If you happen to live anywhere near Alabama and go to the grocery store to get the ingredients for this, chances are the cashier will ask “You making camp stew?”.
This recipe is as old as the hills and is often known as Brunswick stew outside of my stomping grounds. Mama remembers having Camp Stew as a child, around campfires, at family gatherings, and even in the school lunchroom. The name came from it being so easy to make while camping since it can be made entirely out of canned goods.
The recipe has a lot of variations. Some people add potatoes, some leave out the onion and opt only for canned goods, and others add Worcestershire or hot sauce. Add more corn, less corn, lima beans instead of butter beans, etc. This is easily modified so go with your favorites. I would try to keep the meat the same, though, because a lot of the flavor comes from the sauce in that. However, I have seen other brands of this meat and they work just fine as well – we tend to stick with Castlebury’s but don’t let another brand be a deal breaker. Either way you go, this is one of the most delicious flavorful stews to ever touch a spoon and my friend Jyl has a firm policy in her family that she always doubles the recipe because folks can’t help but come back for seconds, thirds, and often fourths. The recipe below will serve about 6 people.
Make it how you like but I suggest trying it this way first, because you’ll likely be hooked from the get go and the first bite will tell you exactly why this stew is so famous.
Canned Pork in BBQ Sauce. Canned Beef in BBQ sauce (2), Canned Chicken in water, diced tomatoes, butter beans or lima beans, canned corn, and an onion.
Special note: We no longer eat pork so we just use two cans of beef in bbq sauce and the stew is just as delicious!
Note: Peel and dice your onion. Open all your cans and don’t drain them. Toss it all in there, liquid and all. No salt or pepper is needed unless you just really want to add it but I’d suggest tasting it first.
Put all of this in a pot over medium heat and stir often until it comes to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring from time to time, for about an hour.
*If you are cooking this over a fire, just stoke the fire, put ingredients in the pot, stir it a lot, and try your best not to let the bottom scorch. Eat it when you get tired of messing with it. 🙂
Enjoy your delicious camp stew!
If you are making my Bags To Dishes meals, this is a great addition! Simply leave out the onion and the entire recipe is shelf stable.
- 3-14 ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 14 ounce can whole kernel corn
- 14 ounce can butter beans, baby limas, or limas
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2-10 ounce cans beef bbq in sauce (I use Castlebury's)
- 10 or 12 ounce can chicken
- Dump all contents into a medium sized stockpot, including liquid in all of the cans.
- Place over medium heat, stirring often, and bring just to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes to an hour.
Never be afraid to try something new.
Remember, amateurs built the ark.
Professionals built the Titanic.Yum