STEWIE! BBQ Short Rib Brunswick Stew

Rabbit-Free Brunswick Stew

Wrong Stew-ie, but I love that little, animated guy.  What other evil baby’s cheeks could you pinch while he devises a plan for a  trebuchet that launches machetes directly at Lois?

This brings us to this month’s Daring Cooks challenge..the ‘STEW’ in the STEWIE, Brunswick stew!  I love stew; all kinds of stew, all kinds of meats in stews, but not wabbit (yes, I meant to type ‘wabbit’).  The thing is, Brunswick stew is sometimes known for being bunnylicious.  Granted, there are all kinds of meats you can use in this stew, from chicken to pork to turkey, some with bunny, some without, but in my stew, no bunny, thank you.  Never tried rabbit, do not want to try rabbit, and will never ever try rabbit.*


Maybe it’s the fluffiness or quivering nose, or maybe it’s the fact that I used to have guinea pigs (not in the same family, but sort of similar, right?) guinea pigs that had cute, little fluff ball babies. I don’t know the reason for sure, but they’re so soft and poofy that I don’t see them as something that needs to be basted with my gastric juices or something that will make me burp.  They’re adorable pets to me, not food.

I know, my ‘chef meter’ just bottomed out.

Beef (Short Rib) Brunswick Stew loaded with awesome veggies, in a rich BBQ gravy.

The 2010 April Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den. She chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make Brunswick Stew. Wolf chose recipes for her challenge from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt Lee and Ted Lee, and from the Callaway, Virginia Ruritan Club.

Ingredients for Beef Short Rib Brunswick stew

Brunswick stew is a super thick stew with a colorful, sometimes debated, historyloaded with meat(s), rich stock, veggies and I suppose whatever suits your taste in terms of spices, heat, and a little something acidic to cut the richness.  According to definition, this stew is supposed to be thick enough that ‘the paddle stands up in the middle’.  This stew is also categorized as sometimes using beef.  In other words, it really seems to stress  bunny, pork, and/or chicken, and even squirrel in some parts.

Well, since my squirrel slingshot is broken**, I decided to go with the least authentic or expected Brunswick stew meat, the one with the label of sometimes prefacing it; the low meat on the Brunswick totem poleBeef. However, not just any cut of beef; short ribs, a marbled cut on the bone that morphs into amazing bites of succulent and tender heaven when slowly braised.

Beef (Short Rib) Brunswick Stew loaded with awesome veggies, in a rich BBQ gravy.

I started by cutting the meat from the bone into bite sized chunks, then using the short rib bones, first roasted then cracked, along with all the veggie scraps, to make a beautiful, rich, 4-hour long simmered beef bone stock.  I omitted the beans and celery from the recipe, instead adding parsnips, cremini mushrooms, and some fresh herbs like thyme and sage. I also used cut up grape tomatoes in lieu of the larger whole tomatoes (less liquid = an overly chunky stewie) and kept some of the corn on the cob, sliced into disks.  The latter was mostly for presentation because, well, unless you eat cob (or like to crack your teeth or break your jaw), it’s pretty impossible to stick a fork in it, and the small round makes for difficult cob cleaning nibbles. It is possible, albeit awkward!

Beef (Short Rib) Brunswick Stew loaded with awesome veggies, in a rich BBQ gravy.

I found these cheesy 70’s looking things in a box in my parent’s attic. Probably not the best or prettiest choice to photograph and serve this stew in. A What was I thinking? MOMENT.

The final touch to the stew was homemade BBQ sauce.  No idea why, but I just felt it needed a little BBQ sauce stirred in. The stew turned out absolutely delicious, the short rib meat melt-in-your-mouth tender, the vegetables sweet and succulent, and yes, a paddle, well, a fork, stood up in the middle of it.  Was my take on Brunswick stew really Brunswick stew?  Would I be turned away from Brunswick stew competitions if I tried to enter?  Would mountain folk throw rabbit feet at me?  Probably. Regardless, I will be making this again, tonight in fact, due to several requests for more.

Beef (Short Rib) Brunswick Stew loaded with awesome veggies, in a rich BBQ gravy.
Don’t forget to check out other Daring Cooks Brunswick or ‘not so Brunswick’ stews by clicking on the links to their blogs at the Daring Cooks Blogroll.  For the recipes for Brunswick Stew, click HERE.

* Yes, I think cows, pigs and chickens are cute too, but I don’t often see them bouncing through my yard or hanging out in pet shops. In fact, whenever I encounter and pet cows, pigs or chickens, I can’t eat them until the memory subsides, which sometimes lasts months!

** Just a joke, I do not own a squirrel slingshot, nor do I kill or eat squirrel. There’s always that one person who might take me seriously.

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56 Responses to STEWIE! BBQ Short Rib Brunswick Stew

  1. Summer says:

    Hey buddy dear….i love that pic ,the cute part of it………..Lisa gurl,didn i tell ya u rock…u always do ……what a delicious stew u have popping here ….absolutely delicious…love that corn and the pic of the basket with the veggies…can i come with u to pic veggies from the garden too ………

  2. jo says:

    Haha .. the little guy looks like in a daze. Must have been the BBQ short ribs. I would too .. so give me some, give me some. Love your version totally! What a great recipe!

