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A stew called Burgoo!

What is Burgoo? It’s a stew, soup or porridge type meal that is generally eaten outdoors at a community type event in America. My investigation shows that it’s based on Mulligatawny stew. Either way it’s a great tasting meal. This recipe is to serve 4 people. You can substitute the meats for others, such as beef, pork, chicken or turkey. But it works well with a mix of meats. You can also substitute the veg too. It’s a bit of a “whatever’s in the cupboard” kind of meal. You could substitute the celeriac for potatoes. This had a nice balance of veg versus meat, but if you want more veg, just increase it.

I had never tried or heard of this before, I was looking for a venison recipe as I had some to use, and Burgoo jumped out of the page at me. It’s been cold over the last few days again, so it beats a winter salad any day.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours (depending on desired consistency)


  • 2 tbsp ghee or oil

  • 2Kg meat, in this instance I used:

    • 1kg venison, boned, cut into cubes

    • 1kg boneless, skinless chicken, cut into cubes

  • 6 bacon rashers, finely chopped

  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 4 sticks celery, finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme

  • 2 litre chicken and/or beef stock (hopefully home made!!)

  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes

  • 2 medium carrots, cut into chunks

  • 1 celeriac, cut into chunks

  • 200g frozen sweetcorn

  • 400g of beans, usually butter beans

  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Heat the oil or ghee in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the venison, chicken (or meats of your choice) and bacon and cook, stirring constantly, while they brown.

  • Add the green pepper, onion, garlic and celery to the pan and cook for 8–10 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft.

  • Add the smoked paprika, ground black pepper, bay leaves, thyme, sea salt and the cayenne pepper. Mix well then pour in the stock and chopped tomatoes. Cover and bring to the boil, then simmer for 1 and ½ hours. Please check back to make sure it doesn’t dry up, this needs to be a thick liquid at this point

  • Add the celeriac, carrots, sweetcorn and butterbeans to the pan and simmer with the lid off so the stew reduces and begins to thicken. Cook until the celeriac is tender, approximately 15 minutes.

  • Serve with chopped parsley, drizzle with some Worcestershire sauce or hot sauce and serve with rice, crusty bread or cornbread, if you wish. This recipe has cayenne and paprika in, so you might not need

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