Grandma’s Southern Brunswick Stew

by Alli

Grandma Fisher’s Southern Brunswick Stew always makes me smile! This is my grandma’s recipe that my aunt shared with me a few years ago. This hearty stew is filled with flavorful chicken, pork, and vegetables. 

I don’t know about you, but I can eat soups and stews all year long, even in the middle of a hot southern summer. 

All of my grandparents are in heaven, but that doesn’t stop the precious memories from flooding my mind. If I taste a certain food or hear a special song that reminds me of my grandparents, all the memories come rushing back. 

Memories of My Grandma

Today I’m especially thinking about my paternal grandmother, Grandma (Rutherford) Fisher. And when I think of her, I can’t help but think of food, family reunions, and lingerie.

Yep, lingerie. Grandma always gave my sister and me the prettiest nightgowns for Christmas. The gowns were always sophisticated, silky, and luxurious, never practical. And we felt oh, so special.

As long as I can remember, Grandma Fisher always worked outside the home. In that respect, she was a woman, hear me roar, way before her time.

Grandma worked in the adult mental health field for years, right up until she retired. She had short curly hair that was always well-coiffed and her clothing was always stylish and impeccable.

My favorite memories of Grandma was visiting her in Milledgeville, GA. At the time, she and her husband, A.C. lived in an Airstream trailer. We thought it was the coolest thing we had ever seen. Everything seemed miniature and we wanted to turn it into our playhouse.

Grandma would host big family reunions that would spill out onto the lawn, where my cousins and I could be found playing, giggling, and catching up. 

airstream trailer

Looking back, I don’t see how we all fit, but we did! And, because most of my cousins lived so far from each other, we relished those times spent at Grandma Fisher’s house. What’s with the hat? 

Grandma with her four granddaughters - (L-R) Robin, me, Christy, Melinda

Grandma with her four granddaughters – (L-R) Robin, me, Christy, Melinda

Family Reunion Fun

And then there were the reunions in Hawkinsville, GA.  

My grandma, her siblings, and all their families would get together on the Sunday following Thanksgiving. I remember thinking how awesome it was that we celebrated two Thanksgivings and feeling the excitement of seeing distant cousins that we only got to see that one day a year.

Grandma and her sisters, along with my mom and others, would cook for days and they thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!  It wasn’t unusual for grandma to make seven or eight cakes for that big day!

Grandma (Opal) on the left with her sisters, Pearl and Dot.

Grandma (Opal) on the left with her sisters, Pearl and Dot.

Grandma would always come “down” (we lived in south Ga so all of our relatives that lived above us – Atlanta, Milledgeville, Macon, etc. came “down.”) in the summer and help shell peas, beans, shuck corn, etc. She loved to garden and put-up food for the winter.

When I think about grandma Fisher and all the great recipes she created for her family, it’s hard to just think about one or two to share, but I did!  

Brunswick Stew – One of My Favorite Recipes From Grandma

Two of my favorite recipes from grandma are Brunswick Stew and Pink Cloud Salad. Today is all about that stew and I do hope you enjoy the recipe. Now, go call your grandma . . . . while you still can!  🙂

I love this recipe because it’s exactly as grandma wrote it out. I especially like the sentence, “Do not let burn!” Any additional notes are mine.

Special Note: I usually add baby butterbeans to the stew and only use one can of Le Sueur Sweet Peas when I make this delicious stew. 

About Brunswick Stew

Interesting Facts: Both Georgia and Virginia lay claim to originating Brunswick Stew. Seeing that I was born and reared in Georgia and Georgia will always be home and always on my mind, you know who has my vote! Go Dawgs!  🙂

When I was a little girl, I can remember my mom and grandma boiling a hog’s head to make Brunswick stew. I’ve tried to get that memory out of my head.


Grandma’s Brunswick Stew

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Yield: 12 servings

Grandma's Brunswick Stew

Grandma's Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stew is a southern classic stew that my grandma made often. This stew is flavorful and leftovers can be frozen.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes


  • 1 large whole chicken, or 2 large whole chicken breasts (4 breast halves)
  • Hint: the whole chicken makes a better broth than the chicken breast
  • 3 lb Boston butt
  • 5 med. Irish potatoes
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes (28 oz. each)
  • 2 cans Le Sueur sweet peas, drained (I only use one)
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 2 cans corn (1 cream style, 1 whole kernel)
  • 1 small bottle ketchup (14 oz.)


  1. Boil the chicken and Boston butt separately, in enough water to cover, until done. Let cool in broth until it is cool enough to handle. Reserve the broths (do not mix). After cooling the broth, skim the fat off.
  2. Chop or pull the meats apart and set aside.
  3. Cook potatoes and onions together in enough water to cover, until tender; drain.
  4. Add the potatoes and onions, crushed tomatoes, ketchup, and corn to the cooked, chopped, chicken, and pork.
  5. Add a small amount of each broth.
  6. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
  7. Slowly bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook, stirring often, for 1 hour. Stir frequently. Do not let burn!
  8. If you need to add more liquid, add chicken broth. When the stew is done, stir in the peas until heated. Serve hot. Leftover stew will freeze well.
  9. Note: It's easier to boil the chicken and Boston Butt the day before. Let cool, shred, and place in the fridge. After the broth has cooled, refrigerate it, as well. Once the broth has cooled, the fat will congeal on top. Skim it off and proceed with the recipe.


I usually add a small frozen pack of baby butterbeans and cut back to one can of sweet peas.

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