Irish Stew and Kentucky Burgoo: Understand The Differences

Irish Stew and Kentucky Burgoo: Understand The Differences
Photo: Charles Haynes. Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0,

There are few more popular sporting events to attend on the international schedule than a day at the horse racing. The sport is hugely popular across the globe, but few nations celebrate all things equine like the Irish. 

Huge events on the Irish schedule such as the Dublin Racing Festival and the Irish Grand National meetings attract a huge number of visitors, with international fans taking in a number of Irish delicacies during their visit. If you are one who looks often for horse racing no deposit bonus wagers, you probably know about these staples of equestrian cuisine.

While all fans that are visiting the racing will likely sip down on a pint of Guinness, it is also incredibly likely that they will tuck into an Irish stew either before of after the day at the racing. 

The dish is similar to the Kentucky Burgoo, which has become synonymous with the Kentucky Derby, but what are the main differences between the two local delicacies? 

What Is An Irish Stew?

The Irish Stew is a very popular dish for all Irish people, with the meal traditionally being made with root vegetables as well as lamb or beef. As is normally the case with traditional folk dishes, the origin of the recipe is unknown when it comes to the date and time that it was first enjoyed based on the region where you are in Ireland. 

The basic ingredients of the dish are lamb or mutton, with the latter typically being replaced by beef in modern times. It is also a vegetable heavy dish with carrots, potatoes, onions, and parsley also included. The Irish Stew is widely considered to be the national dish of Ireland, and is celebrated across the nation, regardless of the town or city that you’re visiting. 

History Of The Irish Stew

Stewing food has been a popular method of cooking meats throughout history, with the introduction of the cauldron coming from continental Europe and Britain. This was traditionally how the Irish Stew was cooked by the ancient Gaels. The cauldron was a typically traditional way of cooking the meal, but the meat would also be hung on flesh-hooks during the early history. 

However, historians believe that the preferred meat for the dish was goat, before being supplemented by mutton and beef. The root vegetables and meat in the stew were in place to save the potato, which was introduced to Ireland in the 16th century. Tracking down the first dated Irish Stew has been a challenge for historians throughout history, but dates show that the first recipe was produced in the 1600s by the O’Brien family. 

The biggest change to the recipe came in the 19th century, as Helen Stuart Campbell changed the meal to include boneless meat. Such is the popularity of Irish Stew that there is also Canadian regulations when it comes to the dish. Under Canadian law, for the dish to be labelled as an Irish Stew it must contain at least 20% lamb/beef/mutton. 

What Is A Kentucky Burgoo?

The Kentucky Burgoo is very similar to the naked eye in comparison to an Irish Stew, with one of the key differences being that it is served with corn muffins or cornbread. It is a hugely popular dish in Kentucky, with the recipe for the meal having been founded in the State. 

It is a very popular meal of choice when it comes to big social events, especially at civic fundraisers in the Upland South. The Burgoo can be made up by a number of different meats, including mutton, which is found in the Irish Stew. However, a popular alternative to the meat when it comes to this Kentucky dish is chicken or pork. 

History of the Kentucky Burgoo

The first recorded Burgoo that was referenced in history can be dated back to 1743, as it was defined as a ‘soup or stew’ by J. Isham Oberv. Hudsons Bay. It has been made with a variety of vegetables and meat throughout history, but history has always found it to be a popular dish of choice when it comes to popular outdoor social events. 

The meal was also referenced in 1753 from Chambers’s Cycl Supplement, and it was described as a ‘sea-faring dish’, highlighting its early history as a preferred meal of choice for members of the Merchant Navy and Royal Navy in the United Kingdom. However, it wasn’t until 1863 that the first reference of the meat was made, as it was described as the finest beef. 

It isn’t just Kentucky that place a huge pride on the Burgoo, as a number of states across the United States consider their dish to be the best. In fact, Arenzville, Illinois, claims to be home of the world’s best burgoo, and it even holds an annual Burgoo festival. However, two of the three cities that claim to be the Burgoo capital of the world can be found in Kentucky cities- Lawrenceburg and Owensboro.