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Gordon's Brunswick Stew

Michael Gordon

brunswick squirrel stew

Since the start of the hunting season usually involves squirrel ,dove  and sometimes venison. I wanted to include a recipe for Brunswick stew. This stew is said to have originated in the early 19th century on a plantation in Brunswick, Georgia, July 2, 1898. Virginia also claims the dish stating that a chef for the legislator in Brunswick County, Virginia, invented it in 1898. And last but not least famous writer and cookbook expert Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of "The Yearling" and "The Cross Creek Cookery Cookbook," 1942, says that Queen Victoria loved Brunswick stew and it originated in the original Brunswick in Germany.
I know the first time I tasted it was on a hunting trip with my dad in 1970, and we ate it out of a thermos bottle and it was delicious. My father's mother’s family was from Germany and the only time I ever heard of it was on that trip, and we called it Brunswick stew. It was made from squirrel meat, sausage, tomatoes, lima beans and corn. It was thick and delicious.
I looked up Brunswick stew and found that the ingredients vary. But my research leads me to believe that authentic Brunswick stew contains one of the following meats: squirrel, rabbit or opossum. It's usually served in the summer and it’s a really thick meat stew with vegetables, because if it was thin it would be vegetable soup with meat. Beef, pork, chicken and other domestic meats are used by some today who wish not to bother with catching and preparing wild game. But authentic Brunswick stew is made from game. 

squirrel stew ingredients


  • 3-4 squirrels (about 18 oz.) dressed and cut into ½ inch cubes. If using older squirrels, quarter them leaving legs whole.
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup diced potatoes cooked
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup lima beans
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 pint homemade canned tomatoes or 1 14 oz. can of tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, 4-5 dashes if you like spice
  • 1 lb ground  Italian sausage, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup okra cut into 1/2–inch pieces
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • Lemon juice


  1. In a large bowl, mix half the flour, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. 
  2. Place squirrel in bowl with flour mixture and coat thoroughly.
  3. In a large Dutch oven, or heavy stock pot, heat olive oil until almost smoking. Brown squirrel in batches. Change oil if needed. Remove squirrel and set aside.
  4. Add celery, onions, bell pepper, sausage and garlic to the pot. Add more olive oil for sautéing if needed. Cook until vegetables are translucent over medium heat. 
  5. Add remaining tablespoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Then add the remaining flour and stir until thick. This begins your stew. 
  6. Add the stock and stir well to mix. Then the corn, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, wine, okra, and squirrel meat to the pot. 
  7. Bring mixture to a boil then lower to simmer for about 35-45 minutes. Add extra stock if necessary. Dash the hot sauce into the stew then cover.
  8. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over stew. 
  9. Serve with cornbread or fresh baked bread.

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