I live in southwestern Kentuck and most people have had Burgoo.
Although I have to say that in a town about 25 miles from where I live a lot of people have never heard of it and never ate it.
What I am trying to say is that if you are looking for an original Kentucky Burgoo recipe there are probably hundreds to choose from.
Every region and sometimes even every town had its own recipe for Burgoo. Later I will write more about Burgoo and its history.
- 1 large pot Filled about half way with water
- 1 Large spoon
- 1 Charcoal Grill Optional
- 1 Cup Green peas
- 1 Cup Lima Beans
- 1 Cup Diced Tomatoes
- 1 Cup Corn
- 1 Cup Black Eyed Peas
- 2 Whole Cut up and cooked onions
- 2 Whole Diced Potatoes
- 1 Cup Left Over BBQ Pork
- 1 Cup Left Over Chicken
- ! Tbsp Hot Sauce
- 3 Tbsp House Seasoning
- Fill the pot halfway with water
- Add your house seasoning
- Bring to a boil
- Add ingredients one by one
- Stir and keep water on a slow boil
- Let simmer for about 45 minutes
What Is Burgoo
If I had to describe Kentucky Burgoo I would say it is a flavorful, hearty stew made of vegetables, meat, and seasoning that is slow-cooked for hours while steering.
Here is a video from a cook in Tennessee that explains what Kentucky Burgoo is.
My Kentucky Burgoo Story
At the time I had my restaurant there were older customers that asked me if I was going to cook Burgoo one day.
After I mentioned that I never had Burgoo one of them brought me some and I was ready to find out how to cook it.
Since I had no recipe or idea of where to get started I asked them for an original Kentucky Burgoo recipe.
I had to twist some arms and bribe them with a free breakfast before they started to tell me about their recipes and each of them made me promise not to tell anyone.
What I figured out after all the listening and writing down all their tips was that there was soo many recipes that I had to start making my own.
I had a look at everything I wrote down and to make my life easier I decided just to use equal parts of all the vegetables and added my own leftover BBQ pork and Chicken.
Kentucky Burgoo recipe
Take a large pot and fill this halfway with water and bring it to a slow boil while you are adding your house seasoning.
Now add equal parts of:
- Green peas
- Lima beans
- Diced tomatoes
- Black-eyed peas
- 2 cooked and diced onions
- 2 diced potatoes
- leftover BBQ pork
- Left-over BBQ chicken
- Some hot sauce to taste
Let this simmer for at least 45 – 60 minutes. That will let all the flavors get mixed in nicely.
Since Burgoo recipes can be very locally you can use this as a base recipe and add whatever you like.
I also have a recipe that included mutton in it.
Kentucky Burgoo History
There is a chance that you have never heard of Burgoo even if you live in the “Burgoo belt” of Kentucky.
Where Burgoo original comes from is lost in history but here are some stories I found.
1:In the late 19th century it was cooked as a stew and brought over from England.
2: It was created by the French chef Gustave Jaubert.
Traditional Burgoo was made with the meat and vegetables that were available and this means in-season vegetables and any meat that could be caught or hunted for.
From squirrel to possom or raccoon. Today most used is pork chicken and sometimes mutton.
There are even mentions of using road kill to add to the pot.
That means that the real Kentuck Burgoo recipe and its origin are lost in history. Although many small towns claim to have the “real deal”.
Kentuck Burgoo Secrets
One of the “secrets” I was told is to cook it over an open fire. The smoke from the fire adds a flavor to the Burgoo that makes it even more amazing.
The second one was that real Burgoo is cooked for 24 hours and needs to be stirred very slowly so the flavors get time to get fully mixed in.
Kentucky Burgoo Recipe – My Opinion
Although I was not born in Kentucky, after all these years I feel Kentuckian and love living here in the southwestern part.
Burgoo is one of these things that are not, or hardly known in the rest of the country.
What I like about Burgoo is that there are about as many recipes as there are people making it so just cook it the way you like it and go for it.
You can find all the other recipes on the BBQ and Grill recipes page.
Eddie van Aken
Eddie van Aken has years of experience in running his full-service restaurant and with this came working with using and dealing with all types of kitchen equipment. With his experience, he is able to find all the pros and cons of grills and add them to the grill reviews he is doing. You can read more on the about page for Eddie van Aken