Saturday, January 22, 2011

Brunswick Stew - the old fashioned way

I think it was about a year ago, RG was given a 10 gallon cast iron wash pot.  We call it a wash pot because that is what they were most commonly used for, heating water for the laundry.  Technically; I think they are called a kettle or cauldron.  RG tells me stories about growing up. Always telling me about the one that must have been 100 gallons in the "old place" back home in the basement.  They used it for laundry.  RG used to play in it with his cousins when he was little.   I think they could run around inside of it.  It was that big!

We had been in West Jefferson with a friend looking at an old house that he was re-doing for a client.  When we went into the basement there was a wash pot was in the middle of the floor.  RG immediately went over to check it out.  Once we got back to Greensboro the search began for one to add to our collection of goods here at the house.  Well, lo and behold, on a birthday not long after, RG received as a gift the very wash pot that we saw in the basement of that house.   With the new pot, Brunswick stew is in order to be made.  We've been talking about it ever since they year before the new washpot was received.  This is an all day ordeal, we're not just making a pot of soup.  We're making 10 gallons, outside in the cold.  The original recipe is for 20 gallons and is follows:

20 Gallon Stew

6 gallons Tomatos
40 Pounds Meat (we use chicken, beef, and pork)
15 pounds potatoes
7 pounds onions
6 1/2 quarts of beans (we use green eye and lima)
5 quarts corn )cut off the cob)
1 small cabbage
3 sticks butter
salt and pepper

The only directions on the original recipe state to cook the beans and potatoes first.  So this slightly relies on passing the actual directions down from generation to generation.

RG setting up the pot.  On two levels of bricks, mainly to protect the patio floor.

The pot all set up.  10 gallon cast iron pot over an Alpha Burner.  This burner is great it goes so low that it will just simmer or so high that it will boil 10 gallons of water in about a minute.   We got this on amazon.

Here is the beginning.  We have about two gallons of homemade chicken stock in here with the lima beans and the green eyes peas.  Both types of beans are from RG's aunts garden. 

7 pounds of onions, sliced in the Cuisinart food processor.  Browning first, before they get to go to the big pot.

Lunch, we have to eat!!!  Beef and snow pea stir fry.  YUM.

The head of Cabbage.  The way the leaves curl up is always so pretty.  

We are cutting up potatoes and shredding meat that we cooked last night to add to the pot.  We will update you during the day as the brew goes together.

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