Georgia Brunswick Stew

Georgia Brunswick Stew

Today marks the day that I institute some changes for my blog. Lately I have been very inspired to learn more about the history of Southern cuisine, which forms the basis of my food history and influence.

I cannot list one specific reason as to the inspiration, but a slew of events accumulated over the last few months that pushed me here. Getting an invite to the private screen of Netflix’s Chef’s Table episode on our local chef, Mashama Bailey, was the starting point.

Next came the discovery of the Southern Foodways Alliance (here is there website) which documents the history of southern cuisine. I quickly became a proud member.

Not long after I visited with my dad and my Uncle Dusty (who is Cajun) and naturally fell into conversations about food of each of their regions. It seems as though I always fall back on or lean towards making food that has roots in the south.

Finally, I have realized that as a food writer in Savannah, I should educated myself more on the food I am writing about as to bring my readers some knowledge of their region.

To implement this change, I am going to start with a dish that I ate all the time growing up. When you live in certain parts of Georgia, semi-rural, there are only so many restaurants available. Most are chain restaurants like Long Horns or McDonalds, so the legitimate food selection is scant at best.

Birthdays and certain holidays resulted in eating out at the ‘fancier’ restaurants or the local mom and pop restaurants that the entire family loved. On our short list of go-tos was Wallace Barbeque, a shack of a BBQ restaurant that serves pulled pork by the pound with a bowl of vinegar-based barbeque sauce on the side. It is loved so much by my family that anytime my Uncle Dusty visits Georgia from his home in Louisiana, Wallace Barbeque is his first stop.

Like any good Georgia barbeque restaurant, Brunswick stew is readily available on the menu. As a result I have eaten gallons and gallons of Brunswick stew in my lifetime.

Brunswick stew is a hunter’s stew which combines any meat that is available, sometimes even squirrel, with any vegetables that are locally available. The result is a bone sticking stock that is chock-full of sustenance.

It is also important to note that Brunswick stew recipes change by the region. Georgia’s versions is traditionally sweeter due to the use of a barbeque sauce poured in the stock. Virginia’s version just uses a tomato base.

A good point of reference for the difference in each region’s Brunswick stew is the Southern Floodway Alliance’s Community Cookbook. It lists a recipe for North Carolina Brunswick Stew. I could not find one for Georgia. Instead of using a sweet barbeque sauce like in my recipe below, the recipe calls for the combination of ketchup, vinegar, and sugar.

Regardless of the region, the modern Brunswick stew features two meats, pork and chicken. Gone are the days where most southerners used what they caught or what was readily available on the farm to cook. The surplus of local supermarkets has made placed cheap meat in every home.

The recipe below is merely a starting point. I based my recipe on the countless bowls of Brunswick stew I ate growing up. You can switch out the vegetables, lookup versions from other regions or just throw in anything that suits the moment.

A big pot of hearty brunswick stew and slices of bread

Georgia Brunswick Stew

On overhead view of the big pot of stew and bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound of Smoked Pork Shoulder
  • 4 Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 16oz Bag of Frozen Lima Beans
  • 2 32oz Boxes of Chicken Stock
  • 1 Sweet Onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 14oz Cans of Stewed Tomatoes
  • 2 14oz Cans of Creamed Corn
  • 3 Medium Russet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Cup of Sweet Barbeque Sauce, or more to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  1. I start this recipe by saying that everything is to taste. Add more barbeque sauce at the end if you preferer a sweeter more pungent barbeque flavor. As for the chicken stock, I start with one box then add more towards the end of the recipe to get the stock thickness I desire.
  2. Place a heavy bottom soup pot or a Dutch over over medium heat, and pour in one tablespoon of olive oil. Sautee the onion until caramelized and translucent.
  3. Place in your chicken thighs, then pour over enough chicken stock to cover the chicken.
  4. Bring the chicken stock up to a boil, then reduce the heat down to medium-low. Cover the pot with a lid and cook the chicken thighs for 30 minutes.
  5. After the chicken has cooked, pour in your remaining ingredients. Turn up the heat as long as necessary to bring the stew back up to a simmer. Once at a simmer you can reduce the heat back to medium-low.
  6. Add as much chicken stock as necessary to get the stew to your desired thickness.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. I cook the stew for at least one hour to allow the potatoes to soften. The longer you allow it to cook the better it gets.
  9. Serve with sliced white bread or cornbread.
  10. *For an even easier version, combine all of the ingredients into a crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Powered by Zip Recipes
https://epicuropedia.com/2019/04/11/georgia-brunswick-stew/

If you do not feel like making stew at home, here is my recommendation on a good local bbq spot.

Advertisements

Roy’s Nutz and Buttz

Roy’s Nutz and Buttz

If there is one type of cuisine that really hits home for me, it is BBQ. I grew up in a small town outside of Atlanta where barbecue joints were as concentrated as the traffic on I-85 every afternoon at 5 p.m.

