Many years ago, my best girlfriend and I wanted to attend the Kentucky Derby. It was something to do with wearing a pretty hat, lovely dress and have a fancy-pants day while cheering for our favorite horse. Nah…it was all about the food. We both love a good meal and we couldn’t forget the perfect Mint Julep. So with the Derby just days away, here are some great and authentic tastes that will bring our Old Kentucky home (via Brooklyn & Daytona Beach Fla respectively) into your home worldwide. So grab your favorite hat, cheer for your favorite horse and sip your Julep ya’ll.
- 6 mint leaves
- 2 teaspoons sugar syrup
- 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) bourbon
Fill an 8- to 10-ounce glass with crushed ice (1 cup). Add mint, syrup, and bourbon and bruise mint with back of a spoon.
Kentucky Burgoo by Jean Anderson – A Love Affair with Southern Cooking
- 1 whole chicken breast (2 halves)
- 1 chicken thigh
- 1 chicken liver
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- 6 cups (1 1/2 quarts) cold water
- 1/2 pound dried Great Northern beans, washed, sorted, and soaked overnight in 2 cups cold water
- 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
- 4 cups (1 quart) canned tomatoes (preferably home- canned), with their liquid
- 4 cups (1 quart) canned whole-kernel corn (preferably home-canned), well drained
- 4 cups (1 quart) canned green peas (preferably home-canned), well drained
- 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1. Place the chicken breast, thigh, and liver, the pork, and the cold water in a heavy, nonreactive 4-gallon kettle; set over moderately high heat and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the water bubbles gently, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and refrigerate all pieces of chicken. Cover the kettle again and simmer the pork about 1 1/2 hours longer or until very tender.
2. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken, cut the meat into 1-inch chunks, then pulse quickly in a food processor until the texture of coarsely ground meat (in the old days, the chicken was fed through a meat grinder). When the pork is tender, cut into 1-inch chunks, then pulse just as you did the chicken. Also pulse the chicken liver.
3. Return the chicken, liver, and pork to the kettle, add the beans and their soaking water, the onions, tomatoes and their liquid, the corn, and peas. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
4. Add the salt, pepper, and butter, reduce the heat to its lowest point, and simmer the burgoo uncovered for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally, or until as thick as chili. Note: If at any time the burgoo threatens to stick to the bottom of the kettle, slide a heat diffuser underneath.
5. Taste the burgoo for salt and pepper, adjust as needed, then ladle into heated soup bowls.
NOW….if you want to have your Bourbon and eat it too, try this version
- 2 pounds pork shank
- 2 pounds veal shank
- 2 pounds beef shank
- 2 pounds breast of lamb
- 1 (4-pound) chicken
- 8 quarts cold water
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes
- 1 1/2 pounds onions
- 1 bunch carrots, peeled and sliced thickly
- 2 green peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2 cups chopped cabbage
- 1 quart tomato puree
- 2 cups whole corn, fresh or canned
- 2 pods red pepper
- 2 cups diced okra
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 2 cups dry lima beans
- 1 cup diced celery
- 3/4 cup Kentucky bourbon
- Salt and pepper
- Steak Sauce
1. Put the pork, veal, beef, lamb, and chicken into a large pot. Add the water and bring it to a boil slowly. Simmer until meat is tender enough to fall off the bones, about 4—6 hours.
2. Lift the meat out of the stock. Cool the meat, remove it from the bones, and chop it. Return the chopped meat to the stock.
3. Pare the potatoes and onions and dice them. Add them, plus the carrots, green peppers, cabbage, tomato puree, corn, red pepper, okra, parsley, lima beans, celery, and bourbon, to the meat and stock. Allow the stew to simmer until very thick about 6 hours.
4. Season to taste with the salt, pepper, Tabasco, steak sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.