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Kentucky Derby

Recipes for traditional Kentucky foods served during the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby
Winners and Hats

Mint Julep | Hot Brown | Kentucky Pie | Burgoo


Mint Julep
Mint Juleps have been served at the Derby for over 100 years and are probably the most identifiable food or beverage associated with the race.  At the Derby, mint juleps are served in Derby Glasses that have the winners of all the previous races on them. 

2 Cups of sugar
2 Cups of water
Fresh Mint Sprigs
crushed ice
Kentucky Bourbon

Boil the sugar and water together for about 5 minutes to make a simple syrup. Put the syrup and some of the mint sprigs in a covered container and let it cool.  The longer the better - you want the mint to flavor the syrup. Fill a julep cup (preferably silver!) with crushed ice and add one tablespoon of the syrup and two ounces of bourbon to the cup.  Stir until the outside of the cup is frosted.  Serve with mint garnish.

Kentucky Derby cookbook
Kentucky Derby Cookbook
Probably the best of all combination books that give the flavor and taste of what the Derby is all about. The photography is superb, the recipe' selections the best of Kentucky and the book itself a center piece for any coffee table. A true taste of what Derby in Louisville is like from a local perspective!

Hot Brown
The Hot Brown was created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville in the early 1900's by Chef Fred Schmidt.  It is still served year-round in many restaurants in Kentucky.
4 oz. Butter
Flour to make a Roux (about 6 tablespoons)
3 – 3 ½ cups Milk
1 Beaten Egg
6 tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 oz. Whipped Cream (optional)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Slices of Roast Turkey
8-12 Slices of Toast (may be trimmed)
Extra Parmesan for Topping
8-12 Strips of Fried Bacon

Melt butter and add enough flour to make a reasonably thick roux (enough to absorb all of the butter). Add milk and Parmesan cheese. Add egg to thicken sauce, but do not allow sauce to boil. Remove from heat. Fold in whipped cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. For each Hot Brown, place two slices of toast on a metal (or flameproof) dish. Cover the toast with a liberal amount of turkey. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the turkey and toast. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of bacon on top, and serve immediately.
  This is the genuine recipe from the Brown Hotel in Louisville.
Kentucky Pie
The "Derby Pie ®" is a trademarked name with a secret patented recipe.  Several have tried to come close to the original recipe made at the Melrose Inn by George Kern.  The pie is still made and sold by Kerns Kitchens.  This is a good attempt, but probably not as good as the original.
4 whole eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. bourbon
3/4 cup white corn syrup
1 stick butter, melted
1 tbsp. flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips
1 pie shell

Beat eggs. Add next 7 ingredients to eggs. Place pecans and chocolate chips in a 10-inch pie shell. pour filling over. Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes.

Burgoo is a stew that has been made in Kentucky since the time of Daniel Boone.  It is usually slow-cooked in large batches and contains a wide variety of meats, vegetables, and spices.  Some of the earlier versions contained squirrel, opossums, and about any other thing that walked or flew.  These days, the most common meats included in burgoo are beef, lamb, pork, and poultry.  Keeneland Racetrack still serves some of the best burgoo around.
Like chili, there are thousands of variations on the recipe.  Here is a slow-cooker recipe that is very good.
1 pound lean beef stew meat
1 pound pork stew meat or chops, cut in 1" pcs.
1 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red bell peppers
3 sliced carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
4 skinned chicken thighs
4 small red potatoes, peeled if desired and cubed
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) stewed tomatoes, cut-up and juice reserved
1 can (10 1/2 oz) double strength chicken broth (such as Campbell's condensed)
1 can (17 oz.) whole kernel corn
1 can (17 oz.) lima beans, drained
1 shot of Bourbon.
Place beef and pork in a 6-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with onion salt, pepper and red pepper. Toss until evenly coated.
Layer in slow cooker, in order, carrots, onion, chicken, potatoes, green pepper and stewed tomatoes with juice. Add chicken broth. Pour liquid from corn into slow cooker; set corn aside. Do Not Stir mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 4 1/2 hours or on low for 8 to 9 hours or until beef, pork and vegetables are tender. Remove chicken. Stir corn and lima beans into mixture in slow cooker. Cook on high for 30 minutes or until heated through. Meanwhile, when cool enough to handle, remove chicken from bones and cut into bite-size pieces. Discard bones. Return chicken to mixture and heat through.

Kentucky Derby Winners War Admiral 1937 Kentucky Derby Winner Secretariat 1973 Kentucky Derby Winner Seattle Slew Kentucky Derby Winner Affirmed 1978 Kentucky Derby Winner Spectacular Bid Kentucky Derby Winner Ferdinand 1986 Kentucky Derby Winner Thunder Gulch 1995 Kentucky Derby Winner Silver Charm 1997 Kentucky Derby Winner Real Quiet 1998 Kentucky Derby Winner Fusaichi Pegasus 2000 Kentucky Derby Winner Funny Cide 2003 Kentucky Derby Winner Smarty Jones 2004 Kentucky Derby Winner Giacomo 2005 Kentucky derby Winner Barbaro 2006 Kentucky Derby Winner

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