Summer’s over, which means it’s Booya Time!

Oct 6, 2019 | eat/drink

Apple Valley Fire Department Assistant Chief Chuck Russell, front right, and Firefighter Joe Landru, back left, stir giant pots of Booya that had been cooking for almost 11 hours at station 1 in Apple Valley during the 34th Annual Booya on September 15, 2012.
(Pioneer Press: Sherri LaRose-Chiglo)

 

What is Booya? (also spelled booyahboujaboulyaw, or bouyou) is a thick stew believed to have originated in Belgium, and made throughout the Upper Midwest. Found at church picnics, small county fairs or at private booya parties throughout northeast Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Booya can require up to two days and multiple cooks to prepare; it is cooked in specially designed “booya kettles” and usually meant to serve hundreds or even thousands of people. The name can also refer to a social event surrounding the meal.

In cooking booya, one makes a base or broth derived from meat bones, to which vegetables are added. Beef, chicken, and pork are popular varieties of meat for booya (with all three often in the same kettle), with vegetables such as carrots, peas onion, and potatoes also in the mix. A wide variety of seasonings are used, sometimes lowered into the kettle in a cheesecloth bag. Typical large-scale booya kettles can hold more than 50 US gallons (190 L) and are made from steel or cast iron to withstand direct heat and the hours (or days) of cooking.

 

So as the leaves are changing; the air is growing crisp. That can only mean one thing: It’s booya time! Here’s where to get a bowl of the thick, rich stew, boiled over an open fire.
Most events benefit nonprofit organizations:

 

Oct. 26: North St. Paul VFW Post 1350, 2483 7th Ave. E., North St. Paul; noon until gone.

Nov. 9: Dunham’s Bar, 173 Lothenbach Ave., West St. Paul; 11 a.m. until gone.

 | jfleming@pioneerpress.com

 

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