Debbie’s Brunswick Stew

Relish Homestyle Comfort with Debbie’s Brunswick Stew: A Culinary Masterpiece of Hearty Goodness

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Embark on a culinary journey with Debbie’s Brunswick Stew—an homage to timeless Southern comfort and the warmth of family gatherings. This stew, rooted in tradition, captures the essence of slow-cooked goodness, bringing together a medley of meats, vegetables, and flavorful seasonings. Join us as we delve into the heart of this cherished recipe, ensuring each simmering pot is a testament to the rich heritage of Southern cooking.


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For the Stew Base:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 lb pork shoulder, diced
  • 1 lb beef stew meat, cubed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (14 oz) lima beans, drained
  • 1 can (14 oz) okra, sliced (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


Step 1 – Meaty Symphony:

  • In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, brown the chicken thighs, pork shoulder, and beef stew meat over medium-high heat. Once browned, remove excess fat.

Step 2 – Aromatic Bliss:

  • Add finely chopped onions and minced garlic to the meat. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

Step 3 – Tomato Tango:

  • Pour in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, barbecue sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well to create a luscious tomato-based stew.

Step 4 – Veggie Harmony:

  • Introduce diced potatoes, drained corn, lima beans, and sliced okra to the pot. Stir gently to distribute the vegetables evenly.

Step 5 – Seasoning Serenade:

  • Sprinkle brown sugar, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper into the stew. Add hot sauce to your desired level of heat. Stir well to infuse the flavors.

Step 6 – Simmering Delight:

  • Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, allowing the meats to become tender and the flavors to meld.

Step 7 – Taste and Adjust:

  • Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning if needed. Feel free to add more hot sauce or Worcestershire sauce to enhance the depth of flavor.

Step 8 – Serve and Enjoy:

  • Ladle Debbie’s Brunswick Stew into bowls and savor the hearty combination of meats, vegetables, and rich tomato-based broth.

Cook Notes:

  • For added depth, you can sear the meats before simmering to enhance the overall flavor of the stew.
  • Consider making a larger batch, as Brunswick Stew tends to taste even better the next day after the flavors have had time to mingle.

Additional Tips:

  • Garnish each serving with chopped green onions or fresh parsley for a burst of color and freshness.
  • Serve the stew with a side of cornbread or crusty bread to soak up the delicious broth.


Seafood Sensation: Elevate the stew by adding a seafood twist. Incorporate shrimp, crab meat, or crawfish during the last 15-20 minutes of simmering for a coastal flair.

Smoky Sausage Surprise: Introduce smoked sausage slices to the stew for an extra layer of smokiness and savory goodness. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the sausage is cooked through.

Vegetarian Vibrance: Craft a vegetarian version by omitting the meat and doubling the quantity of okra, lima beans, and other vegetables. Enhance the vegetable broth with additional seasonings.

Keto Version:

Keto-Friendly Meat Marvel: Choose fattier cuts of meat, such as chicken thighs with skin or pork shoulder with visible fat, to align with keto preferences. The added fat contributes richness to the stew.

Keto Veggie Victory: Reduce the quantity of potatoes and opt for low-carb vegetables like cauliflower or turnips to maintain a keto-friendly carb count.

Keto Tomato Tactics: Select crushed tomatoes with no added sugars to align with keto guidelines. Check the labels on barbecue sauce and ketchup for hidden sugars or choose sugar-free alternatives.

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Low-Carb Version:

Cauliflower Companion: Substitute potatoes with cauliflower florets for a lower-carb alternative. Cauliflower absorbs the flavors of the stew and provides a similar texture.

Green Bean Glory: Incorporate fresh or frozen green beans instead of lima beans for a lower-carb vegetable option that complements the stew.

Cabbage Coziness: Add shredded cabbage during the last 20 minutes of simmering for a low-carb twist that introduces a hint of sweetness.

As you relish the heartwarming layers of Debbie’s Brunswick Stew, embrace the spirit of Southern hospitality and the comforting embrace of a well-crafted stew. Whether you stick to the classic version, explore variations, or tailor it to specific dietary preferences, this recipe embodies the joy of bringing loved ones together around a pot of flavorful goodness.

Share the warmth of Debbie’s Brunswick Stew with friends and family, making it a cherished part of your culinary repertoire. As you enjoy the robust combination of meats, vegetables, and a rich tomato-based broth, appreciate the adaptability that allows this stew to cater to diverse tastes. It isn’t just a dish; it’s a celebration—a celebration of heritage, shared moments, and the pure delight that comes from savoring a bowl of homestyle comfort. Let Debbie’s Brunswick Stew become a symbol of delicious memories and a trusted companion in your kitchen, promising satisfaction and warmth with every spoonful.


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