Food + Wine

Winter Comfort Food

by Jane and Michael Stern

KENTUCKY: Burgoo

Kentucky food lore says burgoo traditionally was made from whatever small critters a hunter could catch, and that it got its name when a Civil War cook with a speech impediment tried to say "bird stew." Um, whatever. The fact is that burgoo is a Western Kentucky essential—especially when there's a brisk nip in the air. Served in all the local barbecue parlors, it is a fork-thick vegetable soup/stew anchored by mutton, pork, and chicken, with all the stick-to-the-ribs satisfaction and eye-widening spiciness of gumbo. Our favorite is George's BBQ's mutton-only version. George's is a modest booth-and-table lunchroom in Owensboro, a northwest Kentucky city just across the Ohio River from Indiana. Owensboro may or may not be the barbecue capital of the world that it claims to be, but it is without a doubt the capital of burgoo.

George's BBQ
1362 E. 4th Street
Owensboro, Kentucky
Tel: 270 926 9276

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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