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Burgoo Festival, Utica, Ill. [10/10/2010]

Burgoo Festival, Utica, Ill. [10/10/2010]
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  • Burgoo Festival, Utica, Ill. [10/10/2010]

    Post #1 - September 26th, 2007, 6:13 pm
    Post #1 - September 26th, 2007, 6:13 pm Post #1 - September 26th, 2007, 6:13 pm
    Scroll down for 2010 fest.

    The LaSalle County Historical Society's Annual Burgoo Festival
    Sunday, Oct. 7, 2007
    815-667-4861
    museum@core.com
    Stroll the main streets of Utica for a day
    of crafts, shopping, food & fun.

    Over 200 Craft Vendors
    Food, Music & Clowns
    Museum--One-Room School
    Barn, Blacksmith & Coopersmith

    "Be sure to try the famous Pioneer
    Burgoo Stew!"

    Time: 9am to 5pm ... Rain or Shine
    Last edited by LAZ on October 8th, 2010, 12:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
  • Post #2 - September 26th, 2007, 10:02 pm
    Post #2 - September 26th, 2007, 10:02 pm Post #2 - September 26th, 2007, 10:02 pm
    Hi,

    Thanks for posting this, it was on my to-do list.

    I was in Utica on Sunday for lunch at the Cajun Connection. I had seen the Burgoo Festival as I was arriving to town. I stopped by the tourist bureau on my way out to make inquiries.

    While this is the first time I heard of this festival, it is the 34th annual burgoo fest attracting 40,000 people last year. I was advised if I attended to park at the nursery on the edge of town, then take the shuttle over. Otherwise be prepared for a whopper of a traffic jam in a town not known for traffic jams.

    Their Burgoo is all-beef with the special seasonings not just a secret, but a paid Burgoo-meister is brought it to deliver the sauce and supervise the cooking. I learned there is a similar festival in Springfield using the very same Burgoo-meisters, but, "Their's tastes better than ours. We don't know why." Not long ago a friend offered to make Burgoo using traditional ingredients like squirrel. Of course, I had to inquire if there might be a squirrel in the stew. I was informed it was illegal to serve squirrel for a fee. I am destined to eat squirrel based Burgoo!

    Burgoo just south of I-80 was really quite a surprise for me. It is a food I usually associate with Kentucky. I told Bruce Kraig about this, who told me there are some Burgoos served in southern Illinois though it is referred to as 'chowder.' The Joy of Cooking has a Burgoo recipe that I made a few times when I was in high school. My family wasn't too impresed and the JOC is not always the best source for really off the beaten track recipes.

    To give you a sense of what a classic Burgoo may be like:

    Company Stew

    Our great-grandmothers served it from the old iron pot which hung from the crane over the hearth, using any wild game brought home by her "man." It is equally as satisfying today cooked in any heavy kettle and using meat now available, served with a green salad and a slab of homemade bread.
    1 stewing hen, 5-6 pounds
    1 squirrel or rabbit, or hunk of beef, veal, or pork weighing about 3 pounds
    5 or 6 large potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 quart lima beans
    1 quart whole kernel corn
    5 or 6 carrots, peeled and sliced
    2 or 3 onions, chopped coarsely
    6 or 7 tomatoes, peeled and quartered Salt
    Pepper
    Cayenne pepper

    Cut chicken into serving-size pieces. Treat squirrel or rabbit likewise. If using other meat, cut into 2-inch cubes. Place in heavy kettle, cover with water, and simmer until very tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove chicken and squirrel or rabbit bones. Return boned meat to broth, add vegetables, season to taste, and simmer until done, about 45 minutes. Serves 6 generously.

    Note: Variations are in order, to suit your fancy and the garden's offering. Avoid cabbage, turnips, and such; they are a bit strong-flavored for this dish. Use cabbage for slaw, if you wish.


    I have to admit Burgoo sounds like the stone soup with whatever happens to be available thrown into the pot. I found this amusing quote:

    roadsideamerica.com wrote:Arenzville, Illinois - Burgoo Center of the World

    Arenzville bills itself as the "Burgoo Center of the World." I mean, it's got to bill itself as something. This ancient stew is yearly served up by the hundreds of gallons and is composed of everything living. The ingredients are a secret, but no stray dogs and cats wander the town once the Burgoo is served. [Ken Bradbury, 05/30/1998]

    [RA: And, as we all know, Burgoo is best served by a certified Burgoomeister in a special clean bowl.]


    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - September 27th, 2007, 8:20 am
    Post #3 - September 27th, 2007, 8:20 am Post #3 - September 27th, 2007, 8:20 am
    My wife, baby, and I will be there, and also attending Octoberfest @ the Starved Rock Lodge the following weekend.
  • Post #4 - September 30th, 2007, 11:15 am
    Post #4 - September 30th, 2007, 11:15 am Post #4 - September 30th, 2007, 11:15 am
    I got stuck in the traffic jam last year, on my way to hike in Starved Rock, completely unaware of this festival. I was surprised no one here had any reports on it.

    The whole town is jammed. Parking on the other side of the river and hiking over the bridge might be an option.
  • Post #5 - October 7th, 2007, 10:33 am
    Post #5 - October 7th, 2007, 10:33 am Post #5 - October 7th, 2007, 10:33 am
    HI,

    Rene G and I were at the Burgoo Cook last night, whiich commenced at 8 PM. They have a new Burgoomeister who comes with a different recipe, which was tested and reviewed by a committee. They expect to sell out by 1 PM, so get there early!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #6 - October 8th, 2007, 10:29 am
    Post #6 - October 8th, 2007, 10:29 am Post #6 - October 8th, 2007, 10:29 am
    We drove the 15 mins. out to Utica on Sunday to take a look at their Burgoo Festival around 11:00 a.m. It was already a mad-house. One road in and one road out, we quickly decided that we didnt want to get caught up in the mass of people already there,

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