Monday, September 19, 2011

Burgoo - Traditional Southern Stew Recipe

Burgoo is the celebrated stew which helped to make Kentucky famous. It is served on Derby Day, at political rallies, tobacco auctions and other outdoor events. It is a great dish to have whenever you expect 20 to 25 people. All through the South any available game would be added to this recipe. A squirrel, a rabbit and it was a good omen to have a minister (whose salary must have been paid) wave a rabbit’s foot over the steaming cauldron. This burgoo is very similar to Brunswick stew, another southern favorite.

1 to 2 lbs. each of pork (shank or shoulder), beef and lamb
4 lbs. stewing chicken
6 quarts water
3 T. salt
1 bay leaf
1 lb. potatoes (3 to 4 medium)
1 lb. onions (3 to 4 medium)
3 or 4 carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 large green pepper, cut in slivers
1 (16 oz.) can tomato puree
1 (28 oz.) can tomatoes
2 small dried hot chili peppers
1 (16 oz.) can whole kernel corn
2 cups sliced fresh okra or a 10 oz. pkg. frozen okra
2 cups fresh, frozen or canned lima beans
1-1/2 cups chopped cabbage
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. A-1 sauce
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
Additional salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Step 1. Combine meat, chicken and water in a very large stock pot or soup kettle. Season with salt and bay leaf. Season until the meat is tender and falls from the bones. Remove and discard skin and bones, cutting meat into bite-sized pieces. Skim off the fat, chill the stock and remove all hardened fat.

Step 2. Return meat and chicken to the stock. Peel potatoes and onions, scrape the carrots and dice the vegetables. Add to the stew along with the celery, green pepper, tomato puree, tomatoes, hot peppers, corn, okra, lima beans and cabbage. Simmer slowly until stew is thick and vegetables are done, 2 to 3 hours. Burgoo should be thick but still soupy.

Step 3. Season with Worcestershire and A-1 sauces, cayenne and additional salt if needed. Just before serving, sprinkle stew with parsley. Serve in soup bowls.

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