Saturday, June 28, 2014

Recipe: Vegan Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stew is very popular in the South, and especially popular in most barbecue restaurants in the eastern part of North Carolina. A typical plate would include Eastern Carolina pork barbecue, coleslaw, hushpuppies, perhaps some fried chicken, and of course a side of Brunswick Stew. While I have never cared for the other foods on the plate, I always liked Brunswick Stew. Here, it is typically made with shredded chicken and sometimes pulled pork, but seeing that I no longer partake of chicken or pork, I had to find another alternative.

After hunting for recipes on Pinterest, I found a couple of people that used the hearts of palm to mimic the texture of the shredded chicken. I had never worked with hearts of palm before, but I figured it was worth a try. I found it at Harris Teeter and it was a bit pricey (almost $6 for the jar). But I'm glad I made the purchase because it turned out to have the perfect texture of shredded chicken, without all the cruelty and cholesterol. It also doesn't have much of a flavor at all, so it absorbs the flavors of the stew quite well.

I tried the other vegan recipes for Brunswick Stew but none of them seemed to have the right flavor I was going for (my husband, a lifelong eastern North Carolina resident, agreed), and they were lacking some of the vegetables found in the Brunswick Stew around here.

After a few tries, this is what I finally came up with.

Eastern North Carolina Brunswick Stew
Recipe Source: Jenny's Creation

1 14 oz. jar hearts of palm
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1-14 oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1-15 oz. can tomato sauce + 1 can water
16 oz. frozen yellow corn
8 oz. frozen baby lima beans
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. barbecue sauce
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 c. molasses
1 Tbsp. liquid smoke
1/4 tsp. black pepper
salt to taste

Prepare the hearts of palm. Remove them from the jar and discard the juice. Cut each palm in half lengthwise. Pull out the tender middle of the hearts and shred using your fingers. Slice the remaining outer part of the hearts into very thin strips. See photos below for a visual step-by-step.

In a large pot, heat the olive and sauté the onions, celery, and garlic until tender. Add the shredded hearts of palm and barbecue sauce. Then add the fire roasted tomatoes, corn, lima beans, and potatoes. Cook for a few minutes, then add the tomato sauce, molasses, liquid smoke, and soy sauce, black pepper, and salt. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about an hour. Reduce to simmer and cook for 3-4 hours, or until potatoes have reached the desired tenderness.

Note: This recipe could probably be made using a crockpot, cooked on low heat for about 8 hours.

1 comment:

  1. This had good flavor but was extremely* sweet! Way too sweet for anyone in my house, and I even halved the molasses. Next time I'll try halving the bbq sauce too. A great base recipe to tweak, thank you!


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