and add to the BIG POT with the potatoes; reserve the seasoned bean broth.

Add the chicken broth and pork broth to the BIG POT. When this comes to a boil add the cooked deer, deboned chicken, and deboned pork. Add the 2 cans of tomatoes. Add the diced apple and a couple tablespoons sugar. Add ½ of the corn and ½ of a large onion (the remaining halves will be added 10 minutes before removing the Brunswick Stew from heat.) Make sure all the ingredients are covered with liquid; if not, add the butterbean broth (you’ll likely need to add this, and there’s a lot of flavor and thickening in this!) If you need more liquid, add a minimal amount of water (I didn’t use the deer broth in the recipe, but you could.)

On medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep it mixing and not sticking, cook until the BIG POT starts to bubble. Reduce heat to low, cover loosely with lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it starts to look like Brunswick Stew. At this point all the ingredients are done. Add the remainder of the corn and onion; simmer 10 more minutes. Remove BIG POT from heat.

The Brunswick Stew can be served at this point, but I think it’s always better the next day, Day 4. I placed the stew in 2 other pots, leaving a third in the BIG POT, so that it cools thoroughly before putting it in the fridge until the next day.

Day 4:

Take the three pots from the fridge and heat slowly. When hot, add them back into the BIG POT. Stir it good and serve in bowls with cornbread or crackers on the side.

Enjoy the journey. Relish the Brunswick Stew!

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