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One Great Dish: The Southern's Kentucky Burgoo

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jan 23, 2012 8:40PM

Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist

Between The Southern in Wicker Park, The Southern Mac & Cheese Truck and its brick and mortar storefront in the Loop. Cary Taylor is a busy man. He also makes a mean burgoo.

A burgoo is a stew, related to an Irish or Mulligan stew, made from whatever meats and vegetables are available. Like a lot of Southern recipes, a burgoo is a dish made from necessity; it's a means of extending what the cook has on hand. Taylor's Kentucky burgoo at The Southern is made from beef shank and pork shoulder atop creamed corn, with pickled okra and cherry tomatoes. This dish comes with a demitasse of beef broth which is poured into the dish and the whole thing is mixed together.

The result is a savory dish that is perfect for plummeting temperatures. The pickled okra provides enough of a balance to keep this from being a one-note stew. (An aside: there's a lot of restaurants we've visited in recent weeks that have pickled okra on their menus. This is a trend we'd love to see continue.)

A burgoo is normally served with a side of cornbread, so if you're at The Southern order it with Taylor's amazing hushpuppies and feel so inclined to hold the smoked trout and artichoke dip that's the highlight of that dish.