You probably will not believe this when I tell you, but I had to put on a winter hat, gloves, and jacket today to watch my boys place baseball in Wisconsin. It’s May 14, folks. Mid-May and I, and the majority of other Wisconsinites, are wearing winter clothing. But I use that as an opportunity to get in some good old comfort food on these gloomy, cold days, especially when they fall on a Saturday of all days. This is when I introduce to you, booyah, a Wisconsin classic.
Some say that booyah, in its traditional form, takes several cooks, over several days to make. I could probably agree, especially if we all had that type of time on our hands, but remember, we are cold, and need something today, and this is where you can take a classic, start early, and have that traditional dish late in the day, and into the night.
Booyah after all, is a stew that is typically made by first creating your stock, then adding in your proteins and vegetables, simmering, and bringing all of the flavors together. These flavors just scream comfort, and this hearty Wisconsin booyah recipe is something that can be enjoyed by many.
Lets get started.
- 4 beef bones
- 1 1/2 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 medium onions, chopped
- 5 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 5 large carrots, trimmed, chopped
- 2 cups of green cabbage, shredded
- 2 cups of fresh green beans, chopped
- 4 large tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups of corn kernels
- 1 cup of peas
- 10 red potatoes, skin on, chopped
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 1/2 tbsp worchestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
- Oyster crackers
Enough ingredients right? This is super easy, and just wait, as it is well worth any energy and time spent in making the booyah.
Always begin by having all of your items ready. Begin by getting your stock ready. To a large soup pot, heated on medium to high heat, add in the beef bones, and begin to brown them a bit, only for a few minutes. To this add in about half of the chopped onions. Stir for a minute or two, and then add in your bay leaves. Now is time to add in the water. Add about 12 cups of water. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
Once your mixture has boiled, add in the stew meat, and the chicken pieces, and simmer for about two hours. Make sure you have enough water to cover all of the meat. If it is not covered, simply add a bit more. As the meat is cooking, skim off any of the junk that floats to the top and discard.
After two hours, remove all of the meat with a large slotted spoon, or spider skimmer and place in a large bowl. Skim of any remaining junk floating at the top, but keep the beef bones in the broth.
Now it is time to begin adding the vegetables, one type at a time.
Begin by adding the potatoes and carrots, cooking for about 15 minutes. Next, the onion and celery, cooking another 15 minutes. Toss in the peas, and cook for about 5 minutes, then add in the corn. After about 5 minutes, toss in the green beans. Add in the chopped tomatoes, give a good mix, and season with a bit more salt and pepper. Continue to simmer the stew for about 10 minutes.
During this time, remove the skin from the cooked chicken, and begin shredding the chicken, as well as the beef stew meat. Once all of the meat has the fat removed, and the bones, and is shredded, add it back into the soup pot.
Give a good stir, bring back to temperature, and continue cooking on low heat for about 30 minutes.
Just before you are ready to serve, add in the juice of the lemon, the soy sauce, and the worchestershire sauce. Give a good stir. Remove the beef bones and discard.
Ladle a good amount into your favorite soup bowls, sprinkle a bit of chopped parsley, and serve the booyah with a nice handful of oyster crackers on the side as well as a lemon wedge.
True comfort, and a really great balance of flavors and textures. Wisconsin does good things, and introducing you to booyah is one only one of them. I hope you enjoy.