Burgoo is a spicy stew that got its start in Kentucky, before spreading to nearby areas. It actually looks, cooks and tastes similar to chili, but swaps in local ingredients. If beans are used they tend to be lima, heat comes from tabasco or other hot sauce, okra and turnips are common and the meats are different then those generally found in chilis. Burgoo always contains multiple meats and can include: mutton, pork, beef, chicken and even squirrel. Many of the famous burgoo purveyors are in and around the Owensboro, KY area, but I have also seen references to Indiana and Illinois burgoos. I have subsituted pickled okra for fresh on occasion, but that is definitely NOT a traditional choice.
- 1 Chicken, cut up
- 2 LB Beef shank (other lean beef will also work)
- 2 C Lucini Tuscan Harvest Plum Tomatoes
- 4 C Water
- 2 Onions (chopped)
- 1 C Lima beans (fresh or 10 oz frozen)
- 1 C Corn
- 1 C Okra (fresh or 10 oz frozen, You can substitute chopped green pepper if you do not like okra.)
- 3 Bay leaves
- 1 TB Worcestershire sauce
- 2 TB Lucini Pinot Grigio Italian Wine Vinegar
- 1 tsp Hot Pepper sauce (Tabasco, etc.)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 TB All-purpose flour
In a large kettle or Dutch oven combine chicken, beef shanks, tomatoes, 5 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 2 hours or until meats are tender and falling off the bone.
Remove meats from the pot and let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut the meat from bones and chop. (Save the skin and bones for stock!). Return the meat to the broth mixture, then add onions, lima beans, corn, okra, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, hot pepper sauce and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add water, if necessary, and stir from the bottom to prevent scorching. Add salt to taste towards the end of the 30 minutes.
If you are not using okra, combine 1/2 C cold water with the flour and stir until the flour is fully dissolved, then mix this slurry into the burgoo. Cook and stir into the mixture until it thickens slightly. Okra acts as a natural thickener, and I have not found any need to add flour when using okra. Remove bay leaves and serve.