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Kentucky Burgoo

1 fat hen, 4 to 5 pounds
3 pounds beef chuck
2 pounds pork shank
2 pounds veal chuck
2 pounds breast of lamb
1 1/2 pounds venison or an equal quantity of other meats
water to cover

4 pounds potatoes
2 pounds onions, chopped fine
1 pound carrots, diced
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 pods hot red chili peppers,soaked and cut into bits
1 pound dry white beans
2 cloves garlic, mashed
2 cups red wine
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco to taste
1 pound tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 quart tomato puree
2 cups whole kernel corn
1 cup white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 10-oz packages frozen okra or 1 pound fresh cut into 1" pieces
2 quarts beef stock
1 tablespoon thyme

Choose a large kettle that will hold all the meat and water to
cover. Bring to a boil. Skim frequently. Turn down heat and
simmer, covered with lid until meat is tender enough to fall from
the bones, about 2 hours. Remove the meats, cool, discard bones
and pieces of fat. Put meat through a food processor or meat
grinder (coarse blade). The result should be coarse-grained meat
cut for chili or used in hamburger. Refrigerate and reserve.
Degrease the broth by skimming well, or refrigerate over-night;
the following morning skim off the hardened fat. In a large kettle
combine ground meat with potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, peppers,
beans, garlic, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, tomatoes,
tomato puree and corn. Bring the broth to a boil in a separate
pot. Pour enough of the broth over meat and vegetables to within
an inch of covering the mixture--not quite enough to cover it.
Add vinegar, salt and pepper, okra, beef stock and thyme. Cover
the kettle.

The burgoo may be cooked in either of 2 ways: in a covered kettle
on top of the stove (7 to 8 hours), stirring occasionally, or in
a 250 degree F. oven (12 to 14 hours). The oven method requires
no stirring and results in a homogeneous mass, whereas the liquid
often separates from the meat and vegetables on the stove top.
For the oven method a large casserole or roaster is in order--or
two smaller pots, with lids, if more convenient. Burgoo should be
very thick but soupy. Add broth (or water) if burgoo needs thinning.

Ladle into big bowls or tin cups, pass the cornbread and enjoy.


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