  3. Wic says:

    I adore you, you little bunny friend.
    it looks delicious and I love the presentation.

  4. angelica says:

    excellent choice to go with beef, it sounds delish! And I totally agree with you on the “wabbit”. I’m not particularly fond of them but the thought of cooking (and eating) them just feels………wrong! Great job on the challenge 😀

  5. Rosa says:

    That stew look really nourishing and delicious!



  6. shellyfish says:

    I’m so glad you don’t really have a sling shot! Well, except for self defense, because that’s different. You passed the spoon test! Missed you! 🙂 Glad to be back.

  7. innBrooklyn says:

    Good looking stew! i love how pretty the corn looks on the cob.
    Its funny to read about everyone’s different reactions to the rabbit. I decided to give it a try myself to see how it was and thought I was so very daring. then I read audax’s post and realised crocodile was a much bolder choice!

  8. Anula says:

    Great looking stew! I love your presentation 🙂
    Cheers. Anula.

    P.S. I also LOVE that little guy Stewie – that’s the main reason why I watch Family Guy… 😉

  9. 5 Star Foodie says:

    The stew looks so good and I love your presentation! Just perfect with the homemade BBQ sauce!

  10. Balise says:

    Awesome pictures, I’m hungry just looking at them. And the BBQ sauce is very intriguing to me, I may thy this with my leftovers 🙂

  11. Hmm, I will definitely pass on the rabbit too. No thank you! And that goes double for squirrel. But I will take a lovely little serving of your beefy stew. What a fun idea to add the BBQ sauce and I love the way you’ve presented it in those lovely little glasses. Looks like a winner to me!

  12. So what is your address again? I am coming over for a bowl of stew NOW! love your creativity on this one.

  13. What glorious photographs of stew I love the cherry tomatoes and the mini corn cobs superb effort and your photography is so colour and vibrant well done. LOL LOL about the sling shot we don’t have squirrels here in Australia but we get koala but nobody is going to make one of those into stew for the same reason you said too cute and furry. Excellent work my dear Lisa. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  14. ap269 says:

    Loved reading your post. Hope you won’t kill me, but I did use rabbit in the stew. And guess what, we even have guinea pigs at home. Don’t worry, we had 2 before I made the stew and both of them are still alive. I’ve heard that in South America they eat guinea pigs. Now, THAT is something I would NOT try. ;o)

  15. Sophie says:

    Hello dear!

    what a colourful & flavourful stew this certainly is!!

    Superb food!

    MMMMM,…many grets from sunny Brussels!

  16. chef_d says:

    I love love love your version of brunswick stew! Looks so extra yummy!

  17. mangiodasola says:

    Wow. Wow. Wow. You keep amazing me with your challenges. You really did a good job on this one, too!!! The stew looks perfect and so rich.

  18. Wolf says:

    Lovely, lovely job!

    I so want to try your version now.}:P

  19. Megan says:

    This stew looks absolutely mouthwatering! I love the big pieces of corn in there and all the veggies… and I think short ribs were a good substitution for squirrel. 🙂 Thyme and sage are two of my favorite herbs… it all looks and sounds amazing!

  20. GasGrillChef says:

    Well, now I’m hungry! Thanks. I looks great!

  21. Great photos! I love seeing the chunks of corn and tomatoes in the stew. I never think about corn on the cob just cut into chunks like that but I bet it actually makes a big difference in flavor 🙂

  22. Shelley says:

    Well heck! Short ribs call out to me for BBQ sauce, too, so I think it makes perfect sense! I love your take on this stew – it looks so yummy and filling. Awesome job on the challenge!

  23. Valerie says:

    Fabulous stew! I love the corn kept on the cob, and the short ribs (I tried to get some, couldn’t find any). And the BBQ sauce is a great addition!

    And, having owned a bunny for 9 years, I can only agree with your refusal to cook with rabbit (although, I have eaten it, as a child – and objectively, it doesn’t taste bad).

  24. climbhighak says:

    I guess I am that one person. Squirrel tastes just like a skinny rabbit. Rabbit is wonderful. You saw my rabbit and polenta post, if that didn’t change your mind then I don’t know what would.

    Your choice of shortrib was truly inspired. I have been reading about a burger at spotted pig that uses a blend of ground shortrib that looks and sounds out of this world.

    Why is it that I kept thinking of the conversation in ‘Pulp Fiction’ between Travolta and Jackson about the merits of pigs and dogs while reading your post?

