BURGOO (KENTUCKY BURGOO)
Source: American Heritage Cookbook (1964)
Yield: 20 Servings
Preparation Time: Quite a while.
Burgoo originated in the middle of the 18th century as a thick oatmeal gruel or hardtack and molasses cooked together. It was a basic item in a ship's mess served to English sailors as early as 1750. It eventually developed into something quite different in the U.S. especially in the southern states. In the U.S. it developed into a dish that would contain anything that would be on hand, especially squirrels, hens and pigs, etc., and a wide variety of root vegetables and seasonings.
One old recipe called for “800 pounds of lean beef with no bones or fat, one dozen squirrels for each 100 gallons, and 240 pounds of fat hens or roosters, besides potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, and other vegetables."
5 Tablespoons Bacon Fat or Vegetable Oil
2 Pounds Lean Beef Shin Bones With Meat
1 Pound Shoulder of Veal
2 Medium Chickens -- quartered
4 Quarts Water
1 Tablespoon Salt
4 Cups Yellow Onion -- chopped
1 Clove Garlic -- minced
2 Cups Potatoes -- diced
1 Bunch Celery -- diced
1 Quart Ripe Tomato -- skinned (or 2 -19oz Cans)
6 Carrots -- diced
2 Large Green Pepper -- chopped
1 Pint Fresh Butter Beans (or Frozen)
1 Small Pod Red Pepper (or 1/2 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper)
1 Small Onion Stuck With 4 Cloves
1 Bay Leaf
1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
2 Cups Okra -- sliced
6 Ears Corn (cut Kernels From Cob)
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Parsley -- chopped
Heat 3 tablespoons bacon fat or oil in a large kettle.
Add beef and veal and brown well.
Add chickens, water, salt and cook over low heat, covered, until very tender.
Remove meat and chicken to a tray and, when cool enough to handle, remove and discard all bones and the chicken skin.
Cut meat and chicken into sizable pieces, then return to broth.
Cook onions in remaining 2 Tablespoons bacon fat or oil until limp. Add to broth.
Add garlic, potatoes, celery, tomatoes, carrots, green peppers, butter beans, red pepper, onion stuck with cloves, bay leaf, brown sugar, and ground pepper.
Cook slowly for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Then add okra and corn and cook 15 minutes longer.
Before serving, combine butter and flour, working the mixture until well blended.
Stir into Burgoo and cook, stirring constantly, until Burgoo has thickened slightly.
Taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.