Dish Up Some Derby Day Food

Apr 23, 2015
With May approaching, it’s time to start Southern cooking and loading up on bourbon. Why the southern cooking and bourbon? It’s Derby season! The beginning of May heralds the Kentucky Derby and has for over 140 years. Watch the Derby in style with a mint julep and amazing Kentucky Derby food. 

The Kentucky Derby has promoted the mint julep since 1938. While the official Kentucky Derby mint julep cocktail is served by Early Times, the drink has spread and evolved throughout the years. To make a basic mint julep you need a few key ingredients: mint, bourbon, and simple sugar. First, take a highball glass or silver cup and put in the simple syrup. From there, fill the glass with crushed ice and add bourbon. Garnish the glass with mint leaves for a nice finishing touch and added minty flavor. 

Now that we have a drink in our hands, what’s next? It wouldn’t be Kentucky cooking without a hearty helping of Burgoo! Bur-what? Burgoo is a traditional Kentucky favorite and has been for more than 150 years, especially as a Kentucky Derby recipe. In 1932, the winner of the Kentucky Derby was even named “Burgoo King!” The great thing about this dish is that no two cooks will make it the same way. There are a few basics, but from there it’s up to you! Keep in mind; it’s only a burgoo if you make a bunch of it. 

Let’s start cooking, shall we? In our Kentucky Derby burgoo recipe, we recommend adding all of your favorite meats; you could even use our chicken sausage products if you’d like to keep it healthy. From there, add tomatoes, water, onions, okra, red pepper, or any other vegetable you can think of. The key is to be creative! From there, slow cook everything for hours until it becomes a delectable stew. Some people even throw in a thickening agent such as cornmeal or molasses, it’s up to you. Everyone is different with how they like their burgoo; some like it soupy, and others like to be able to stick a spoon straight up in it.

Now that you’ve made your derby dishes and juleps, enjoy them in the good company of friends and watch the race! If you’ve done everything in true southern style, there will be more than enough of everything to share and keep for days to come. All that’s left to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the race!