Tennessee transplant (and season two Hell's Kitchen contestant) Gabe Gagliardi opened his hometown-influenced barbecue joint, Boar’s Nest one year ago today. Per popular request of his friends back home, as well as fellow Southerners in the neighborhood, Gagliardi decided the anniversary was the perfect time to introduce his take on Brunswick stew, a rarity in our corner of the country.
He notes the dish's origin is up for debate, with disagreements between two Southern towns, and even one in Germany. However this hunter's stew usually has a tomato base, as well as lima beans, corn, loads of other vegetables, and a hefty dose of meat.
Gagliardi’s first memory of the dish began with his uncle Ron. “[We] used to go squirrel hunting all the time when I was a kid, and we’d use the meat for Brunswick stew,” Gagliardi remembers. “I would help clean them [for the stew].”
Don’t worry PETA, Gagliardi uses pork for his recipe. Hickory-smoked pulled pork to be exact, with one of Boar’s Nest’s eight house sauces. “Basically the thing that makes it different from normal stew is the barbecue sauce,” Gagliardi explains.
Add veggies—tomatos, corn, green peppers, celery, onions—and you have the Boar’s Nest take on Brunswick stew. Rainin' Ribs in Lake Forest Park also does a version, which the menu aptly describes as "barbecue in a bowl."
Gagliardi expects the stew, with a side of cornbread, will help sustain Southern transplants and Northwest natives bracing themselves for the return of the ever-dreary weather; it will stay on the menu permanently. Meanwhile, the Boar’s Nest is celebrating its anniversary today with another Southern favorite—free moon pies for all.