What’s for Dinner? The Perfect Meal for the Kentucky Derby Weekend!

I have a menu of traditional foods served at the Kentucky Derby.  And you don’t have to be a horse fan to enjoy it.  I posted these recipes last May, so I’m adding the links to take you back to the pages where my version of wonderful treats awaits.

Mint Julep

Burgoo Stew

Kentucky Derby Pie

And you’ll want the words to ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ so that you can sing along with the crowd at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

Don’t worry, these dishes are my take on long, slowly prepared classics and they won’t absorb your entire weekend to prepare.  The only other thing you need is a hat – the bigger the better!  Wow, I’ve got to grab mine, and some fresh mint!

See you at the gate.



  1. The Kentucky Derby is always an exciting time. Do you recall a song from several years ago: “Run For The Roses” by Dan Fogelburg? I had the sheet music, and loved playing it on the piano.

  2. I grew up at the track; my parents raced thoroughbreds on the western Canadian circuit – for fun and sometimes for profit :). This post, and the reminder of this weekend’s festivities, took me right back there! Fun, fun, fun!


    1. I felt like you would know all about this event MJ. By the way, we’ve got a new horse who has the initials ‘MJ’ branded on his hip. I’ll be posting a picture of him soon but I thought of you the minute my husband brought him home.

    1. You’d like the tradition. We used to joke with our cousins from Louisville that they made it with whatever didn’t make it across the road the night before. But my version is fantastic. And this year I’m making it with all fresh ingredients instead of frozen. It’ll take a bit more time, but it’s worth it.

  3. Oh, the stew. I’m going to be backtracking to look up that recipe. And OH…the pie. I want that. I’m NOT going to tempt myself with the recipe, however.

    Idaho has a hopeful in the race for the roses this year. He’s a long shot. I have mixed feelings about horse racing…as I do with so many things! I love horses, I love speed, I love riding a horse at top speed bareback, what’s not to love about horse racing, right? Sounds like I oughta write about that…

    1. I have concern about horse racing too. But they race each other in the fields all the time. You can see the desire to outrun the other in their faces. Yet, I always hold my breath during the race, hoping none are injured.

      1. Yes, their running in the field is glorious. But that is not big business and whenever big business gets involved…well, unnatural things follow…breeding, drugs, pushing injuries… I know that supposedly those things aren’t supposed to happen but they do. But here I am, set to watch the race…conflicted…nail biting…muting all the stupid infernal jabber and then getting misty eyed when the horses are out there, doing their beautiful thing.
        Pray for no mishaps.

  4. I always love watching the Derby! And your food looks and tastes marvelous I’m sure. I’ve never had a mint julep but now I’m going to try one! Thanks for the recipes!

    1. I hope you enjoy them. As I told John, I’m making my burgoo stew with all fresh ingredients this year. But the frozen ones make a fast stew and is fabulous. Plus it makes tons so it’s great for entertaining. And the mint julep is so refreshing. I think you’ll like it.

  5. My father-in-law grew up there and his mom used to be the one who would wake up to find a whole floor full of sleeping college boys in the living room just before the Derby. It’s quite an event – always watch it here.

    1. I have family in Louisville and I’ve gotten to be there during the ‘Chuckwagon’ celebrations that happen every day during the week leading up to the Derby. It’s so much fun!

  6. Renee, oh my goodness, that Kentucky Derby pie looks delicious! I’m leaving your blog, mouth salivating and with an incredible craving for chocolate! 🙂

  7. Nom nom nom. The Burgoo sounds fantastic – I’m going to try to make it. And the pie? Heavenly. What a FAB dinner!

    1. And though there are a lot of ingredients in the stew, it makes a ton and can be made ahead and thrown into a crock pot. Friends coming over, no problem – dinner’s ready! And the pie is so rich it will go a long way. Enjoy!

    1. Watch it on television – the view is better. Then go to Churchill Downs – which I’ve done several times – and take the back lot tour that gets you in to see the horses, the tunnels underneath, Millionaire’s Row. I have a horseshoe that was thrown from one of the horses there, complete with the dirt still in the grooves. That’s my little piece of the track that I keep for good luck.

  8. Why have I not heard any poignant stories of an improbable prospect coming up through minor events — oh yeah, Cinderella story — so I’d have someone to pull for? Or did I just miss them this year?

    1. No Lee, I missed the boat – er track – on the whole backstory. My ‘real’ job, complete with union meetings and elections, of which I’ve now been elected Secretary/Treasurer has usurped my time this past week. I’m still working on finalizing the minutes. You know how it is. Sorry.

      1. No, not blaming you. There’s usually something on 60 Minutes or some other news magazine that draws the sympathy vote.

  9. Hubby and I always watch The Derby. We don’t know the horses. It just the whole experience. But after reading your post, I might wear the hat I last wore to my duaghter’s wedding! Thanks. – Maureen

    1. Sounds like a perfect use for that hat. I have a wedding hat that resides in a hat box for just such an occassion. I bet you look real spiffy in that hat.

  10. even though the race has been and gone i am still fascinated by a mint julip. I must get the makings soon, I think i will like it! c

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