Brunswick Stew


This sweet-savory stew features tender braised pork shoulder and vegetables.

Brunswick Stew

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 10 mins

Brunswick stew is a beloved comfort dish with roots in traditional Southern cuisine. Original iterations of this dish are said to have included small local game animals like squirrels or rabbits.  But the modern version of this stew typically uses chicken or pork. Origin stories are murky because several regions throughout the South — all with name ties to Brunswick — claim to have made it first. The ingredients vary by region. Our version uses pork shoulder, corn, potatoes, and lima beans, but other versions may have okra, chicken, or smoked pork. The broth may or may not have tomato and is traditionally tinged with barbecue flavor from the paprika and Worcestershire sauce.

How to Make Brunswick Stew

This recipe calls for pork shoulder to be braised in the oven in a tomato and chicken stock-based broth. In addition to fire-roasted tomatoes, we build up the savory-smoky flavors of the broth with mustard powder, smoked paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and a generous amount of garlic. The vegetables offer the palate a myriad of textures and flavors to enjoy — creamy, corny, and sweet. The addition of brown sugar gives the stew an irresistible sweetness rounding out that essence of barbecue flavor. The pork shoulder simmers in the delicious broth until juicy and tender and is the star of the stew. Serve it alongside cornbread, biscuits, or saltines. It is a hearty, but not heavy, and satisfying meal to have throughout those colder months of the year.

If trying to save time, you can make the pork ahead or swap the pork shoulder for store-bought pulled pork or any leftover stew meat. Feel free to swap out the vegetables depending on what’s in season.


  • 1 (2 1/2-pound) boneless pork shoulder (Boston Butt)

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock, divided

  • 1 medium (10 ounce) yellow onion, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)

  • 5 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped (1 1/2 tablespoons)

  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

  • 3 cups chopped Yukon Gold potatoes (from about 3 medium (1 pound total) potatoes)

  • 2 cups unthawed frozen baby lima beans (from 1 [12-ounce] package)

  • 2 cups unthawed frozen sweet corn kernels (from 1 [12-ounce] package)

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon  plus 1 teaspoon light brown sugar

  • Hot sauce (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove pork shoulder from refrigerator 30 minutes before preparing. Cut pork shoulder into 2-inch pieces. Pat dry, and sprinkle all over with pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt. Heat butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large high-sided ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high. Add pork, and cook until browned on at least 3 sides, about 3 minutes per side. Pour diced tomatoes with juices and 2 cups chicken stock over pork, and bring to a simmer over medium. Cover and bake in preheated oven until very tender, about 2 hours, 30 minutes.

  2. Remove from oven, and transfer pork to a large cutting board or bowl, leaving tomatoes and stock in skillet. Shred pork into chunks using 2 forks, and place back in skillet. (If making in advance, let cool completely, and transfer ingredients to an airtight container. Pork can be cooked up to 2 days in advance.)

  3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, dried mustard, and paprika (if using); cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add potatoes, lima beans, corn, and remaining 2 cups chicken stock; bring to a boil over medium-high. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in cooked pork, tomatoes, and stock from skillet; add Worcestershire, brown sugar, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, stirring until combined. Divide evenly among 6 bowls; serve with hot sauce, if desired.

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