This is one of the best Sunday stews you can make because the leftovers reheat beautifully all week, for either a quick supper or for lunches at work. Don't worry if you don't have squirrel, venison and pheasant. The only true rule in burgoo seems to be that you need at least three different meats, so let your imagination wander: Chicken is obvious, as is pork. But lamb, rabbit, hare, other game birds, duck, muskrat, whatever. It'll all get hammered into submission in this stew regardless.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 8 people
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 to 2 squirrels or rabbits, cut into serving pieces
- 2 to 3 pounds venison, 3 to 4 inches wide, cut into large pieces
- 3 to 5 pheasant legs/thighs, bone-in
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 quart pheasant or chicken stock
- 1 quart beef or game stock
- 1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 large potatoes
- 1 bag of frozen corn, about a pound
- 1 bag of frozen lima beans or canned black-eyed peas, about 14 ounces
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- Tabasco or other hot sauce on the side
Pour the oil into a large Dutch oven or soup pot and set the heat to medium-high. Working in batches, brown all the meats. Do not crowd the pan or the meat will not brown well. Salt the meat as it cooks. As they brown, move the various meats to a bowl.
Add the onions, carrots, celery and green pepper to the pot and turn the heat to high. Cook the vegetables until they are well browned; you might need to add a little more oil to the pot. When the vegetables have browned, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add back the meats, along with the chicken and beef broths and the tomatoes. Stir to combine and add salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2 hours.
Fish out the meat pieces. Strip the pheasant and squirrel off the bone. Tear the large pieces of venison into bite-sized pieces. The reason you did not do this right at the start is because venison will stay moister when it cooks in larger pieces. Return all the meat to the pot and return the stew to simmer.
Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks about the same size as the meat pieces. Add them to the stew and simmer until they are tender. Add the Worcestershire sauce, mix well and taste for salt. Add more Worcestershire sauce to taste if needed.
Finally, add the corn and lima beans. Mix well and cook for at least 10 minutes, or longer if you’d like. Serve with cornbread and a bottle of hot sauce on the side.