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.
This months Daring Cooks Challenge was super fun for me. Mostly because I got to break in my newly acquired WagnerWare Dutch Oven. We purchased this Dutch Oven off E-Bay and it works like a dream. It heats evenly and retains temperature like no other pot I have.
I created my stew using a Game Hen and Chicken Carcass Vegetable base stock. I pulled the game hen out of the stock pot after the stock had been simmering for about an hour. I let it cook off then I skinned it and removed all the meat and set it aside to add to my stew later. The other meat I chose for my stew was the economical choice of country style pork ribs.
Basically, I had one random game hen in my freezer along with a chicken carcass and 3-4lbs of country style pork ribs. They spoke to me and my Brunswick Stew was born. Also, please note I cut the recipe provided by half. The other adjustments I made were to brown the onions first in the pot and add flour to them. I then took them out and reserved them for later. I used Cannellini beans instead of butterbeans, mostly because I had Cannellini beans on hand. I try to cook with what I have to save money, and doing this usually prompts me to be more creative with my recipes.
I served my Brunswick Stew with some tasty homemade Sourdough Buns. I was particularly pleased as this was the first time I used my Sourdough Starter without adding any yeast to help the rising process. I was told that the added yeast would take away the Sourdough flavor of the bread, and this is pretty much true. My starter is now a few months old, and this was really the first time the end result tasted like Sourdough bread. When I bit into my first roll I was like OMG it tastes like Sourdough, I win!
- 4 slices of bacon, chopped
- 2 Serrano chilies, seeded, and chopped
- The meat of one Game Hen, shredded
- 3-4 pounds country style pork ribs
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- 4-8 quarts of chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large celery stalk, chopped
- 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
- ¾ cup chopped carrots
- 1/ ¾ cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup corn
- 1 ½ cups Cannellini beans
- 2 cups canned peeled tomatoes, drained and mashed
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- hot sauce to taste
Heat a large stock pot over medium heat, and saute the onions till they are almost translucent. Add the flour to the onions mix it around and then dump the onions in a small bowl, reserve them for later.
Add the chopped bacon to the stock pot, saute it over medium heat till it starts to crispin. Transfer the bacon to a large bowl. Toast the chilies in the stock pot for about a minute, and then remove them and place them in the same bowl as the bacon.
Season both sides of the pork with kosher salt and pepper. Place them in the pot and sear them for about 4 minutes a side (work in batches, try not to over crowd the pot).
This is just a sear, this will not cook the pork all the way through. Remove the pork from the pot and place it in bowl with bacon in it.
Add 1 cup of the chicken stock to the sauce pan. De-glaze the pan and get all the bits up off the bottom, simmer the stock till it reduces by half.
Add the remaining stock (start with adding 5 cups) the bay leaf, celery, potatoes, pork, bacon, and chilies. Bring the pot to a boil, and then lower the heat so it simmers. Cover it and let it cook for about 2-3 hours till the meat is falling off the bone.
Remove the pork with a pair of tongs, and place in a colander to cool. Remove the bay leaf and discard. After the meat has cooled, shred it off the bones using a pair of forks. Discard the bones.
Return the the shredded pork and game hen to the stock pot. Add the carrots to the stock pot and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the carrots are soft.
Add the cooked onion, Cannellini beans, corn, and tomatoes.
Simmer for another 30 minutes uncovered. Remove from the heat, add the vinegar, hot sauce, and the lemon juice. Serve immediately with a bread.