Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Daring Cooks: Brunswick Stew

The 2010 April Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den. She chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make Brunswick Stew. Wolf chose recipes for her challenge from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt Lee and Ted Lee, and from the Callaway, Virginia Ruritan Club.

I wasn't really excited about this challenge.  After months worth of soup for the winter the idea of making another one just didnt thrill me.  I am so glad that we did.  This is a very flavorful soup that makes a good size pot of stew that can last for a few days.  

Unfortunately for us, my husband dropped a bowl and it smashed into shards.  They were everywhere.  And not wanting to take a chance that there was glass in our soup, we had to discard it. Luckily for us we had already eaten our meal.  We so sadly got rid of the soup. We are still sad about it when we think of it. 

liberally adapted from “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-Be Southerners” by Matt Lee and Ted Lee

Serves about 12
1/4 lb slab bacon, rough diced
2 Serrano, Thai or other dried red chiles, stems trimmed, sliced, seeded, flattened
1 4-5lb chicken, quartered, skinned, and most of the fat removed
1 pork hock
1 Tablespoon sea salt for seasoning, plus extra to taste
2-3 quarts Chicken Broth (recipe below)
2 Bay leaves
2 large celery stalks
2lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, or other waxy type potatoes, peeled, rough diced
1 ½ cups carrots, chopped
3 ½ cups onions, chopped
2 cups fresh corn kernels
3 cups butterbeans, preferably fresh (1 ¼ lbs) or defrosted frozen
1 35oz can or 4 cups whole, peeled tomatoes, drained
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 2 lemons
Tabasco sauce to taste

1- Season liberally both sides chicken pieces with sea salt and pepper. Roast chicken in oven until browned.  When cooled seperate out bone and skin from chicken meat. Add chicken meat to bowl with bacon and chiles.  Make broth with the bones and skin. Add in bay leaves, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, salt and pepper.  Add pork hock as well. I did this step the day before.  You can skim off the excess fat the next morning after it has been chilled. Remove hock from soup and discard the skin and bone.
2-In a large stockpot or a Dutch Oven, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until it just starts to crisp. Transfer to a large bowl, and set aside. Reserve most of the bacon fat in your pan, and with the pan on the burner, add in the chiles. Toast the chiles until they just start to smell good about a minute tops. Remove and add to bacon.
3- Add 2 cups of your chicken broth or stock, if you prefer, to the pan and basically deglaze the pan, making sure to get all the goodness cooked onto the bottom. The stock will become a nice rich dark color and start smelling good. Bring it up to a boil and let it boil away until reduced by at least half. Add your remaining stock, the bay leaves, celery, potatoes, chicken, pork hock meat, bacon, chiles and any liquid that may have gathered at the bottom of the bowl they were resting in. Bring the pot back up to a low boil/high simmer, over medium/high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover, remember to stir every 15 minutes, give or take, to thoroughly meld the flavors. Simmer, on low, for approximately 1 ½ hours.
4-   Add in your carrots, and stir gently, allowing it to come back to a slow simmer. Simmer gently, uncovered, for at least 25 minutes, or until the carrots have started to soften.

We had some nice crusty bread fresh out of the oven to go with the soup.  It was a winning combination.


kat said...

My mom just told me she had this at a hunting camp in Arkansas last week made with rabbit. I think its funny how you hear about a recipe all the sudden from different places.

Pam said...

I've never tried this but will have to now. It sounds delicious!

chef_d said...

Your stew looks yummy, too bad about throwing it away. But at least you go to try it first

LittleRed said...

Although I had never heard of Brunswick Stew, I too was not super excited to do this challenge. But we really liked it a lot and are glad we've tried it now. We thickened the left overs and it made an awesome pot pie:)

Chow and Chatter said...

sounds like a great soup of thats such a shame you had to throw it out

grace said...

i guess you'll just have to make it again! it's a great and hearty bowl of food--if only your actual bowl had been more hearty! :)

Mary said...

Lori, you did a wonderful job with this challenge. Kudos. It's a shame you weren't able to salvage it after the accident. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Joanne said...

I'm not usually the biggest stew/soup fan but even this looks delicious to me! I'm so sorry about your mishap.

The Blonde Duck said...

That stinks you had to get rid of it!

Katy ~ said...

I'll have to remember this when cold weather comes 'round again (I hope not for a long time!). It sounds delicious and hearty. I am sorry about the shattered bowl, but it happens doesn't it.

TaGa_Luto said...

It's a shame you weren't able to save some of the stew! Thank God, you were able to taste them before the disaster=;) On the postive note, there's a reason for another batch=;)

Lisa Michelle said...

Lori..your stew looks so wonderful, as does that lovely, rustic bread..that I can see why you were so sad that the leftovers hit the floor :( I've been there, done that..even cried before lol beautiful job as always!