The Derby itself might gallop by in a matter of minutes, but you'll need plenty of time to let this meaty stew simmer down to the proper consistency. It freezes well but also provides the perfect excuse to have a few dozen friends over to watch the race, sip mint juleps and feast on this traditional Kentucky treat. Note: Many classic recipes include squirrel, but if you don't have a reliable source, your guests will likely forgive you.
To learn more, read "Derby Dancing."
Recipe adapted from Kat Kinsman, Editor in Chief
Yield: 20 to 30 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours
2 pounds pork ribs
2 pounds veal shank
2 pounds beef shank
2 pounds lamb shank
One 4-pound whole chicken
8 quarts cold water
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
5 medium carrots, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
3 cups chopped cabbage
2 cups whole kernel corn, fresh or canned
2 cups diced fresh or frozen okra
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 ancho chiles
1 quart tomato purée
Kosher salt, cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce, to taste
Tabasco sauce, for serving
1. In a large pot, combine all the meat and cover with the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, skimming the scum that rises to the top, until you notice some of the bones beginning to fall off, 2 to 3 hours.
2. Remove the meat and discard the bones and chicken skin. Pick and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Place the meat back into the stock along with the chopped vegetables, chiles and tomato purée. Simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are very tender and begin to break down, 1½ to 2 hours. As the stew begins to thicken, stir it more frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. Continue to simmer until the meat becomes shredded and the stew takes on a uniform consistency, another 3 to 4 hours. Remove the ancho chiles (if they are visible), and season the stew with salt, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce.
3. Serve the burgoo with more Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco.