Did you know?
When Cookie was finished with his work for the day and before hitting the sack, he would always place the tongue of the chuck wagon facing north. When the trail master started in the morning he would look at the tongue and then knew what direction he would be moving the herd.
Camp Cook Names: Soggy, Pot Russler, Lean Skillet, Old Pud, Coosie, Old lady, Belly Cheater, Biscuit Roller, Dough Boxer, Dough Puncher, Greasy Belly, Grub Worm, Gut Robber, Sourdough, and more.
- No one eats until Cookie calls
- When Cookie calls, everyone comes a-runnin’
- Hungry cowboys wait for no man. They fill their plates, fill their bellies, and then move on so stragglers can fill their plates
- Cowboys eat first, talk later.
- It’s okay to eat with your fingers. The food is clean
- If you’re refilling the coffee cup and someone yells “Man at the pot.” You’re obliged to serve refills.
- Don’t take the last serving unless your sure you’re the last man.
- Food left on the plate is an insult to the cook.
- No running or saddling a horse near the wagon. And when you ride off, always ride downwind from the wagon.
- If you come across any decent firewood, bring it back to the wagon
- Strangers are always welcome at the wagon.
Recipe for Cowboy Coffee
Take two pounds of Arbuckle’s coffee, put in enough water to wet it down, boil it for two hours, then throw in a hoss shoe. If the hoss shoe sinks, she ain’t ready.
Never trust a skinny cook
— Author Unknown
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Lazy B Corn Fritters
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups corn
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
Stir dry ingredients together and add corn. Then add the egg yolks beaten thick and fold in egg whites beaten stiff. Fry in hot lard. Try to use a cold bowl to beat the egg whites if possible.
Cowboy Fry Bread
- 1 cup milk
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 Tb sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 1/2-4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- Vegetable oil
Heat the milk over the stove or in the microwave until warm but not hot. Pour into a large bowl and add yeast and sugar. Stir in beaten eggs and salt, then slowly mix in flour until mixture forms a smooth, elastic dough. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until double in size (30 minutes to one hour). Lightly flour work surface and divide dough into 12 pieces roughly the size of tennis balls, then flatten into discs. Let dough rise again, about 10 minutes.
Heat oil to 350 degrees in a deep fryer, large pot or skillet. Fry dough discs one or two at a time for three to five minutes, depending on size, turning once. Makes about 12 servings.
- 2 cups dried red beans
- 2 cups dried pinto beans
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons garlic, chopped
- 3 green chile peppers, grilled and diced
- 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, grilled, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 7 quarts water or vegetable stock
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 1 teaspoon toasted coriander seed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 whole dried red chile peppers
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Soak beans overnight in water to cover, changing water once; drain.
When beans are ready, saute onion, garlic, green chiles and tomatoes in oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add water or stock and ham hock; bring to a boil. Add beans, coriander seed, bay leaf and dried chiles. Continue to boil for 30 minutes, then lower heat, cover and simmer for three to four hours, until beans are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 16 servings.
- 1 pound stew meat
- 1 pound boneless chicken breast, cut up
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cans pinto beans with jalapenos
- 2 packages chili seasoning
- 2 cans Mexican style diced tomatoes
Brown meat, chicken, pepper, and onion in a little olive oil until brown. Add chili seasoning, beans, and tomatoes. Simmer for one hour. Serve this with cornbread or tortillas, or pour over Fritos and sprinkle with cheese for a Frito pie. Serves 12.
Buffalo (or beef) Steaks with Chipotle-Coffee Rub
- 3 teaspoons ground coffee
- 3 teaspoons ground chipotle pepper (or chipotle chile powder)
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 2 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 buffalo or beef steaks (8 ounces each)
Combine coffee, ground chipotle, paprika, cumin seeds, sugar and salt. Rub mixture into steaks. Grill steaks until desired doneness. Makes four servings.
BBQ Biscuit Pie
2 Tb Canola oil 1 lb Ground Venison
1 Small onion, diced
3/4 – 1 Cup of your favorite BBQ sauce 🙂
1 Can Refrigerated, uncooked biscuits
2 C Cheddar cheese
Brown ground venison in Canola oil with onion and season to taste. Stir in BBQ sauce until venison is evenly covered or to taste. Grease a 9 x 11 baking dish and line bottom of pan with biscuits. Pour Venison mixture over biscuits. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top liberally and place in an oven preheated to 350o. Bake until cheese is melted and lightly browned on top.
