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Bouja is traditionally an upper Midwest (Minnesota) stew, while Burgoo is a specialty of the lower Midwest (Kentucky). In either case, it's what I would call a 'stew of opportunity', meaning that whatever you have on hand is what goes into the pot. In the past, squirrels were a main ingredient of the Burgoo. Anyway, I found this delicious combination recipe in Midwest Living and it made my house smell yummy, you can add squirrel if you like!
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 -2 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 lb boneless beef chuck, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 6 cups water
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon granules or 4 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- 1 medium potato, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 (16 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables (green beans, corn, carrots and peas)
- 1 cup cubed rutabagas or 1 cup turnip
- 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped green sweet peppers or 1⁄2 cup sweet red pepper
- 1⁄2 cup sliced celery
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can tomatoes, cut up
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, if needed
- In a large cooking pot, cook the chicken in 1 tablespoon hot cooking oil until no pink remains; remove the chicken from the pot, cover and chill but reserve the drippings in the pot.
- Brown the cubed beef chuck in the remaining drippings in the pot, adding more oil if needed.
- Add the water, chopped onion, instant bouillon granules and the dried thyme to the pot; bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the cooking pot and stir to combine; return the mixture to boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes more, or until vegetables and meat are tender.
- Stir in the cooked chicken and heat through; season to taste with some salt and some additional pepper, if you like.
I can't rate this as Bouja/Burgoo as I have never heard of it (despite growing up in KY) but but I omit the chicken and this is the best beef vegetable soup ever!
Here in Central Minnesota, where the stew is called BOUJA, we put a handful of Pickling spices into a mesh bag and leave it there until the taste is almost addictive. But, the the meats and vegetable collection looks about right. I think the decision about squirrel meat depends on their diet. If those critters have been living on Pine Cones, they can spoil a pot of stew real quick. Bill
Hey Jude. I am from Kentucky and have been eating burgoo all my life. I have never heard of adding squirrel. The Churches is this area sell burgoo by the gallons at their summer picnics. My husband and I just made 15 gallons ourselves. Our recipe is quite different from yours. I liked this one but it tasted more like a soup.