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Brunswick Stew

A classic stew with a 'cue kick
Brunswick Stew
Bacon and barbecue sauce lend smoky flavor to this classic stew.

Suzanne Vizethann grew up eating the hearty Southern staple Brunswick stew. So when the time came to open her restaurant, Buttermilk Kitchen, in Atlanta, Georgia, she kept her recipe close to the thick stew she grew up with. The addition of smoky barbecue sauce gives the stew a sweet kick (Vizethann prefers the locally made Williamson Brothers Bar-B-Q, but feel free to substitute your favorite sauce), and a hearty dose of bacon amps up the smoky flavor. We like the stew piping hot and sided with a slab of cornbread or a buttermilk biscuit.

Brunswick Stew

Recipe adapted from Suzanne Vizethann, Buttermilk Kitchen, Atlanta, GA

Yield: 8 servings

Cook Time: 55 minutes


1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 medium sweet onion (such as a Vidalia), halved and chopped into ¼-inch pieces

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¾ cup barbecue sauce

¾ pound shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works great)

½ cup crushed canned tomatoes

3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

2 cups frozen butter beans or lima beans

3 cups chicken broth


1. In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until crispy, 15 to 20 minutes. Into a heat-safe small bowl, pour off the fat from the pan (once it's cooled and solidified, discard). Transfer the bacon to a bowl. Add the butter to the skillet; once melted, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 15 minutes.

2. Stir in the Worcestershire, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and simmer for 5 minutes, until the onions are glossy and the spoon leaves a trail when run across the bottom of the pan. Add the barbecue sauce, the reserved bacon and the cooked chicken and stir to combine. Stir in the tomatoes, corn and butter beans. Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the stew for 20 minutes. Divide into bowls and serve.

Test Kitchen Approved

We collaborate with a lot of talented chefs and tinker with everything in our test kitchen. Our goal is to make sure every recipe works as well in your home kitchen as it does in ours. So go on, cook with confidence.


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