The economic crash of the last decade (has it been that long?) took down our local Smokey Bones, though, so I’ve had to do my best to create an easy imitation. Perusing the web for same gave me some good ideas, but eventually I settled on my own, unique creation.
This (my impromptu recipe) is a quicker and easier version than those I found online, but pleases my picky palette perfectly! I’ve incorporated some ready-made items with brand names I found in my local Publix. I’d venture to guess it would be pretty tasty with your local brands too.
Impromptu Cuisine’s Brunswick Stew
1/2 Publix Mojo Rotisserie Chicken
1 package microwave pulled pork (Jack Daniels flavor)
3/4 lb ground beef
2 large Vidalia Onions, chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 box Progresso Chicken Broth (4 cups)
1/4 cup Magic BBQ Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Chorro’s Hot Sauce (less if you’re wussy)
1/2 cup Heinz Ketchup
1 Tablespoon French’s Yellow Mustard
3-4 Tablespoons Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce
1-2 teaspoons Iodized Sea Salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 — 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 — 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 — 14.5 oz cans or one cylindrical package frozen sweet creamed corn
1-2 Tablespoons Raw Organic Sugar (maybe more if your corn isn’t sweet)
I begin by browning the ground beef and sautéing onions while pulling the chicken from the bones. I unashamedly admit to opening a beer and helping myself to a few tastes (tastes, that’s all!) of that amazing Mojo chicken skin and the end of the wing during this process. You can’t really put that in a stew; someone’s got to eat it, right? Like the good Cherokee in my great-great grandmother, we honor the good spirit in all things by doing our best not to waste it! Too much, though, and it goes to my ‘waist’ instead.
Then I start opening cans. I feel a bit like a 60’s mom during this part, but it’s for a good cause, I tell myself. We’ll get to the point where everything is fresh and organic–maybe even home-grown–someday. Like after retirement.
By now the ground beef and onions should be ready to drain. Yes, get that grease outta there. There’s enough fat in the pre-packaged pulled pork to keep your body well-insulated for winter.
Now this is where the fun begins! Turn up the music and dance a bit while you just plunk every ingredient into a nice large stew-pot, stir it up and bring it to where it just starts to try to jump out of the pot. Then cover, reduce heat to simmer, and get on with whatever else you want to do with your evening! You have anywhere from an hour to two, depending on your schedule. Just stop by and stir every 15 or 20 minutes so it doesn’t get a dark, stinky crust on the bottom. This will ruin it all! Save the stew! Stir it up!
(Note to the attention-impaired: Start this stew in the morning in a crock pot. This helps save your stew!)
About a half an hour before dinner time, taste it and adjust seasonings if you feel you must. Then get started on the modified corn bread recipe I’ll be posting soon. Don’t forget your quick, fresh, organic salad prep on the side; you don’t want to skip your greens!
Recommended pairings: What else? Your favorite beer or near-beer.
Ginger ale for the totally abstinent.
Let me know what you thought of this one. My family LOVES it!
Warm and toasty,
Your impromptucuisine host,
P.S. For some mental, emotional and social nourishment, stop by my other blog at joantwarren.com