Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bluegrass and Burgoo

One of the things that I still recall from my first trip to Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, with my parents and their friends in about 1976, was the burgoo. How many foods can you still vividly remember first tasting over 30 years ago? I can also still recall what I wore that day (a cute plaid top with a green corduroy vest, "gaucho" pants, and long black boots that looked very equestrian). Don't ask me what I wore yesterday! After going to Keeneland, we stayed in the Red River Gorge area to enjoy the fall leaves and scenery and somehow ended up at a rather sleazy little motel. When my Dad was in the shower, someone knocked at the door and my mom and I answered. There were two scroungy-looking men who asked us if we had any matches. We replied "no, sorry", closed the door and put the dresser in front of it, and spent the rest of the night in fear, absolutely sure that they were going to come back and rob us!

We also stopped at the famous Court Days in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, a tradition for who knows how long. Now it's a big festival with crafts and a huge flea market, then it was more for livestock trading and true antiques as well as gun trading. We were shocked and terrified to see so many people openly carrying around guns of all types! It made a lasting impression on a big-city Yankee suburban girl who had barely ever seen a gun. A visit to the World 3-Day Equestrian Event at the then-new Kentucky Horse Park in 1978 and other Keeneland trips cemented my desire to live in Kentucky, and burgoo has been a part of my fall and winter diet ever since!

When my niece Lauren was visiting recently and I made burgoo for tailgating at Keeneland, a lot of questions arose, most of which I couldn't answer. Here's what I learned about burgoo:

And here is the origin of the name: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2943

Finally, here's my recipe for burgoo, although like with my chili it is never exactly the same from one time to the next. I like to include a big variety of meats, and have in years past had some pretty exotic stuff (emu, squirrel, turtle, etc). No amounts are given, it is all to taste- I hope you enjoy it!

Lindy's Kentucky Burgoo

Ground beef, pork, turkey, chicken, venison, sausage or pulled barbecue in any combination you like! Brown with 1-2 onions.

Add diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)

Add spices- I use chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. A little bit of hickory smoke flavored sauce and your favorite barbecue sauce are good.

Simmer with one can of beer.

Add diced carrots and potatoes and simmer until vegetables are nearly-cooked. Then add canned or fresh corn, green beans, or other vegetables.

And finally, my secret ingredient- Add one can of Iam's Dog Food in any variety.*

*Just kidding!

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1 comment:

Lauren said...

I can't wait to make the burgoo!!! Thanks Aunt Lindy!