Midwest Living's Bouja / Burgoo

Total Time
2hrs 20mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs

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!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. 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.
  2. Brown the cubed beef chuck in the remaining drippings in the pot, adding more oil if needed.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Stir in the cooked chicken and heat through; season to taste with some salt and some additional pepper, if you like.
Most Helpful

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!

chaussonb02_6913652 February 27, 2014

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

Bill Hilbrich July 03, 2004

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.

jean wedding February 10, 2004