- 2 1/2 lb Beef cubes.(5 cups)
- 2 Tb All-purpose flour
- 1 Tb Paprika
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- 2 tsp Salt
- 3 Tb Lard
- 2 Sliced onions
- 1 Clove garlic, minced
- 28 oz Can tomatoes
- 3 Tb Chili powder
- 1 Tb Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp Dry chrushed red peppers
- 2 cup Chopped potatoes
- 2 cup Chopped carrots
Coat beef in a mixture of flour, paprika,1 tsp. chili powder and salt. Brown in hot fat in a large Dutch oven. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Then add tomatoes, chili powder, cinnamon, cloves and peppers. Cover and simmer 2 hrs. Add potatoes and carrots and cook until vegetables are done, about 45 minutes. Serves 6.
Quick Southwest Chili
- 1 1/2 pounds hamburger or ground turkey
- 2 cans kidney beans
- 1 can pinto beans
- 3 cans black beans
- 1 can whole kernel corn
- 1 can pitted black olives (optional)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 can Rotel tomatoes
- 1 can stewed tomatoes
- 1 package Taco seasoning
- 1 package Hidden Valley ranch dressing
Fry the hamburger with the onion. When done, drain the grease and then add all the other ingredients and stir to mix well. Heat for 15 minutes or until all ingredients are hot. Serves 8-10
Missouri-Style Barbequed Ribs
- 2 tb Salt
- 2 tb Chili powder
- 1/4 c Sugar
- 4 tb Paprika
- 2 tb Cumin, ground
- 2 ea Racks of 3/down pork ribs**
- 2 tb Pepper, black, fresh ground
- 1 3/4 c Vinegar, white
- 1 tb Salt
- 2 tb Hot pepper sauce
- 1 tb Pepper, black, fresh ground
- 2 tb Sugar
The term “3/down” refers to the weight of the ribs. In this case, it is three pounds or less for each slab of 10 to 12 ribs. Combine salt, sugar, cumin, pepper, chili powder and paprika to make barbeque rub. Rub ribs thoroughly with this mixture. Place ribs on baking sheets and cook in 180-degree oven for 3 hours. Do not turn; slow cooking infuses spices. Remove from oven. (ribs may now be covered and refrigerated up to 2 days before grilling) Use very low charcoal fire with rack set as high as possible. Grill ribs 5 minutes to 30 minutes per side, depending on heat and temperature of ribs. Ribs should have light outer crust and be heated throughout. If you prefer juicy ribs, coat with basting sauce just before removing from grill. Otherwise serve dry with sauce on side. Remove ribs from grill, cut in between bones and serve.
Cowboy Sausage and Sweet Taters
- 2 Lbs Sweet Taters
- 1/2 C. sugar
- 1/2 C. brown sugar
- 1/4 C. water
- 2 tbsps. butter
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 Lb. of your favorite sausage
Parboil the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Peel and cut into strips. Place in greased oven. Mix sugars, butter, salt, water and boil in a saucepan. Pour syrup over the potatoes and bake for around 40 minutes. Place sausages on top and bake for and additional 30 minutes.
Dakota Fried Tomatoes
- 6 large green tomatoes
- Salt and Pepper
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup cream or milk
- 1 Tblsp flour
- 1 Tblsp butter or margarine, melted
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Slice the green tomatoes very thin and salt and pepper each slice liberally. Then dip these slices in flour until each is thickly covered. Deep fry in hot oil until nicely browned. Drain the fried slices on brown paper. When all the slices are fried and drained, empty the skillet of excess cooking oil. Now put in the cream or milk. Add 1 tblsp flour to thicken. Stir in the butter, salt & pepper. Blend well. Place the fried tomatoes in a bowl and pour this mixture over them. Serve immediately.
- 15 oz hominy
- chopped yellow onion
- 2-3 slices fried crumbled bacon, sausage or ham
- bell pepper (optional)
- dash cayenne pepper (optional)
- 5 beaten eggs
Saute in large skillet hominy, a handful of chopped yellow onion, and meat. Optional: Add a small amount of finely chopped bell pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper. After sauteing on medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes add 5 beaten eggs. Stir & cook until eggs are barely done.
- 2 cups corn
- 2/3 c. milk
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt
- Dash of pepper
- 1 slightly beaten egg
- 2 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
- 2 c. soft bread crumbs
Mix corn, egg, milk, and seasonings. Mix crumbs and butter and place 1/4 of the mixture in the bottom of buttered dish. Add half of the corn mixture, then another 1/4 of crumbs. Repeat layers, ending with the balance of crumbs. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve hot. Serves 6.