  25. Arlette says:

    Hello My friend
    What a gorgeous and yummy stew… loaded with fresh veggies and topped with BBQ Ribs…what is better than that…you gathered all the yummy flavours in one dish…Talk about the dish and the amazing photos…

    I love your presentation… oh by the way… I did taste the rabbit one time… to be honest the meat is very dry… we didnt enjoy it… I recommend moose ,deer or venison

  26. Jamie says:

    Gosh, I used to eat southern-style Brunswick Stew at a local BBG joint when I was a kid and have always sworn that I’ll make it one day but never have. Now here you are rubbing my nose in this luscious Brunswick Stew! Delicious! Gotta make it now! And seriously? Rabbit? I love it! Just buy it naked and headless and you’ll never know that you are eating a bunny! *hugs*

  27. Jamie says:

    Oh p.s. I added you to my sidebar faves blogroll! I love reading your posts!

  28. shaz says:

    Err..will you stop talking to me if I admit to liking wabbit? It’s easier over here cos they’re considered pests. Anyhoo…that looks like one awesome stew ! Never heard of Brunswick stew before but if it looks this good, I’m hoein in 🙂

  29. Hilary says:


    Your site is wonderful! I had no idea you were quite the photographer as well as cook. I’m still waiting to see the photos of those incredible asparagus quiches you made for my formal “informal” baby shower! The girls are still talking about them, including my picky Mom!

    Thank you so much, again!!

  30. Lori says:

    HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Let me just dig in to that.

  31. MandyM says:

    For some reason, when I think of stew, I only ever think of lamb or beef. Using short rib sound incredible though! Looks fantastic Lisa! 🙂

  32. Sue says:

    Such a colorful “stick to your ribs(no pun intended)” stew! I’ll have a bowl, please! 🙂

  33. Oooh, this looks good. The colours are great. Hearty comfort food at its finest!
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  34. Honestly, I haven’t seen Brunswick stew with rabbit in a long time. Your stew looks great.

  35. I love Stewie! LOL! And your pictures are magazine-worthy. Great job, as always.

  36. One look at that hunky BBQ slathered stew and I’m ready for summer. In a bowl. And a beer. Wow!

  37. Elle says:

    Short ribs really are the perfect cut for long slow cooking…so your stew probably WOULD pass the Brunswick Stew test, if there was such a thing. Very pretty, too with the bright colors of the veg.

  38. Jenni says:

    Great job on the stew!! Love the idea of BBQ Short rib stew! Definitely still southern and hearty! I bet it was delicious!

  39. Your stewie looks fantastic Lisa! 😉 Haha I do love Stewie, he’s so devilishly good as is the idea of using beef short ribs too!

  40. Juliana says:

    Oh Lisa, what a great looking stew…the colors of this dish are so vibrant and inviting…cannot resist, I want to dig in it…

  41. I am crazy over short ribs. They make the most amazing dishes with their succulent layers of fat. The dish looks yummy – but Stewie is the star. Beavie would love Stewie!
    Will you make it again? Obviously the answer is yes, and what better reference is that for trying it out?

  42. I have a lot of food issues (picky eater), but for some weird reason, I don’t mind eating rabbit. Makes no sense. But, I completely understand your point of view. Your stew looks great with the pieces of corn and grape tomatoes!

  43. suezumout says:

    Your stew looks so good! I love the mini corn cobs. Short ribs look like the way to go.
    OK Stewie cracks me up! A friend won a Stewie doll at an amusement park for my 7 year old daughter and now Stewie’s her favorite pal. She has no idea how devious and offensive he is. She thinks he is the cutest thing ever.

  44. I am so glad to come back from holiday to enjoy your Brunswick Stew. Totally solid and delicious (as great as I have expected, everytime)…

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  45. Dan says:

    Not a stew fan but the vegtables and colors are beautiful. Your photos are really good and love the wine in the background – makes me want to eat it regardless of my vegetarian preference.

  46. Michelle says:

    Wow. That’s beautiful!

  47. Esther says:

    The stew looks wonderful. I failed to make it due to hosting Daring Bakers this month but may have to try it later. Sorry to hear you arn’t well and hope you get well real soon !

  48. Denise says:

    This is the epitome of comfort food, Lis. Love the touch of Barbecue sauce. Kind of reminds me of a kicked up Hobo stew..ever have that?

  49. trissalicious says:

    I don’t know what I love more. The picture of Stewie or the short ribs in the delicious stew you made! No, actually I do – the short rib stew with the BBQ sauce to top it off! Great job on the challenge Lisa.

  50. Ha ha..bunnylicious–love it! This stew looks really good and perfect for our gloomy weather we’ve had here in Oregon lately. 🙂

  51. Pingback: C

  52. junglefrog says:

    Beautiful looking stew Lisa! This will have to be one to make for later for me as I missed the challenge (again…)

  53. bed frames says:

    What beautiful photos you got here! I like it! I am staring at the red meat and I missed it. It has been a while.

  54. Jack says:

    The stew looks really delicous. Good photo I might add..


  55. Love the humour – and absolutely incredible photography…. I love short ribs. The Stew looks really really really good… YUM!

  56. Pamela Shockley says:

    Lisa, I can’t find the actual recipe. Can you help me out? Thanks.

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