Monday, February 8, 2010

There Are No Hamburgers In Barbeque

Lunch: Chicken Patty Sandwiches, Chips and Oranges
Dinner: Brunswick stew and Rice

Today has, so far, not been much of a “Monday”. Of course, I’m still at work and haven’t braved the traffic home yet. But, so far I can’t complain and that’s saying something because I had to get groceries today. Ok, I only had to get half of the groceries as I got the Kroger half yesterday. Still, Sam’s Club was blessedly empty and I got in, got out and got everything that I needed and was even under budget. Staying in budget has been a constant struggle this semester. With such a low budget, it’s been tough coming up with menus that will satisfy the frat boy’s desire for a meat-filled mini feast that’s still budget friendly and varied. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s make the same thing week after week. Any way… I’m a little off topic. There were no major snafus making lunch and the guys seemed to enjoy it (even if it was sort of a cafeteria-ish lunch). It is 2:45 and dinner is almost ready. Of course, the Brunswick stew recipe is rather dump, cover and leave. It almost belongs in that Man a Can a Plan Recipe Book.

Brunswick stew is a very Southern dish. I’d never heard of it before coming to GA. Then, when it was explained to me, I was told it was made with squirrel and rabbit. It might have once been made with small rodent and there are probably places where you can find it prepared that way, I just don’t go there. Banjos scare me. No, Brunswick stew is generally made with shredded pork and/or chicken. Everyone you meet has a different recipe for it. It is most frequently to be found in real barbeque joints. In case you don’t know the difference. To any good southerner, barbeque refers as much to the sauce as the preparation of the meat. To a Southerner, a barbeque is not a get together with friends where you serve hot dogs and hamburgers off the grill. That is called grilling. No, barbeque consists of slow-cooked, smoked meat that is accompanied by barbecue sauce. There are several different variations to this sauce, a South Carolina sauce is generally mustard based while a North Carolina Sauce is thinner and spicier. Kansas City sauce is the kind most typically found on grocery store shelves, it’s thick and sweet and not as sharp or spicy as other sauces. Georgia sauce is somewhere in-between. It’s usually thinner and more vinegar based with hints of sweetness. This is just the kind of sauce I like. Again, I’m off on a tangent (although anyone who’s had real south barbecue will forgive me for wanting to clarify). The backbone of most Brunswick stew is pulled pork, a southern barbeque staple. Pulled pork is a Boston butt that’s been smoked slow and low until it’s falling-apart tender. The meat is then pulled apart to form long, thin shreds of pork. This makes the stew thick and super hearty. A good Brunswick stew is almost thick enough to eat with a fork.

Brunswick Stew
Serves 26

1 large Onion, chopped
2 Green Bell Peppers, chopped
4 cups Frozen Okra
6 pounds Barbeque Pulled Pork
6 cans Rotelle Tomatoes
1 bulk-size can Tomato Sauce
4 cups Frozen Corn
2 quarts Chicken Broth
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Pepper
1 ½ cups Barbecue Sauce
1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
4 cups Canned Chicken, shredded

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Note: Barbecue Pulled Pork can be found in bulk (4 pounds each) at Sam’s Club or can be found in small tubs at any grocery store. You can also use left-over pulled pork from last week’s Jamaican Pulled Pork. While it isn’t traditional smoked pulled pork… it certainly works.

As Always, I have tried most of these recipes at home before cooking them for the guys, if you would like a more family friendly sized recipe… let me know and I’ll give it to you (free of charge too! ;-) )

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