Slow-Cooker Brunswick Stew
This long-cooking Southern stew seemed a natural for the slow cooker. Instead, we got an alarming mush. The right timing—and a trick—helped us fix it.
Why This Recipe Works
This hearty Southern classic is packed to the gills with a mix of meats (pork, chicken) and vegetables (potatoes, lima beans, corn) in a tomato-based broth. Making sure that each ingredient is cooked to perfection is easy if the cook can drop the ingredients in the pot in stages, but the closed slow cooker negates this luxury. Lean pork was quick to dry out while generously marbled browned bone-in blade pork chops became perfectly tender after 6 hours of slow cooking. Sealing the quick-to-cook chicken and potatoes in a foil packet slows their cooking, ensuring a stew with tender meat and evenly cooked vegetables.