Harry Young’s Burgoo Recipe
“If it walked, crawled, or flew, it goes in burgoo.” That old adage once applied to this stew that hails from Kentucky, originally made with an assortment of game and livestock cooked in giant cauldrons known as burgoo kettles. It’s a classic Southern stew, made in huge quantities over a smoldering fire, stirred by cooks using boat oars long enough to reach the bottoms of the pots. They would prepare enough burgoo to feed an entire community, often selling it at fund-raisers or doling it out to attendees at political rallies and stump speeches. These days, burgoos are still meant to be shared, but they have been scaled back to feed large families instead of small towns. Most recipes, such as this one, still call for a variety of meats and a long list of vegetables—but only those found easily at a local grocery store. This hearty stew freezes well, which is a good thing because it feeds a large crowd and you may have leftovers. It tastes even better the next day when the flavors have had time to marry.