Kentucky Burgoo

Pot of burgoo
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  • Total: 3 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 10 to 12

Made with a variety of meats and vegetables, burgoo is a Kentucky tradition often cooked in large quantities and for events and barbecues. There is quite a bit of speculation as to the origin of the word burgoo, from a mispronunciation of the word barbecue to a mispronunciation of bird stew, but the origin remains a mystery.

This Kentucky burgoo is a typical version, a chicken and beef stew with cabbage, potatoes, okra, and lima beans.


  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) chicken
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper (coarsely ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (29-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 12 small potatoes
  • 2 cups onion (chopped)
  • 1 medium head cabbage (finely chopped)
  • 3 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound carrots (sliced)
  • 3 (12- to 15-ounce) cans whole kernel corn (drained)
  • 1 cup fresh sliced ​okra
  • 1 1/2 cups butterbeans (or lima beans, fresh or frozen)
  • 2 green peppers (finely chopped)
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons salt (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large pot, cook chicken and beef in chicken broth, beef broth, and water with coarsely ground pepper and cayenne pepper until chicken and meat are very tender - about 30 to 45 minutes.

  3. Remove bones, dice and shred chicken and meat, and return to the liquid.

  4. Add tomato puree, potatoes, onions, cabbage, diced tomatoes, carrots, corn, okra, butterbeans, and green pepper. Season with a little of the salt and pepper and the Worcestershire sauce.

  5. Cook slowly for 2 to 3 hours, stirring from the bottom to keep from scorching. Taste and add salt, to taste.

  6. Add water, if necessary, to keep from sticking.

  7. Serve in a bowl and enjoy!