Burgoo's origins are as mysterious as its name.  Some say burgoo originated in England during the 1800s, while others cite France.  Some sources claim that it was originally a savory oat gruel with little else to speak of, yet others claim it has always been a meaty stew.   As for the name, "burgoo" is possibly a mispronunciation of "bird stew" or "barbeque."   We just call it delicious and leave it at that. 


  • Olive oil or bacon drippings, as needed
  • 1 lb stew meat
  • 1-2 sweet peppers, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
  • 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 lb potatoes
  • 2-3 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 14 oz can black-eyed peas
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce, to serve
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


    1. Heat the olive oil into a large, deep-sided pot.  Add the stew meat to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and brown it on all sides.  Once the stew meat is browned, transfer it to a bowl.  
    2. Add the onions, carrots, celery and green pepper to the pot and increase the heat to high. Cook until everything is softened and just starting to caramelize.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until aromatic.
    3. Add the stew meat back to the pot along with the stock and the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce the heat to low, and gently cook for 2 hours.  
    4. About 30 minutes prior to the stew finishing, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch pieces.  Add them to the stew along with the rosemary, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce.  Adjust the salt and Worcestershire to taste.  
    5. Add the black-eyed peas to the stew.  Mix well and cook for at least 10 minutes, or longer if you’d like.  Season with a little hot sauce, if desired, and serve with hot cornbread on the side. 
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