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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Brunswick Stew

This is one of Papaw's recipes that I grew up eating. I had to improvise a bit from Papaw's version, and believe me, you will too. The "wild meat" it calls for was definitely wild when he cooked it. Maybe rabbit, squirrel, whatever one could find....it probably made its way into this stew. Because this dish makes enough for a crowd, Papaw would cook it outside in a wash pot. And you'll never believe what he used to stir the pot: a drill with a coat hanger whisp! This is a lot of work, but it is the definition of comfort food to me, so worth the time and effort. I halved the recipe below, and it still made a ton!

Ingredients:
1 fat hen
1 fryer
4 lbs. hamburger & wild meat (i used half beef and half pork)
2 lbs. chopped potatoes
2 cans tomato paste
1 qt. butterbeans (i used frozen baby lima beans)
1 can white shoepeg corn
1 lb. chopped onions
1 bottle Lea & Perrins worcestershire
salt, black and red pepper to taste

Papaw's instructions: Pressure cook hen in 3 cups water. Boil fryer until tender. Strain all stock and pour into large cooker. Add beef, wild meat and onions to stock. Cook potatoes separately. Add Lea & Perrins and tomato paste to meat. Shred the chicken and add to the pot. Blend up meat when all is added by using a drill with coat hanger whisp. Add beans and potatoes. Cook on low heat about 4 hours. Add shoe peg corn last.

Sally is scared to death of pressure cookers (one blew up on her once, and she'll never forget it - scaredy pants!); if you are too, here are her instructions:
Cook hen until tender. Boil fryer until tender. Strain all stock. Add ground ground beef, wild meat and onions to stock. Cook potatoes separately. Add worcestershire, tomato paste. Shred chicken and add to the pot. Blend up meat when all is added. Cook on low heat about 4 hours. Add beans, potatoes and corn last.

One side note: Don't use all of the stock leftover after the chicken is cooked. The point of this stew is to not have too much broth. It should be hearty.

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