Brunswick Stew


If you’re ready to embark on a culinary adventure, then you absolutely must try this delectable Smoky Southern Stew. Once you savor its rich, bold flavors, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. It’s the perfect solution for those times when you’ve slow-cooked or smoked a succulent pork butt and find yourself with some leftovers that deserve to be transformed into something extraordinary. This stew is a true Southern classic, with a Tex-Mex twist that makes it stand out.

This hearty tomato-based stew is the result of combining barbecue sauce with an assortment of leftover smoked and roasted meats, such as pork, chicken, and beef. It also features the delightful addition of corn, lima beans (or butter beans), and a medley of simple spices that provide a hint of spiciness. The origins of this stew are somewhat disputed, with debates over whether it hails from Brunswick City, Georgia, or Brunswick County, Virginia, which lends it its unique name. Originally, it was crafted with wild game meats like squirrel and rabbit.

Why does this recipe work so well, you ask?

  • It’s all about flavor – bold, Tex-Mex, and unmistakably Southern. It’s a flavor explosion you won’t want to miss.
  • Don’t let those smoked pork or roasted chicken leftovers languish in your fridge. This recipe is the perfect solution. You can even freeze the meat for future stew-making endeavors.
  • The stew is brimming with all-natural, wholesome ingredients, packed with protein and veggies, making it a guilt-free delight for you and your family.
  • Here’s a handy feature: it freezes exceptionally well. Prepare a big batch, enjoy a portion, and then freeze the rest in quart-size bags. Simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove or in a microwave-safe bowl (avoid reheating in the plastic bag).

Now, let’s get cooking with this unique and original Smoky Southern Stew recipe:

Smoky Southern Stew Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Method: Stovetop


  • 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn
  • 1 ½ cups frozen lima beans
  • ¾ cup barbecue sauce, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons hot sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1–2 pinches of cayenne pepper
  • 2 ½ cups pulled smoked pork
  • 1 ½ cups cooked diced chicken breast or chicken thighs (smoked or roasted)


  1. Heat the canola oil over medium heat in a dutch oven or a heavy stockpot. Add the finely chopped onion and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the minced garlic, cooking for an additional minute while stirring constantly.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the tomato paste with 1/4 cup of chicken broth, then pour it into the pot. Add the remaining chicken broth, diced tomatoes, frozen corn, lima beans, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, ground black pepper, crushed red pepper, and cayenne pepper to the pot over medium-high heat. Bring it to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Incorporate the smoked pork and chicken, letting them simmer for an extra 5 minutes. If desired, season the stew with salt and additional pepper to taste. Serve in bowls and drizzle with a touch more barbecue sauce for that extra flavor kick.


  • This is your go-to recipe for repurposing leftover smoked pork and roasted chicken. You can use all of one or both meats, but the combination adds a unique depth of flavor. Experiment with different percentages to suit your taste or even try game meats like squirrel or rabbit for a wild twist.
  • Feel free to get creative with your choice of vegetables. Potatoes, butter beans, celery, and okra all make great additions.
  • This stew is a meal in itself, but when you have company or extended family over, consider serving it with coleslaw, cornbread, and Southern Fried Apples for a complete Southern feast.
  • The recipe author recommends using a Kansas City-style BBQ sauce for a thinner, lightly sweetened, and slightly spicy flavor profile.
  • For a finishing touch, drizzle a little extra barbecue sauce over the stew. It enhances the presentation and adds a burst of flavor.


In the realm of hearty Southern dishes, this Smoky Southern Stew is a standout. Its melding of smoky meats, corn, tomatoes, and lima beans in a tangy, sweet broth with a hint of spiciness is a revelation for the taste buds. Not only is it a fantastic way to use up smoked pork and roasted chicken leftovers, but it’s also a convenient, freeze-friendly recipe that will keep you coming back for more. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your apron, and savor this unique and original Smoky Southern Stew – it’s a taste of the South you won’t soon forget.

image source : small town woman