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Kentucky Derby Tradition: Burgoo

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Kentucky Derby Tradition: Burgoo | 31Daily.com

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This recipe is a tradition of the Kentucky Derby and to which most have their own unique spin and variation. Having not grown up in the south, I take my cue from those who have.

Traditionally, Burgoo is a spicy blend of meat, potatoes, and vegetables which demand a long and slow cook to develop the flavors. Best prepared a day in advance with a quick reheat prior to serving. While early versions of Burgoo featured squirrel meat, I’m told, modern recipes most often call for chicken.

Kentucky Derby Tradition: Burgoo


2 pounds pork tenderloin
1 pound beef sirloin
1 whole chicken, quartered and skin removed
1-quart chicken stock
2 quarts water
4 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 large green pepper, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup okra, but into 1/8-inch slices
1 cup shredded green cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced celery
2 cups corn kernels
3 cups canned tomatoes
3 cups tomato puree
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped parsley
2 cups peas

Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 12 to 16.


Place all meats in a large Dutch oven and add the stock and water. Please over low heat and bring to a simmer. Cook slowly until the meats begin to fall from the bone. About 2 hours.

Remove the meats from the Oven and cut them into chunks. Discard bones and return meat to the Dutch oven. Add all remaining ingredients except for the parsley and peas.

Simmer slowly, stirring frequently, until thick, about 2 hours. Stir in parsley and peas and cook another 10 minutes.

Photo: Women’s Day

Kentucky Derby @31Daily

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