This is a unique opportunity to try one of the classic folk dishes of the American Midwest, part of a traditional foodway that goes back well over 100 years. This is a serious undertaking, taking at least 8 hours to prepare, and in our case, made with quality, locally-sourced, sustainably-produced meats courtesy of Sanagan’s Meat Locker.
I’ll let Paul do the describing:
Burgoo is a one-pot dish that can contain “anything that walked or flew, and any vegetable that grew.” It is subject to complete disagreement. I say bur-GOO. Other people say BUR-goo. The origin of the word is in dispute. There are as many recipes as there are cooks, and there are many towns in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois that claim to be the “true home” of Burgoo. My recipe is based on the traditions of Western Kentucky, where my dad came from.
There are five meats (in consideration of the tender-hearted, I’ve left out Bambi and Thumper). They are cooked bone-in—for depth of flavour—for five or six hours, until the meat leaves the bone. The bone is removed, and eleven vegetables are added in sequence, depending on their cooking time. The burgoo simmers and thickens for several more hours. A mix of sauces, herbs and spices, and dad’s secret ingredient, finishes it off. It’s a rich bowl. It has a little bit of zip, without being ‘spicy’.
In keeping with tradition, we will serve sides of homemade iron skillet cornbread and coleslaw.
Paul Oberst grew up in Central Kentucky. He was a teenager before his Western Kentucky dad introduced him to burgoo, and he hasn’t looked back. In his day job, he’s an architect, heritage planner, and sometime writer.
Every Friday we invite guest chefs – amateur or professional – to come share their favourite dishes at The Depanneur.