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Thread: ISO: Mrs. Fearnow's Brunswick Stew recipe

  1. #1

    ISO: Mrs. Fearnow's Brunswick Stew recipe

    A friend of mine who is transplanted here in Michigan from NC shared some of her precious stash of Mrs. Fearnow's Brunswick Stew with us, and we loved it! Sadly, we can't get it here, and I couldn't ask her folks to buy us a case next time they, I've been experimenting with recipes. Nothing I've tried is as good as the canned stew, if you can believe it! I love to make soups and stews, and really want to make a good Brunswick Stew...does anyone have any suggestions?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    chester county, pennsylvania, usa
    As a transplanted southerner, I must concur with your cheers for Mrs. Fearnow's Brunswick Stew! Never fear though, there is always mail order: I have never even tried to make my own because I just love her version.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Richmond, VA
    I have lived in Virginia most of my life and Brunswick Stew--the real kind has been a staple in my diet forever. A big fund-raising event around Richmond and points south is making a big stew in huge pots and selling it by the quart--I bought two quarts last week from the Manchester Gang--don't ask.

    The closest recipe that I have found to an outdoor cooked stew and to Mrs. Fearnow's is this recipe that comes from an old addition of The Stuffed Cougar, a fund-raising cookbook published by The Collegiate Schools in Richmond. I think it is pretty close.

    Brunswick Stew

    6 lb. stewing hen 3 med. potatoes, diced
    2 large onions, diced 4 c. corn
    4 c. tomatoes 3 t. salt
    2 c. butterbeans 1 t. pepper
    1 T. sugar

    Cook chicken in 3 qts. water until meat is ealily removed from bones(about 2 1/4 hrs.). Add rqw vegetables and simmer, uncovered, until tender. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Add boned diced chicken, and seasonings. Let stand refrigerated overnight, to blend and enhance flavors. Serves 8 to 10.

    Comments and helpful hints: You can use fresh, frozen, or canned corn; fresh or canned tomatoes; and if you don't know what butterbeans are--baby limas. I usually don't wait for the vegetables to cook completely before I put in the meat and seasonings. Cook it until it reaches the thickness that you like--and go ahead and serve it right away. When it is cooked outside in big iron pots, it sometimes is very difficult to tell what is what--just a great brown mass of delicious stew.

    Garnett had long known. . . that God's world and the better part of daily life were full of mysteries known only to women.
    --from "Prodigal Summer" by Barbara Kingsolver

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    North of the ocean, South of the Freeway, Mississippi Gulf Coast
    Thanks for sharing your recipe, but I've got a question. Isn't this dish awfully bland? Or are appearances deceptive?

    I cook with lots of spicy Creole-type flavors, and this dish has always seemed too plain to spark my interest, at least on paper, anyhow. How is it flavor-wise? (I keep thinking that it would be good to add some garlic, wine and hot sauce to liven things up, but wonder if this might not be a blasphemous adulteration of a classic dish. )
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist

  5. #5

    Many thanks, Michele!

    I'll have to give your recipe a try. Thanks for posting it! I wish I could be at one of the cookoffs in VA -sounds like fun, and "mighty tasty, too!" (Lucy and Vitameatavegimin... )

    I probably will place an order, too - just to have some on hand! thanks for the address, Susan!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Richmond, VA
    I will admit that the recipe does sound a bit bland--I'm sure some season heavier than others. You could add more onion. I salt to taste and use lots of black pepper. A lot of people season it with hot sauce in the bowl--I think I'm the only one in my family that does so.

    I think--and someone may want to correct or confirm--that the original recipes-but not Mrs. Fearnow's--has squirrel in it. I know a lot of people--my mother included--who put beef in theirs.
    It's kind of one of those things that you start with the basics and do it the way you want.

    Garnett had long known. . . that God's world and the better part of daily life were full of mysteries known only to women.
    --from "Prodigal Summer" by Barbara Kingsolver

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    I've never made Brunswick Stew, not do I think I have ever eaten it, but here is one I saw from Southern Living. It requires a smoker though.

    Top-Rated Recipe, October 2001


    This recipe came to us from Tim Smith, who got it from his late father, Zack. To make it thicker, cook it longer, being sure to stir it often.

    Hickory wood chips
    2 (2 1/2-pound) whole chickens*
    1 (3-pound) Boston butt pork roast*
    3 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
    2 (16-ounce) packages frozen whole kernel yellow corn, thawed
    2 (16-ounce) packages frozen butterbeans, thawed
    2 medium onions, chopped
    1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth
    1 (24-ounce) bottle ketchup
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
    1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1 tablespoon salt
    1 tablespoon pepper
    2 tablespoons hot sauce

    SOAK wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes.

    PREPARE charcoal fire in smoker; let burn 15 to 20 minutes.

    DRAIN wood chips, and place on coals. Place water pan in smoker; add water to depth of fill line.

    REMOVE and discard giblets from chicken. Tuck wings under; tie with string, if desired. Place chicken and pork on lower food rack; cover with smoker lid.

    COOK chicken 2 1/2 hours; cook pork 6 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 165. Let cool.

    REMOVE chicken from bone. Chop chicken and pork.

    STIR together chicken, pork, diced tomatoes, corn, and remaining ingredients in a 6-quart Dutch oven. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

    Yield: 28 cups.
    Prep: 2 hrs., Smoke: 6 hrs., Cook: 3 hrs.

    Tim Smith
    Birmingham, Alabama

    * 2 pounds smoked, cooked chicken and 2 1/2 pounds smoked, cooked pork may be substituted.

    Copyright Southern Living Inc., 1996-2001. All rights reserved.

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