This is the Rocky River Brunswick Stew Recipe given orally by Walt Burr October 8, 2016. Walt keeps a copy in his bible at home. The Recipe is over 60 years old. The current cooking kettle was acquired by Jay Lee Pharr in the 1990s. It replaced a kettle borrowed annually from the Mable Blume family. Howard Love used to have a metal cup he used to sample and monitor the cook. On the stirring paddle you will see notches to measure the stew reduction. - Reggie Hunnicutt
12 large hens
25 pounds of beef
Broth from chickens
Broth from beef
2 Gallon cans of creamed corn
8 Gallons of tomatoes
6 Gallons of Lima beans
2 pounds of butter
1 ½ handfuls of black pepper
2 handfuls of salt
Yield about 25 Gallons The current cooker could make up to 50 gallons.
The chickens are stewed until tender. Several hours plus. The skin is removed, the meat is removed and chopped. Store until needed.
Combine the broth from all cooking pots and reduce to concentrate the flavor. Cool and store one large container of reduced broth until the cook.
Use stew beef or chuck whichever is less expensive. Boil until tender. Several hours plus. Cool the meat. Chop or cube then grind the meat in a processor or finely chop.
Process the both the same way as the chicken and reserve a large container.
Store the canned goods close to the cooking and staging area.
Assemble dry kindling and split dry cook wood.
Remove the cooker and frame and hand truck each to the selected cooking area. Secure the wooden stirring paddle.
Wash the inside of the cooker with soap and water. Rinse well.
Start a small fire in the center of the frame and gradually establish hot coals.
Begin cooking the stew about noon for a 6 pm supper.
Set the cooker in the frame over the fire level as possible. Elevate the frame with blocks if necessary to get the fire under the cooker. Begin by pouring in all the canned food into the cooker. Pour low to keep from splashing. Stir constantly.
Slowly bring up the temperature stirring constantly. Take shifts stirring. Gradually bring the mixture up to a simmer over the next few hours. Add the beef and chicken broth. You are looking for the tomatoes to break down.
Take time to remove any food build up on the side of the cooker. Scrape any buildup with the paddle and back into the pot like you would for cake batter.
About 3 1/2 hours into the cook add the beef and chicken. The goal now is to beat down the meat fibers.
After about 4 ½ hours add the butter, salt and pepper. Continue to simmer and reduce. Toward the end spread out the coals to reduce heat and let the fire die down.
After 5 hours ladle out to transport to the kitchen.
Extinguish the fire, clean, dry, and oil the kettle and store inside for next year.
Firewood consumption is minimal with dry seasoned hardwood. Several large armloads is sufficient.