Brunswick Stew

Justin Keith

Food 101, Atlanta, GA

This classic Southern stew was on the menu at Justin Keith’s Beard House dinner. Packed with pork, chicken, and bacon, it's one of the heartiest soups we know.


  • 1/4 pound bacon, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 1 whole chicken, quartered
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder or loin, cut into 3-inch chunks
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 quarts chicken stock, divided
  • 4 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 large Idaho potatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced okra
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Kernels from 2 ears of corn
  • 3 cups of lima beans or peas
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • Hot sauce to taste


In a large stockpot, sauté the bacon until it becomes crispy. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the jalapeño peppers to the hot, rendered bacon fat and lightly toast until the skin begins to blister, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Season the pork and chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, sear the meats in the same pot, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.

Sauté the onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic in the pot. Add 2 cups of the chicken stock to deglaze the pot, scraping up any bits off the bottom. Cook over high heat and reduce by half, about 10 minutes.

Add the remaining stock, reserved meats, canned tomatoes, potatoes, okra, and bay leaves. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Use a pair of tongs to transfer the chicken and pork to a plate. Once cool, remove all the meat from the bones and return to the stew.

Add the beans or peas and corn kernels. Simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Adjust the seasoning if needed.


14 to 16 servings