Country Cooking – Alabama Camp Stew, like Heaven in a Bowl
I was born in Prattville, Alabama. My great uncle was a cook at a logging company in the 30’s and 40’s. My Alabama Camp Stew recipe came from my Grandfather “Mac” Gray. He was the Mayor of Prattville for 25 years, and he took much pride in making camp stew for family dinners and football weekends. So without giving away any family secrets, I want to share with you the Alabama Camp Stew recipe. It is like heaven in a bowl. It has three different BBQ meats in it so it can’t be bad. If you eat it, you might even find yourself pulling for a SEC football team- like the Auburn Tigers or the Florida Gators- I declare!
I remember going to the grocery store in Prattville to the Piggly Wiggly and asking for Castleberry BBQ pork, and the lady at the store asked me, “you making camp stew honey?” I knew I was in the right place. It’s pretty hard to find these BBQ cans in Wyoming, so my mom would bring back canned meat and real grits in her suitcase on trips back from the south. My mom made camp stew from scratch once for a wedding, but after barbequing six chickens, half a pig, and a quarter of a cow, and pulling all the meat off you get pretty tired.
There are many variations of this stew. Some call it Brunswick Stew and some recipes have corn in it, but my family’s version didn’t have corn or butterbeans or peas. The southern recipes included Castleberry BBQ Pork and Beef and Sweet Sue Chicken; none of which you can get in Wyoming. I use Lloyd’s barbeque pork, beef and chicken; it does have a sweeter taste than the original stew, so don’t add the brown sugar.
2 cans Castleberry 1 BBQ Pork, and1 Beef (Lloyds, BBQ Pork and Beef)
1 large can of Sweet Sue BBQ Chicken (Lloyds BBQ Chicken or just pulled chicken to be less sweet)
1 large can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
2 cans diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
6 peeled and cut potatoes
2 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (more if you like)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Tabasco Pepper Sauce (more if you like)
salt and pepper to taste
In a a big pot add water and add peeled potatoes into bite sized pieces and add onions- boil them until tender- then drain most of the water and add the rest of the ingredients keeping a few cups of liquid in the pot.
Mix all ingredients in a large pot and simmer on low for 2 to 3 hours. Serve with hot cornbread.