Burgoo is a thick soup or porridge that contains a large variety of ingredients like hamburger meats, along with vegetables like beans, onions, tomatoes, and potato starch. The exact color and consistency of thedish will vary according to the preparing chef but a combination of meat, vegetables and a thickening agent is always required for the dish to be called burgoo.
History of Burgoo
Burgoo is a classic Kentucky dish where large quantities of the dish are cooked outside in iron kettles. Owensboro, Kentucky is still considered to be the best place to get the dish in its authentic form as International Bar-B-Q Festival is held in the city and over 1,500 galloons of burgoo is cooked for the 60,000 visitors to the fair. No one really knows where the dish originated from but historians attribute it to 17th century sailors who were served a variety of porridge while on ship. The sailors were served an oatmeal-like porridge made from bulgur wheat and which may have contained meat. Several people maintain that the dish could also be a combination of burgout or a French ragout with barbeque as this was how the dish was originally prepared. Today the basic ingredients vary but the recipe contains meat, vegetables and a thickening agent cooked for several hours in an outdoor stainless steel pot.
Ingredients Used and Burgoo Recipe Overview
Originally, cooks made a burgoo recipe by mixing together local game and venison to create a rich thick lumpy soup that was served at barbeques. Today a rich combination of chicken, ham pork venison, smoked ham, beef, veal or any other meats may be used to create the dish. The dish usually has meat like chicken, mutton, pork or sheep combined with vegetables like okra, beans, corn and potatoes. Seasonings like salt and pepper, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, hot peppers, along with garlic, cayenne pepper, cider vinegar, nutmeg, hot sauce, ginger and other flavorings are added to make the dish unique. As there is a combination of meats, usually tougher meats are cooked first and then leaner meats are added followed by the veggies. But the entire dish cooks down to form a very thick soup that can be eaten with a spoon or sipped from a cup. At outdoor fairs and barbeques in Kentucky, the dish is served with a slice of bread or by itself in a cup. But the key to the recipe is to use a variety of ingredients that give its unique and rich flavoring. There are thousands of different recipes which will create unique dishes but each one will contain the three basic ingredients that create burgoo.
Serving and Eating Burgoo
Traditionally, the dish is served with chunks of bread but nowadays the dish is served with large quantities of hot sauce and barbeque sandwiches.
A good burgoo recipe creates a dish that is rich with proteins, minerals and vitamins due to the balanced meat and vegetable content. A single serving would have about 532 calories. A fat content of 25.6g and cholesterol of 82mg can be expected if the burgoo contains lean mutton and assorted vegetables.