Monday, October 17, 2011

Brunswick Stew...who knew?

Big Daddy's 70th birthday was approaching.  I was cooking. The requested menu was: Bar B Que. 

Smoked Pork Butt, check.
Baby Back Ribs, check.
Potato Salad, check. (I think)
Coleslaw, check.
Brunwick Stew......errrrr.....ahhhhh.....ummmm.....
Apple Pie, check.
Chocolate Cake, check.

I was confidant and assured about MOST of the menu, however, the potato salad and brunswick stew had me concerned, very concerned.  I had never made brunswick stew before and the potato salad I wanted to make was my mother-in-law's recipe. I had made it with her one time, several years ago.  It is the BEST potato salad I have ever had.  Set up for failure you may be thinking.  I knew I could do it. I just needed to research, meditate and pray.  Some practice would help also.

I knew I had the recipe, one of Joe's sisters had sent it to me, the search completed here is what I found. The recipe for the potato salad...see below.

Hazelquist Potato Salad
Oh boy!  Let’s see. . .the secret is in the dressing and how the potatoes and other veggies are chopped.  I don’treally have a recipe – just a little hand written note I made once when talking to Mom years ago so there’s no amounts – just ingredients  Let’s see if this works. If not maybe Laurie or Janet has a more “traditional” recipe!

Boiled Potatoes (but not mushy like for mashed potatoes)
Green Pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
Hard Boiled Eggs

Chop potatoes into medium to small chunks (?!)
Chop onions, radishes and green pepper fairly small
Gently stir veggies together then fold in dressing
Top with sliced boiled potatoes; sprinkle with paprika

Miracle Whip
Mix Miracle Whip and a dollop of mustard; add a little milk for stirring consistency. 
(Have Joe taste to see if it tastes like Mom’s!)

As you can see the "recipe" is very open to adaptation.  But I persevered and the potato salad did turn out quite well.  I have NEVER been a fan of Miracle Whip.  But in this instance it is the secret ingredient.  I can't believe I actually just wrote that, but it is true.  The radishes can be a bit work intensive, you section them into 8th's then remove most of the white, leaving beautiful little discs of red.  Between the green pepper and the red of the radish it is a lovely site. Making this salad brought back memories of my darling Mother-In-Law, Phyllis Hazelquist.  I was so thankful that we had made this dish together once upon a time ago.  We miss you Phyllis.

 Brunswick Stew Time

The above four items started the sauce for the Brunswick Stew. 
The base is adapted from Spanky's Seafood Grill and Bar in Brunswick Ga.
In a 2 qt. sauce pan, over low heat, melt 1/4 cup of butter then add:
1 3/4 cups of Ketchup
1/4 cup French's Yellow Mustard
1/4 cup of White Vinegar
Blend until smooth.

Some more of the story......
Then add 1/2 Tbls chopped garlic
1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 oz liquid smoke
1 oz Worchestshire Sauce
1 oz Hot sauce (I used Crystal)
1/2 Tbls fresh Lemon Juice
Then add 1/4 cup Brown Sugar

Stir constantly, increase heat to simmer (do not boil) for approx. 10 minutes.
Set aside.
Lima Beans.....
The rest of the vegetable story.....corn, okra, onion red pepper, green peppers and potatoes.
The meat of story....roast chicken, grilled chicken sausage.  Eventually pulled pork was added...more on that later.

Now onto the Stew!
In a 2 gallon pot, over low heat melt 1/4 lb (1 stick) of butter
3 cups of diced potatoes
1 cup of diced onion
1 qt of chicken stock/broth
1 lb of shredded roast chicken, no skin, both white and dark meat.
Or use grilled chicken sausage (I used both).
1 lb of shredded smoked pork.

Bring to a rolling boil, stirring until potatoes are near done, then add:
2 14 oz. cans stewed tomatoes
The prepared sauce
1 bag of frozen lima beans
1 bag of frozen gumbo mixture
1/4 cup liquid smoke

Slow simmer for 2 hours.  This dish is much better the next day, IMHO.

Here is story on the Pork.
Ahhh...the pork with Joe's famous pork rub.  Porkus Rubus.
Here is the pork rub recipe.
 4 Tbls Paprika
2 Tbls Salt (Kosher)
2 Tbls White Sugar
2 Tbls Brown Sugar (Dark or Light)
2 Tbls Cumin
2 Tbls Chili Powder
2 Tbls Black Pepper
1 Tbls Cayenne Pepper
Mix well and massage into pork, butt and/or ribs.
Use hickory or your favorite smoking wood on the fire.
Smoke over low heat for 8-10 hours. Depending upon the weight of the meat. We usually smoke 6-8 lbs Boston Butts.

Pull the pork off the grill when is reaches 210 -220 degrees, wrap in aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes or as long as you can hold out.  The smell is intoxicating.

Shred pork to your desired size.  We love outside bark and work hard to insure that there are lots of crusty, crunchy bits to mix in with the moist tender inside meat. Heaven!

Much contraversy over the start of Brunswick Stew.  Georgia or Virginia.  Then there is Kentucky Burgoo and what about New Orleans Caldo?  Soooooo many variations so many claims of authenticity and originality.  They all sound good.  I finally combined several recipes to make my own version.

The party went well, everyone enjoyed the food and we had a helluva' party celebrating Ferrell "Big Daddy" 's 70th! did you sneak in here?  Girl, no more shots for you!

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