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A few years ago, before Kel and I became vegetarians, we had a terrible episode in North Carolina. We really, really wanted barbeque, but somehow, barbeque joints eluded us. After meandering far off of the highway, we came into a town that boasted two places, but it was Sunday, and only one of them (the less famous one, apparently) was open. So we pulled in, our stomachs growling and our mouths anticipating good southern barbeque. That was our first mistake. Our second mistake was ordering the Brunswick stew. What came to the table was simply warmed up…slop…straight out-of-the can. It was horrible to look at and even more horrible to eat. The barbeque wasn’t much better. That trip cured us of seeking that particular type of meat and it wasn’t long afterwards that we gave up meat altogether.
So, I was a little bit wary when I came across this recipe for Brunswick stew, but I decided to give it a try. Suspecting that I’m not a big fan of succotash (lima beans…), I substituted bell peppers and black-eyed peas – so probably, this really can’t be considered Brunswick stew. Whatever it is, it’s pretty darn good. I served this with Onion and Walnut Stuffed Beer Bread.
1/4+ cup or so of vegetable broth (for sauteing)
1/2 cup TVP, reconstituted in boiling water
1 package vegetarian sausage links, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 medium-sized onion, diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. peeled, grated ginger
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 15 oz. can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 yellow, orange or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 tbsp. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
2 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. allspice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. Liquid Smoke
In a large pot over medium heat, saute vegetarian sausage links in vegetable broth until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the onion, celery, potato, bell pepper, garlic and ginger along with additional vegetable broth, cover and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth and stir in the tomatoes, black-eyed peas, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, mustard, agave nectar, allspice and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are very tender – about 45 minutes.
During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the reserved sausage, the TVP and the Liquid Smoke. Divide among bowls and serve.
(Another solid recipe from The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook, by Robin Robertson).