posted October 17, 2022
Brunswick Stew (with Brisket and Pulled Pork)
Brunswick Stew is the stew you never knew you needed in your life. It’s a BBQ comfort meal that comes together quickly with minimal effort. It’s hearty, it’s delicious, and it’s a perfect way to use up leftover BBQ.
What is Brunswick Stew?
Brunswick stew is a tomato-based BBQ stew with a handful of vegetables and plenty of meat. There are many variations to this simple stew, and it’s extremely versatile. I feel like Brunswick stew is the most common-sense solution for any leftover BBQ you’ve got sitting around after a weekend of smoking.
In fact, the origins of Brunswick stew are shrouded in mystery, but I can just imagine some pit master having a crummy day of sales in his restaurant and contemplating what he can possibly do with all of his leftover smoked meat. Enter Brunswick stew! A stew packed full of meat, veggies, and more.
This stew is no frills and no fuss, with a little of this and a little of that. It combines a handful of leftover BBQ meat and packs loads of comforting smoky flavor. Hunters have been heating up after a long day with bowls of this stew forever! So if you have meat leftovers just sitting around in the fridge, this recipe will be your saving grace. Just dump, simmer, and enjoy!
This is meant to be a simple recipe. Adapt away, and just remember to add in lots and lots of meat. Meat (and better yet, smoked meat) takes center stage in this stew, so don’t hold back when adding in all that meaty goodness.
Brunswick stew can be cooked in anything you have available. I’ve seen a handful of recipes for Brunswick stew in the Instant Pot or slow cooker. That’s all fine and dandy, but I find this recipe is amazing cooked in a dutch oven. You can even cook this in a basic pot on the stove.
Ingredients for Brunswick Stew
As mentioned in the previous section, this recipe for Brunswick stew is basically a stew of BBQ leftovers. This particular recipe is made with chicken thighs, pulled pork, and brisket (we had A LOT of leftovers this weekend).
This stew was made for customization and substitutions. It’s all about making awesome stew with what you’ve got on hand. Some people swear by throwing some frozen lima beans (butter beans) in the mix (my husband would have boycotted if I’d even tried it, his hatred for butter beans traces back to some form of childhood trauma). Other people like to mix in diced potatoes (that one I could get behind, but I was out of potatoes).
This recipe uses Hey Grill Hey’s very own Everything BBQ Sauce. It’s a ketchup-based sauce that is great for a variety of recipes. You can purchase a bottle from the Hey Grill Hey Store. If you don’t have any of this sauce on hand, go ahead and use your favorite BBQ sauce for this recipe, or make some from scratch using my recipe for Kansas City BBQ Sauce.
How to Make Brunswick Stew
Here are the basics of making this Brunswick stew recipe. Remember: This is a no-frills recipe that you really can’t mess up, so go with it and let those flavors soar. Here’s how to make Brunswick stew:
- Sautee the veggies. Begin by heating olive oil and veggies (I used onion, celery, and bell pepper) in a large pot on the stove, and then add in some fresh garlic.
- Add the meat. Next up, you’ll add in all your leftover meats. For this recipe, I went all out with leftover chicken thighs, smoked pulled pork, and smoked brisket, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients. Next, add in all the goodies, including chicken stock, canned tomatoes, ketchup, corn, Everything BBQ Sauce, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt and pepper.
- Simmer. Reduce the heat and let the stew simmer for a good while (approximately 45 minutes). You can cook longer if needed for the stew to thicken.
- Dig in! I like to serve this stew immediately with some good, crusty bread. It’s also awesome served in a bread bowl. If you have leftovers, this stew can be frozen and enjoyed at a later time!
Meat Options for Brunswick Stew
Here’s the deal. If you don’t have a fridge teeming with 3 different kinds of smoked meat leftovers, don’t stress yourself out about it! You can still make a killer stew by substituting any of the smoked meats in the recipe as follows:
- No smoked brisket? Sub in either stew meat (and increase the cooking time to 3 hours) or ground beef.
- No pulled pork? Use ground pork or cubed pork loin chops.
- No grilled chicken thighs? Cook some chopped chicken breast or thighs in the pan before you stir in the onions, celery, and peppers.
Do you have other leftover meats you like to use in this recipe? Let us know your favorites in the comments section below!
More Soup and Stew Recipes
Check out these other tasty soup recipes from Hey Grill Hey. They’re perfect for a nice, chilly evening with your family. A good majority of our soup and stew recipes utilize leftover meats as well, saving you time and money.
Brunswick Stew Recipe
Making tasty leftovers for your family should be a breeze. If you’re looking for the ultimate way to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero, join my members-only group The Grill Squad for full access to all my meat pitmaster classes, podcasts, and so much more.
This post was originally published in February 2017. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 red bell pepper (diced)
- 2 stalks celery (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 1 pound grilled chicken thighs (diced)
- ½ pound smoked pulled pork
- ½ pound smoked brisket (chopped)
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 3 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes (with liquid)
- 1 ½ cups frozen corn
- 1 cup ketchup
- ½ cup Everything BBQ sauce (or your favorite ketchup-based BBQ sauce)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- hot sauce to taste
- Saute vegetables. In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions, bell pepper, and celery until soft (about 10 minutes). Stir in the garlic and cook another 3-4 minutes.
- Add remaining vegetables. Slowly stir in the chicken thighs, brisket, and pulled pork. Pour in the chicken stock, canned tomatoes, corn, ketchup, Everything BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
- Simmer. Bring the stew to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Place a lid on the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until thickened to desired consistency.
- Enjoy. Remove the stew from the stove and allow it to cool slightly. Serve warm with crusty bread.
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