Makes about 12 servings
It’s that time of year. It’s Burgoo time. What I mean is: Keeneland is open. Keeneland serves Burgoo. It’s almost Derby Week. Everyone who celebrates Kentucky’s national holiday (the Kentucky Derby, the first Saturday in May) think s Burgoo. (And mint juleps, but that’s another story.) I created this recipe on a snowy day in March. It’s not a quick recipe, but one where you first make a broth using beef, lamb, and dark-meat chicken pieces. Then you cook the vegetables in the broth and add the cooked meat. The two-step process ensures tender meat and nicely cooked vegetables. It’s even better reheated, so feel free to make this recipe ahead, and reheat before serving. Incidentally, if you’ve ever wanted to attend a Burgoo Festival, make plans for September 2009.
1 pound beef shank
1 pound boneless leg of lamb
3 to 3 1/2 pounds chicken legs or thighs
1 tablespoon salt
3 quarts water
2 cups finely chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, or 2 (15-ounce) cans mixed vegetables, drained
One 15-ounce can butter beans, drained
8 ounces frozen sliced okra
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Generous pinch red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
Trim excess fat from beef shank and lamb. Place the beef, lamb, and chicken pieces in a 6-quart Dutch oven. Add salt and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces to a plate. Partially cover again, and contine to cook over low heat until the beef and lamb are fork-tender, about 1 1/2 more hours. Remove the beef and lamb to the plate with the chicken. Let the broth cool slightly. Strain and measure the broth. Add water if necessary to make 6 cups. Wipe the sides of the oven with a paper towel to remove any remaining skum or foam reside. It’s not pretty to get this stuff in your stew. So wipe it off and save yourself from having to use another pot, or wash this one.
Pour the 6 cups of broth (and perhaps the broth/water mixture) back into the Dutch oven. Stir in the onion, garlic, mixed vegetables, butter beans, okra, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, remove the chicken meat from the bones and set aside. Cut the beef and lamb into 1-inch pieces and set aside with the chicken, and if necessary refrigerating the meat until the vegetables have cooked for 1 hour. After 1 hour of cooking the vegetables, stir the chicken and meat pieces into the cooked vegetables. Simmer until heated through. Stir in the parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.