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Frontier Recipes - Page 3

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Cowpunchers took just what they got - sowbelly, beans and the ol’ coffeepot.

– H.H. Knibbs


Pease Porridge

1 lb split peas
2 eggs
2 T butter
salt and pepper

Soak and cook split peas, drain liquid, and puree peas. Mash peas into a smooth puree. Add butter, eggs, salt and pepper. Pour into a greased bowl and cover tightly so it won't dry out. Steam for 1 hour. Place bowl on atrivet in a Dutch oven. Place 2 inches of water in the bottom of the Dutch ovev, cover tightly, and bake for 20 minutes at 350F. Left-overs can be sliced and fried in butter. Traditionally served with pork or sausage.



1 onion, thinly sliced
2 strips bacon
1/2 C oatmeal
salt and pepper

Chop bacon into 1-inch chunks and fry. When grease coats the pan, add sliced onion. Cook until transparent. Add oatmeat to absorb the fat, keeping the mixture thick. Stir for 7-10 minutes, till cooked. Serve with mincemeat roasted poultry, or as a main dish when the larder is bare.


Mouse Pie

5 fat field mice

1 cup macaroni

1/2 thinly sliced medium onion

1 medium can tomatoes

1 cup cracker crumbs

Salt and pepper


Boil macaroni 10 minutes. While it is cooking, fry the field mice long enough to fry out some of the excess fat. Grease a casserole with some of this fat and put a layer of macaroni on it. Add onions, then tomatoes, salt and pepper well. Add field mice and cover with remaining macaroni. Sprinkle the top with cracker crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees about 20 minutes or until mice are well done.

Buffalo Stew

1 buffalo

2 rabbits

Salt and pepper


Cut buffalo in bite-size pieces. Salt and pepper. Cover all with brown gravy. Cook over kerosene fire about four weeks at 465 degrees. This will serve 3800 people. If more are expected, two rabbits may be added. But do this only in an emergency. Most people do not like hare in their stew.




Roast Beaver

Beaver meat is similar to muskrat. The flesh is dark, tender and soft. This animal has scent glands that are found between the front forelegs, under the thighs, and along the spine in the small of the back. They should be removed immediately after the skin has been removed, taking great care not to cut into them. Beaver fat has a strong flavor and odor, and should be cut away completely before cooking. Beaver meat was often soaked in salted water prior to cooking to draw out some of the strong flavor. Another method was to cover it with boiling water to which 1 teaspoon of baking soda has been added. Then drain and cook in the usual way.

Take care to remove every speck of fat on the surface of the flesh. Soak the meat in a vinegar bath overnight. 1/4 cup of vinegar with enough water to cover the meat. Wash the meat in cold clear water. Place in a roaster and cut several slits into the lean meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put 4 stips of salt pork over the slits, and dust with a little flour. Put 1/4 cup water in the pan and roast with the lid on until half done. Add more water if needed to keep pan from going dry. Cut into small pieces, onion, celery, and carrots to fill a cup and sprinkle over the meat. Finish roasting with the lid off. The meat should be falling off the bones. Add water and flour to the juices to make a gravy.

Pan Hoss

1 hog's head

4-6 cups water

1 medium onion

6 stalks celery

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup corn meal


Simmer the first five ingredients together until meat falls from bones. Grind and chop meat fine. Neck bones (chicken, turkey or lamb) may be substituted if hogs head is not available.

Strain liquid from meat. Boil down to reduce amount or add water to increase to 4 cups. To boiling liquid add 1 cup corn meal, adding more if necessary in order to make mush thick. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Boil over heat 3-5 minutes. Add ground meat and place over boiling water for 10-15 minutes. At this time additional seasoning may be added if necessary.


1 tsp grated onion, 1/2 tsp ground sage, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, dash pepper, cayenne if available

1/2 teaspoon ground thyme, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon celery seed.

Pour meat and mush mixture into bread pan rinsed in cold water. Cover and cool over night. Fry slices in slightly greased pan using bacon fat.

Sonofabitch Stew

From the guts of a young calf:


Liver – small amount




Marrow gut


Cube the top five meats. Add them to a hot Dutch oven that has a small amount of lard melted in the bottom. Brown the meats. Slice the marrow gut and add it to the pot. The brains are cooked in a separate pan and a few tablespoons of flour are added to thicken them. They are then added to the pot. Add a diced onion, salt and pepper. Cover in water and allow to cook for 304 hours (yes, we really mean 304 - not a misprint.) Continue to stir and do not allow it to stick.

Fried Salt Pork

Soak the slabs of por in water overnight, or boil and pour off the water. Dredge in flour and fry in a greased skillet until golden brown.  Instead of flour, you can dip it in a thick batter of cornmeal, flour and water.



More Frontier Recipes Next Page



Cooking Beans,



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