Try some KY Burgoo

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I once did a report in a speech class in college about Kentucky burgoo. The assignment was to pick a state, a traditional food from that state, do research on it, make it and demonstrate and present it to the class.
I don’t remember why I chose burgoo, probably because New York cheesecake and Chicago-style pizza were already taken. Anyway, I checked with my grandma, and one of her neighbors was originally from Paducah and was familiar with burgoo.  She told me you could put just about any kind of meat in it, including squirrel and rabbit. It also had tons of vegetables in it. She said some people put cabbage in theirs, but she didn’t. She also said she added whatever vegetables were ripe in the garden besides the traditional ones to “make it stretch.”
There are as many recipes for burgoo as there are cooks. The original pre-Civil War dish was supposedly invented by a French chef. It’s a hearty stew with at least three kinds of meat, lots of vegetables and is cooked forever. Well, not forever, but several hours for sure. The resulting dish should be thick enough you can stand a wooden spoon in it. (I did this with my recipe; you can ask my daughter, Stevie.)
My version of Kentucky burgoo makes a lot (about six quarts!), tastes delicious and freezes well. It’s not a quick recipe. You’ll need to be hanging around the kitchen most of the day, but it will be worth it. No kidding. It’s even better the next day, and the next, and the next... maybe you should invite some friends over.

Kentucky Burgoo
(Susan’s version)

3-4 T. vegetable oil (or bacon grease)
2-3 lbs. beef (I used a chuck roast)
2-3 lbs. pork (I used country-style ribs, but you can use a Boston butt pork roast)
5 chicken thighs
1 large green pepper, seeded and diced
2 large onions, diced
3-4 large carrots, diced
2-3 large stalks celery, diced (with some leaves)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart beef stock
1 quart canned tomatoes, with juice
5-6 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 lb. frozen corn
1 lb. frozen limas or baby limas
1 1/2 c. frozen sliced okra
1 1/2 c. frozen green peas
2 whole jalapeno peppers, or 1 whole Serrano pepper
Salt (approximately 3 t.)
Pepper (approximately 1 1/2 t.) or to taste
5-8 T. Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce on the side

In oil, brown all meat, in batches, till golden brown. Remove to very large kettle. When all meat is browned, add to the same pan the green pepper, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook and stir till onions are translucent. Add vegetables and pan juices to the meat in large kettle. Add the chicken and beef broth, and the tomatoes and simmer, covered, about three hours. Remove meat to another pan; (this part is kind of messy) and remove bones and excess fat. Meat should be falling-apart tender. Add meat back to kettle, add potatoes, and simmer till potatoes are tender. Add salt, pepper and W-sauce. Add corn, lima beans, okra, peas and hot peppers. (You can leave out the hot pepper if you want to.)
Simmer, covered, another hour or two, tasting for seasoning at the end. Also remember to remove the hot pepper, if using. (Or you can do what I do, and offer a prize to the one who finds it!)
Makes 6-8 quarts.