ELMER FUDD'S BRUNSWICK STEW
In my opinion an authentic Brunswick Stew must include three things: Squirrel, lima beans, and okra. Yet if you go online, you will find plenty of recipes that do not include *any* of these items.
I suspect those recipes come from New York City or something (get a rope?). This incredible development is what happens when we let Yankees dicker with things that should be left to Southerners. Another example is the use of sugar Up North in Corn Bread, which abomination actually is an unacknowledged cause of the Civil War. Ha Ha, all tongue-in-cheek (I think)!
So here is my recipe:
3-4 plump squirrels
Flour to dredge
Salt, black pepper
6 onions, chopped
3 cups water
2 large cans whole tomatoes
Generous pinch thyme
1 qt lima beans
1 qt cut okra
1 cup yellow corn
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Multiple dashes of Tobasco Sauce.
Older squirrels that would be a bit tough to fry are perfect, this process will make them tender. Cut the squirrels for frying. Dredge them with the flour, salt, and pepper, and brown them nicely in bacon fat in an iron skillet (it is not desirable to do more than just brown them). If browning any young squirrels, keep them separate. Put the meat in a large pot, but leave out for now any young squirrel. After pouring off most of the grease from the skillet, add some of the water to the skillet and stir up all the drippings with a wisk. Add this and the other water, onions, one can of tomatoes, and thyme to the pot, and let this mixture simmer for an hour. Then add all remaining ingredients, including any young squirrel, to the stew *except the okra* and let simmer, covered, till the meat and vegetables are tender. Now as a final step add the okra and heat again to a simmer; it’ll be ready to serve after just a 10 minute or so final simmer.
My first attempts at this stew were OK but not as good as I had been served. With the advice of my wife I finally realized I couldn’t skip the step of browning the squirrels. I had thought I could, since the simmering will tenderize the meat anyway, but there is something essential to the end product that is accomplished by browning and it cannot be skipped.
I also found I liked to do things in stages more than the original recipe called for. For one thing, I often have plenty of young squirrel and if you add them at the beginning they will disintegrate. I also like the okra to keep somewhat intact and I like to use cut okra.
I find cornbread, especially cornpone, to be the perfect accompaniment.
This recipe is a modified version of the below, which can still be found online and at least uses the 3 essentials! Squirrel, okra, and lima beans!