Monday, November 9, 2009

Reader's Recipe Request: Brunswick Stew and Tomato Soup

We had a reader request for a Brunswick Stew recipe, and since I am vegetarian, I asked my coworker at Lewis Ginter, Phyllis Laslett for her recipe. Phyllis and her family make bunches and bunches of Brunswick Stew every other year at the Hanover Cannery.
Phyllis says:
The Cannery is open to anyone during harvest season starting in July, August, October, so it’s closed now. Non-Hanover residents pay a slightly higher fee. Here’s the FAQ link.
Here is the recipe for Brunswick Stew and a delicious sounding tomato soup from Phyllis. The recipe seems to be easily adjusted for one batch- Phyllis' recipe makes 40 jars. You can find most of these ingredients locally right now.
Rose Jenning's Stew (Mrs. Jennings is one of the ladies who works at the cannery)
10 lbs chicken (cook, defat, take off the bone: cook as for broth & use broth in this recipe)
10 lbs beef (cooked, cooled & cut up)
country ham bone or ham hocks
6 lbs onions (cooked in fry pan with 1 lb butter: add chicken meat from broth)
2 bunches celery, chopped
5 quarts corn (home canned or frozen if possible)
5 quarts limas (home frozen)
3 lbs carrots, peeled & cut up
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled & cut up
5 quarts EACH: tomatoes, tomato juice
20 lbs potatoes--peel or not, as you like, cut up at home & frozen
1 gallon water
These I don't add, but are in the recipe:
44 oz bottle ketchup
1 regular bottle Heinz 57 sauce
These I do add:
1/3 bottle Worchestershire sauce
1/4 lb black pepper
3/4 lb salt (I use a lot less)
1 lb sugar (I use less)
2 tblsp Tabasco
Thyme, Sage as you like
It's best to do as much prep as you can before going to the cannery: for one thing, it's a lot of stuff and takes a long time to prep, for another, there's no provision for cooking the chicken and beef there. You put everything in a big kettle they have and simmer until ready, then it gets canned & processed. Takes about 6 hours and makes about 40 cans.
We make this about every other year.
The great thing about canning: it makes a LOT of stuff. By going to the cannery you get help from the home economist there, who makes sure you don't make big mistakes and monitors your product and the canning process so it's safe. These ladies have been doing this for a long time and they know a lot! The other thing about canning is you control fat, salt, and sugar content.
Other things we can and the most successful: tomatoes, apple sauce (we like it really thick and spicy). We also canned tomato soup: very tasty
Going to the cannery takes up a whole day, but you've got all these lovely cans to pull out in the winter. Sometimes tomato canning in August is rough, but, then, it's not in your own kitchen!
Tomato Soup
1/2 bushel tomatoes
1 bunch celery
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup butter or margarine
2-3 lbs onions
2 tblsp parsley flakes (or 4 fresh)
red pepper flakes to taste
2 cups sugar (I used one)
1/2 cup salt (I did it to taste: probably much less)
Also good to add: the end of the basil
Quarter tomatoes and cook together with onions, celery, parsley, red pepper flakes. Put this mixture through the juicer. Add cornstarch, sugar, salt & butter, put in a large kettle and bring to a boil. Adjust seasonings. Add basil at this point if using. Put into cans or jars, seal and process.


  1. Thanks so much for posting this- can't wait to try the brunswick stew recipe! :)

  2. Thanks so much for posting this- I will try scaling this down and maybe throwing it in the crockpot (Brunswick Stew). Let you know how it turns out. Thanks again!

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