Once a year I hit my backyard in the French Place neighborhood, build a big fire out of Oak and Hickory, turn up Johnson County’s own Jim Ford and his landmark album “The Sounds of Our Time” and begin the three day process of knocking out 12 quarts of Burgoo.
For the uninitiated Burgoo is a Kentucky woodsman stew filled with all the game traditionally hunted in the forests of the Bluegrass state. Deer, elk, rabbit, squirrel, hog, possum, raccoon, pheasant, mutton, grouse, catamount….damn near anything can go in a vat of this heavenly dish. While there are a few restaurants that serve a highly stripped down version, if you want the real stuff I hope you’re friends with a native who’s handy with a Kentucky long rifle as this is the only way to get an authentic bowl.
Out here in Texas, far from my ancestral grounds, I have to make do with what I can purchase in the Austin markets so a good array of the game native to Kentucky is simply not available.
Last year’s batch included gator, hog, frog, goat, chicken, deer and rabbit foraged from a wide variety of sources like Fiesta Mart, Longhorn Meat Market, Quality Seafood and my buddy Bill’s backyard where I took down an unsuspecting cotton tail.
I’ve got about 15 lbs of meat on my smoker as I pen this and a big Basque party [non- Txoko] to attend Saturday night where we plan to celebrate our good lives in central Texas.
We’re all far from our native lands but we still manage to carry on food traditions that we could a lot more easily leave behind.
Here’s a hot link to last year’s article I wrote about the making of a batch of Kentucky Burgoo.
http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2010/4/19/Slow-Difficult-Recipes-Part-2-Authentic-Kentucky-Burgoo-Recipe Burgoo Recipe
Bon Appetit Y’all