Frontier Recipes – The ‘Real’ Old Stuff From The Old West

“The reason so many Texas cowboys went north and stayed there was because they were tired of cornbread and sowbelly.”

– Teddy Blue

Grub Pile Poem Postcard

Grub Pile Poem Postcard from Legends’ General Store

On the Frontier Menu

Ash Cakes

Bannock or Frying Pan Bread

Beef Jerky

Boiled Salt Pork

Buffalo Stew

Fried Camp Apples

Fried Salt Pork


Hoecakes or Johnnycakes

Indian Meal Pudding

Mouse Pie


Cookie at the Chuckwagon. Click for prints, downloads and products.

Pan Hoss


Pease Porridge

Planked Whitefish

Raccoon Fricassee

Rabbit Stew

Ranch Pickles

Roast Beaver


Sonofabitch Stew


“Arbuckles Coffee and Canned Cow Won the West! “

— Unknown

Seasonings were basically bacon or salt fat, salt and pepper, and fresh herbs the settlers grew themselves.

Boiled Salt Pork

2 lbs salt pork
Assorted vegetables as available, chopped:

  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Turnips
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water

Freshen salt pork by soaking in a kettle of water at least 2 hours. If very salty, repeat soaking.
Cut salt pork into chunks and brown in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Add water to cover and bring to a
slow boil. Add vegetables and cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

only a fool argues with the cook

Only a fool argues with the cook. Poster available at Legends’ General Store.

Rabbit Stew

  • 1 rabbit dressed and cut into serving pieces
  • ¼ c flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 T Butter
  • 2 onions chopped
  • ¼ c chopped carrots
  • 1 c potatoes chopped
  • Mixed Herbs

Mix flour and seasonings together.  Coat the rabbit pieces with the mixture.  Melt the butter and fry the rabbit pieces until browned.  Put the pieces in a large pan and add the onion, carrot and potatoes.  Cover with water and season with salt, pepper and herbs.  Cover and cook for three hours.

5 thoughts on “Frontier Recipes – The ‘Real’ Old Stuff From The Old West”

  1. Your website and recipes are so great! My son is having 4th grade Pioneer Day where they dress as pioneers, go to a farm, use pioneer tools, and have “school” in a one room school house old style. They have to bring a lunch that pioneer kids would have eaten and your recipes have helped me SO MUCH! I love them! Thank you!

  2. I’m from an old Arizona Ranch family. I was taught how to make venison jerky about 1960, and it was basically your recipe, except out in the boonies we put chicken wire on top of a clothesline and sun-dried it. It was so refreshing to finally see an “authentic” jerky not made with soy sauce and sugar. Real jerky has salt and pepper. My son and I made a big batch yesterday. These days I use brisket instead of flank steak. Keep up the site! Thx! We’re doing biscuits and jerky gravy tomorrow.

  3. Serving field mice today might send your guest running, but the pioniers ate what they could to survive. I eat things today that others would not eat such as raw Suarkraut and cultured raw milk.

    I would love to try the jarred pickles that sit in the sun for two weeks

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