Mutton in Kentucky is a delicacy served most often in the western part of the state as either barbeque or the main ingredient in “burgoo”, a meat stew considered a specialty here. Mutton is certainly an acquired taste, but in specific parts of western Kentucky, its preparation has been raised to an art form.
At events like the International Bar-B-Q Festival in Owensboro or Fancy Farm Picnic, thousands of pounds of the meat are prepared and served. Mutton is usually barbequed by cooking it over a hickory smoke fire for hours, basting the meat as it cooks. It is served topped with sauces ranging from vinegar-based, hot/spicy concoctions that include red (cayenne) pepper, to sauces based in Worcestershire sauce and including black pepper and other spices. Mutton can be found at restaurants especially known for western Kentucky BBQ such as Owensboro’s Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn.