Kentucky Burgoo
Kentucky Burgoo

A Kentucky Derby favorite, Kentucky Burgoo Stew features pork, cattle chow, and chicken as meats, along with corn, carrots, onions, celery, and lima beans. Perfect for derby day!


Just the word itself sounds like there should be a song about it.

Burgoo dates back to before the Civil War and legend has it that it was invented by a French chef. Like a mulligan stew, it’s a fridge-emptying type of recipe. Burgoos typically have at least three different meats and lots of vegetables like corn, okra, and lima beans.

Burgoo lovers differ in whether the stew should be cooked to a brown, undifferentiated mass, or whether individual ingredients can still be seen. Some say burgoo is only a stew if you can’t stand a spoon in it.

In this version of Burgoo we want to know what we are eating (pork, beef or chicken) so it doesn’t cook as long as others. If you want more melange, simply cook the meat longer. As with most stews, burgoo tastes even better the second day. It makes a great Sunday lunch if you want lunch for the week ahead.

Kentucky Burgoo

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
3 hrs 10 mins

total time
3 hrs 25 mins

up to 16 servings

This recipe makes a lot! Feel free to halve. Otherwise, it makes great leftovers.


  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 3 to 4 lb pork shoulder or country ribs, cut into large pieces (3 to 4 inches wide)

  • 2 to 3 lb fry fryPot roast or other inexpensive cut of beef, cut into large chunks (3 to 4 inches wide)

  • 3 to 5 chicken legs or shank (with bone)

  • 1 green pepper, chopped

  • 1 big Onion, chopped

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 2 celery ribs, chopped

  • 5 cloves Garlic, chopped

  • 1 quart chicken broth or broth

  • 1 quart beef broth or broth

  • 1 (28Ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 2 big potatoes (we used reddish brown)

  • 1 pocket frozen corn (about a lb)

  • 1 bag frozen lima beans (Above 14 ounces)

  • salt and pepper

  • 4 to 8 tablespoon Worcester sauce

  • Tabasco or something else hot sauce on the website


  1. sear meat:

    In a large stockpot (at least 8 quarts) heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Salt the meat well on all sides. When the oil is simmering hot, brown the entire meat in batches.

    Don’t overfill the pan or the meat will steam and not brown well. Don’t move the meat while searing one side. Sear the pieces of meat well.

    Place the browned meat in a bowl.

  2. Sauté onions, carrots, celery and peppers:

    Add the onions, carrots, celery and peppers to the pot and sauté. If necessary, add a little more oil to the pan.

    After a few minutes of cooking, sprinkle salt over the vegetables.

  3. When the vegetables are well browned, add the garlic:

    Cook an additional 30 seconds until fragrant.

  4. Add the meat, chicken, beef broth and tomatoes:

    Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat and simmer gently for 2 hours.

  5. Remove the pieces of meat, detach from the bones, cut into smaller pieces and return to the pot:

    Uncover and remove the pieces of meat. Strip the chicken off the bone and remove the skin if you like.

    Break the larger pieces of meat into smaller, more manageable pieces. The reason you didn’t do this at first is because the meat stays juicier when cooked in larger chunks.

    Put all the pieces of meat back into the pot and simmer vigorously.

  6. Add Potatoes:

    Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks about the same size as the meat chunks (you can skip the peeling if you’re using new potatoes, but you should peel the red cabbage). Add them to the stew and cook until done, about 45 minutes.

  7. When the potatoes are done, add the Worcestershire sauce:

    Mix well and taste for salt. Add more Worcestershire sauce as needed.

  8. Add corn and lima beans:

    Mix well and cook for at least 10 minutes, or longer if you like. This is where you decide whether you want a burgoo pounded into a thick mass or a stew with bright colors in it. It’s your call.

    To serve, taste again for salt and add either Worcestershire or salt if you like. Serve with crusty bread or cornbread and a bottle of hot sauce.


Classic Kentucky Stew, Burgoo by Sean Timberlake

Authentic Kentucky Burgoo by Scrumptious Chef

Anderson County Burgoo Festival

nutritional information (per serving)
825 calories
46g Fat
31g carbohydrates
70g protein
Previous articleAsian Coleslaw
Next articleClassic Pasta Primavera
Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!