So when I relocated to the Lowcountry a few short years ago, I was disappointed at the relative lack of available barbecue restaurants.

Thankfully, our city finally wised up and passed ordinances allowing food trucks to begin operation within Savannah. With the change, one of Savannah’s most popular food trucks Owners Roy and Mandy Chambliss both had nine-to-five jobs before they took the leap to crank up their wheeled walk-up.

Just as much experience as they both have in the business world, they have even more when it comes to barbecue.

The story of this American dream truly began when Roy learned to barbecue about 20 years ago, while coaching his son’s travel baseball games. According to Roy, the barbecue was an effort “to raise money” for the team, and he learned by purchasing “a little grill from Sam’s and burning a lot of meat”. Now he has a professional smoking rig that can feed at least two-thousand people per day.

IMG_6995
Roy’s choice in wood is pecan and red oak because “[the oak smokes] hotter while [the pecan] gives the meat a sweet taste,” he explained as I peppered him with questions while attempting to learn the process.

Roy went on to explain that for the pork, he cooks it “for at least twelve hours per butt,” and he smokes the protein for four hours before wrapping it to prevent oversmoking.

Roy’s Nutz & Butts offers your traditional smoked barbecue meats and a few unique entrees. and barbecue stops, Roy’s Nutz & Buttz, was born.

Let’s start with the Chicken Bomb, a chicken sandwich like no other. Dishes like this are the reason I love to visit and review more relatable restaurants. Though popular in many newer places, it is special to see a mom-and-pop that offers new and unique takes on classic dishes.

IMG_7026

The base of this sandwich is a slow smoked piece of chicken coated in buffalo sauce and layered with a mound of gooey house-smoked (obviously) buffalo chicken dip, smoked crispy thick cut bacon, and a torrential downpour of creamy ranch.

Commonly buffalo chicken sandwiches feature fried chicken, but I prefer the smoked chicken because it retains much more moisture and flavor. The bacon acts as the crunchy element, in lieu of breading. And if crunchy bacon is your thing, this smoked bacon is colossally crispy.

Another extremely unique offering is the Gonzo dog. Though of course smoked (I would expect nothing less from Pitmaster Roy), the dog’s twist comes with a stuffing of cheese before being encased in bacon.

Yes, the same crispy crunchy bacon described above. Smoking the hotdog allows the bacon to properly render its fat and crisp up, which often doesn’t happen with bacon wrapped meat. After your teeth pierce the guarding layer of bacon and through the juicy meat itself, your mouth is flooded with melted creamy sharp cheese.

IMG_7008

The burger is smoked as well, and be warned once you taste a smoked hamburger you will never want it cooked any other way. Smoking the beef allows the burger to be cooked through without becoming dry or making the meat tough. You get the flavor of a traditional American cheeseburger alongside a whisper of smoked meat.

As for the side items, every single one of them are so delicious they could be featured as main. Roy’s Brunswick Stew is award winning; it placed second in the professional category and third for the People’s’ Choice award of the 2018 Brunswick Stewbilee competition.

Want to know why? Roy’s is the only restaurant around town using brisket in their stew. Traditionally the stew includes pork and sometimes chicken, but Roy included all three smoked meats. The recipe also excludes potatoes, a filler for the stew traditionally used to stretch the amount it will serve.

The baked beans are not overly sweet. Instead they are balanced by Mandy’s addition of chili sauce. Cooked down with the beans you will find green peppers, which add a touch of brightness to the Southern staple. The combination of the two additions give these beans an overall peppery flavor with the finish of a hint of the traditional sweetness.

The Macaroni and Cheese is made the way that I prefer, creamy and not baked with an egg like many southern versions of the side. The flavor of cheese is deep, due to the use of sharp American, Monterey Jack, and Colby. Distributed about you will find a sea of cracked black pepper, a perfect touch to cut through the richness of three cheeses.

Let’s not forget about the barbecue sauce. Besides the actual smoked meat this may be the most important offering. The idea for Roy’s signature sauce, a Honey Jalapeño Barbecue Sauce, surfaced when he was sampling barbecue at a local joint in Arizona.

After returning to Savannah, he spent a little bit of time attempting to recreate the sauce before perfecting his own. The sauce “is probably their most popular” and is made with a purée of fresh jalapeños.

For the people that think it the honey jalapeno barbecue sauce is too spicy, Roy, made a hickory salve and as he was doing a lot of jobs in South Carolina, “everybody asked [them] for a mustard based one, so that is what I did,” Roy explained as he told me about his other two barbecue sauce creations.

The mustard version is reminiscent of a smokey spicy honey mustard, while the hickory is closer to a traditional barbecue sauce without so much sweetness.

The menu is only going to get larger, and Roy and Mandy have been working on a brick-and-mortar sit-down featuring a large menu and new creations. Their quick success is due to love of the food, each other, and serving people.

As Mandy put it, she “has the most amazing job in the world.”

Original Article: Here