Brunswick Stew

Recipe by Jim Lea, Oxford, MS
Owner of Wildrose Rowan

Brunswick stew is an iconic dish, extremely popular in the south, generally involving a mix of pulled pork, chicken, brisket, turkey, or wild game. It is thick, hearty, and tomato based and almost always contains corn and lima beans with barbecue sauce and a little hot sauce. A debate exists to this day by residents of Brunswick, Georgia, & Brunswick County, Virginia, as to who the exact creator of this recipe is. In any event, it’s a homerun in my southern home.

Prep Time: 15 minutesjim and rowan stew

Cook Time: 2 hr. 25 min.
Serves: 20 plus servings

½ pound salted butter
3 cups (2 large) finely diced sweet onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic (fresh is better)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup hickory bbq sauce
½ cup gold/yellow bbq sauce
1-1.5 pounds smoked pulled chicken and/or smoked turkey
1-1.5 pounds smoked pulled pork
1-1.5 pounds smoked chopped beef brisket
1 (number 10-109 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 quart drained yellow corn kernels (2 14.5 oz. cans)
1 quart drained baby lima beans (2 14.5 oz. cans)
1 can cream-styled corn
1 quart or more quality chicken stock or broth
6-12 dashes Tabasco Brand Chipotle hot sauce to taste


Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat (20 quart stock pot).  Add the diced onions and the garlic and sauté until onions are translucent, about 15 minutes. Sir in the cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, & Worcestershire sauce.

Simmer for 5 minutes then add ½ cup of hickory bbq sauce and ½ cup of gold/yellow bbq sauce. Stir in the pulled chicken and/or turkey, pork, and brisket.

Add the crushed tomatoes and all of the vegetables. Stir in chicken broth/stock and let simmer for 2 hours over medium heat.

Transfer the stew to a serving bowl and serve with warm buttermilk cornbread if desired.



  • Excellent to freeze to have later
  • Obtain meats from a great local meat market or several
  • Substitute a good seasoning such as Tony Chachere’s More Spice Creole Seasoning for the salt/pepper
  • Substitute ½ cup vinegar bbq sauce for the gold/yellow bbq sauce
  • Double the canned vegetables. When doing this add 1-2 cans of crushed tomatoes as well
  • Some recipes add a quart of cubed potatoes depending on locations/states
  • Feeds a crowd on a cold fall/winter night. A staple at my SW Mississippi hunting camp
  • There are many variations of this wonderful stew, our family prefers 3 meats of pulled pork, chicken, and brisket
  • It’s great with wild game such as squirrel, dove, quail, and wild boar

Jim Lea

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