This booyah recipe is a meaty, chunky stew popular in the American Midwest made with loads of meats and vegetables simmered low and slow, usually for community gatherings. It is huge on flavor. Learn how to make booyah at home.
We're cooking up a huge pot of Booyah in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen, my friends. Would you care for a bowl? If you've never heard of booyah before, I believe your in for a blast of flavor.
Booyah is a thick and chunky stew from the American Midwest. It is made with a selection of different meats and vegetables that are cooked low and slow until tender and flavorful.
It's a classic dish in the United States, hugely popular in the upper Midwest, where you'll find regional variations, such as Green Bay Booyah from the northeastern Wisconsin.
Booyah is usually made for large community gatherings where the stew is cooked in large booyah kettles in order to feed hundreds at a time. You'll find it served as church picnics to raise money for causes and other events for the masses.
You can make this in a slow cooker, though I usually cook mine in a cast iron pot or Dutch oven on the stovetop and let it simmer low and slow. Super easy.
Let's talk about how to make booyah, shall we?
- Olive Oil. For cooking down the meats and vegetables.
- Stew Meat. I use chuck roast, cut into chunks.
- Boneless Chicken. I am using chicken thighs, cut into chunks.
- Vegetables. Onion, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes, corn, peas, green beans, cabbage. You can use others.
- Stock. Use chicken stock or beef stock.
- Crushed Tomatoes. Canned or fresh tomatoes are good here.
- Seasonings. Bay leaves, salt and pepper.
- Extras. Hot sauce to your personal preference (optional), Worcestershire sauce.
How to Make Booyah - the Recipe Method
Brown the Meats. Heat the olive oil in a very large pot (at least 8 quarts) to medium-high heat. Season the beef and chicken with salt and pepper. Sear them in batches in the pot a few minutes per side to brown them. Remove and set aside.
Cook the First Round of Vegetables. Reduce heat to medium. Add the onion, peppers, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Simmer the Booyah. Add the chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, hot sauce to taste and bay leaves. Return the browned meats to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours.
Add the Second Round of Vegetables and Seasonings. Break apart any larger chunks of meat with forks, if desired. Add the potatoes, cabbage, corn, peas, green beans, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are softened and cooked through.
Taste, Adjust and Serve. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper and hot sauce. Serve with extra hot sauce!
Boom! Done! Your big pot of chunky booyah stew is ready to serve! Looks wonderful, doesn't it? Nice and chunky and full of flavor. I love booyah. So good.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Other Ingredients. You can use other ingredients to make your booyah, and recipes do vary from cook to cook and from region to region. Popular ones include short rips for the stew meat, vegetables such as rutabaga or parsnips, and flavorings like soy sauce, lemon juice or chicken soup base.
- Heat Factor. Mild. Booyah is not meant to be a hot and spicy recipe. It's huge on flavor, but quite mild. You can easily include hotter peppers to give it some kick, but this is a recipe that is perfect for several dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my booyah recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. This one is loaded with flavor. How are you going to change it up?
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
- Burgoo Recipe
- Brunswick Stew
- Pollo Guisado (Chicken Stew)
- Caldo de Pollo (Mexican Chicken Soup)
- Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- Beef Rendang
- Carne Adovada
- Sancocho (Latin American Stew)
- Hungarian Goulash
- See all of my Spicy Stew Recipes
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2.5 pounds chuck roast or other stew meat cut into chunks
- 2.5 pounds boneless chicken thighs cut into chunks
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 large green pepper chopped
- 2-3 jalapeno peppers chopped (optional, for some spice factor)
- 3 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 celery ribs chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 8 cups chicken stock or use beef stock
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes canned or fresh
- Hot Sauce to taste + more for serving
- 2 bay leaves
- 1.5 pounds potatoes peeled and diced
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1.5 cups corn frozen or fresh
- 1.5 cups peas frozen or fresh
- 1 cup green beans chopped (frozen or fresh)
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a very large pot (at least 8 quarts) to medium-high heat. Season the beef and chicken with salt and pepper. Sear them in batches in the pot a few minutes per side to brown them. Remove and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, peppers, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add the chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, hot sauce to taste and bay leaves. Return the browned meats to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
- Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours.
- Break apart any larger chunks of meat with forks, if desired.
- Add the potatoes, cabbage, corn, peas, green beans, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are softened and cooked through.
- Taste and adjust for salt and pepper and hot sauce. Serve with extra hot sauce!
Bouja is the best! In the upper midwest we have church feeds with this.
Mike Hultquist says
Is there a substitute for the corn? Can Pozole be used as a substitute?
Mike Hultquist says
You can use pozole, Jerry, or even cut out the corn. Use your favorite veggies for this recipe.
John Houpt II says
Mike, first tanks for the cookbook. The meal looked so good on the email, I had to get my beef knuckle & chicken pieces out of the freezer to start thawing. I'm going to lightly season and then smoke the beef and chicken, using alder, beech or peach (just want a light flavor) to IT and then make the meal with some Italian roasted jalapeño peppers.
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says
Sounds wonderful, John. I love it, all that extra flavor from the smoke. Just perfect. I'm sure it will be enjoyed.
Paul Marcelina says
Looks great Mike as usual. I am making this over the weekend. I gave it 5 stars as everything you share with us is out of this world.
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says
Thanks, Paul! This one's nice and hearty! Enjoy!!