When I was 15, we moved from Lexington, Ky to Atlanta, Ga. (East Point, to be exact). There used to be a chain of restaurants called Old Hickory House. I don’t know if Brunswick Stew was their claim to fame, but it’s the most perfect food on the face of the earth, if you ask me.
Now, the restaurants don’t exist anymore, but the recipe lives on. If you wanna read up on which states claim the recipe and who thinks it was first prepared in Brunswick, GA (vs Virginia), you can. I can list the link at the end of my recipe. But back to my story: I wanted to serve it to the local Ministerial Association Luncheon last year, so I searched and bribed and did a voodoo dance (just kidding) until I discovered the original recipe, or what I BELIEVE to be the original recipe. I’m listing it for you here; if you think it’s wrong, don’t call me; just change it to suit yourself.
But I can guarantee that if you follow this recipe to the letter you will have the best one-dish meal that you will ever, ever eat. And I’m not biased at all. (What did we do to express ourselves before smiley faces and “lol’s”?)
GEORGIA BRUNSWICK STEW
Yields 1 gallon (I think it makes more but that’s what the recipe says)
FOR THE SAUCE:
In a 2 1/2 quart sauce pan, over low heat, melt:
1/4 lb of butter
THEN ADD AND BLEND UNTIL SMOOTHER:
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons coarse grind black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 oz. Liquid Smoke
2 oz. Worcestershire sauce
2 oz. Crystal hot sauce or 1 oz. Tabasco
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
TO THIS MIXTURE ADD:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
Stir constantly, increase heat to simmer (DO NOT BOIL) for approximately 10 minutes. Makes about 7 cups of sauce. Set aside, or simmer on low if you wanna really make it good. It really intensifies the flavor if you have oldies playing on the radio, Elvis is preferred.
THEN THE STEW:
In a 2 gallon pot, melt:
1/4 lb of butter (don’t complain, this is the healthy version)
ADD TO THE POT:
3 cups small diced potatoes
1 cup small diced onion
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) chicken broth
1 lb baked chicken (white and dark) (I cheated and used a rotisserie chicken)
8 to 10 oz. smoked pork (and here I used part of a honey-baked ham, only ’cause it was in the freezer waiting for me)
Bring to a rolling boil, stirring until potatoes are near done.
WHEN THAT MIXTURE IS PERFECT AND YOU’RE TIRED OF ELVIS, CHANGE THE STATION AND ADD:
1 (8 1/2 oz.) can early peas
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) stewed tomatoes (chop tomatoes, add liquid to the stew pot)
1/4 cup prepared sauce (from above recipe)
1 16 oz. can of baby lima beans
1/4 cup Liquid Smoke
1 (14 to 15 oz.) can creamed corn
Slow simmer for 2 hours. (I know it says 2 hours, but I found that I burned it if I cooked it this long–judge for yourself, mine took about 45 minutes. When it’s done, it’s done. You just can’t tamper with perfection)…
The Old Hickory House served either a small cup or a large bowl of Brunswick Stew, in addition to a plate with BBQ sandwich, baked potato and BBQ Beans, and Cole slaw, or if you’re smart, you just save all that room for the Stew.
The link to the recipe that I thought seemed most authentic to my memory is: http://www.officialguide.com/gistew.html Y’all enjoy. Come on back when you’re full……yes, it freezes well, although I don’t know why you’d want to. Bye for now. Always remember Whose you are.