Venison or Beef Jerky
Jerky is practically indestructible, lasts almost forever and can be used as either a quick main meal or a basis for soups and stews. The word jerky comes from the method in which the meat is removed from the bones. It was jerked away quickly so as to eliminate many of the sinews. Three pounds of fresh meat equals about 1 lb. jerky.
Method 1: (Indian style) Hang strips of meat on racks made of willows to dry in the sun or sometimes in the smoke of the campfire for a smoked flavor.
Method 2: (pioneer) Rub strips of meat with dry salt and put in a stone crock to “season” for 24 hrs. (use no water) Then remove the strips and hang in sun or smokehouse to dry until very hard.
Method 3: Mix together 3 lbs. salt, 5 Tbsp. black pepper and 4 Tbsp. Allspice.
Skin one thigh of the animal, muscle by muscle removing all the membranes so that only the raw and moist flesh remains. Best size meat is pieces about 1 foot long 6″ wide and 2 or 3 inches thick. Rub the salt spice mixture into the meat. Be sure to cover every bit of the meat’s surface. Hang each piece by the small end to dry. If the sun is too hot, hang it in the shade. Never let the meat get wet or even damp, take it inside if it rains. Cover the meat with canvas or cloth to protect it from the dew. This will be at it’s best at a month old.
Method 4: (Modern Style): Purchase a large beef brisket from your butcher and ask them to slice it very thinly for you. Dip each strip into a bowl of liquid smoke then lay in a large deep dish. Continue to lay each strip until the bottom of the dish is filled. Then sprinkle liberally with garlic salt and lots of pepper. Lay another row of strips on top of the first, in the alternate direction. Continue to dip and season each strip. Marinate for at least 24 hours. Line oven with foil and lay strips directly on the foil very close together and bake at very low heat for hours or until the strips are very dry. Warning: This will make your house smell of liquid smoke for days.
Venison Parmesan Over Pasta
- 6 thinly cut steaks of Venison tenderloin
- 1 C Italian bread crumbs
- 2 LG eggs beaten with 1 tbsp Milk
- Olive oil
- 2 C Mozzarella cheese
- 1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce or homemade sauce
- 1 lb long, thin spaghetti pasta
- 1/4 C Parmesan cheese
Place enough oil in the bottom of a frying pan to coat (about 1/4 inch deep). Heat oil on Med-Low setting. Dredge steaks first in bread crumbs, then egg, then bread crumbs again. Place steaks in heated oil and pan-fry until both sides are browned. Then, drain excess oil from the steaks. Next, coat the bottom of a 9 x 11 baking pan with a thin layer of spaghetti sauce and place steaks on the bottom, then, add another layer of sauce over the breaded steaks. Finally, sprinkle Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese liberally on top. Bake in a preheated oven set at 375o until mozzarella cheese is golden brown on top. Serve over long spaghetti.
Old West Sourdough Biscuits
- 2 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 1/3 cup milk
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl; mix. Cut in shortening until it looks like coarse meal. Add sourdough starter to milk. Stir with a fork until moist. Do not over-stir. Turn dough out on lightly floured board, then gently pat into a 10-inch circle. Cut; place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees F for 12 minutes.
Wagon Train Biscuits
- 2 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon soda
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2/3 cup (lard) shortening
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
Measure all dry ingredients and place them into a large bowl. Cut in shortening thoroughly, until mixture looks like meal. Stir in buttermilk.
If the dough is not pliable, add just enough buttermilk to make a soft, puffy, easy-to-roll dough. Round up dough on lightly floured cloth-covered board. Knead lightly 20 to 25 times, about 1 minute. Roll out until 3/4 inch thick. Cut with a floured biscuit cutter (you could also use a glass). Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 450-degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes.
- 2-3 lb pork tenderloin
- 1 – 15oz can stewed or diced tomatoes
- 2 – 8oz cans chopped green chilies
- 3-4 whole jalapenos
- large onion
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 cloves of garlic (or to taste)
- 1- 15 oz can refried beans (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 cans chicken stock
Slice pork into small pieces and brown with garlic and 1/4 diced onion in lard. Add flour towards the end for thickener. Then add 3-4 cups of water, one can of chicken stock, and salt and pepper. Cook several hours until pork begins to fall apart. Chop remaining onion, slice whole jalapenos into thirds and add with all other ingredients. This will cook for several more hours on low heat. Be cautious as the chili easily sticks to the bottom of the pan. Taste periodically for “hotness” of the jalapenos, and depending upon taste, remove when to your desired “heat.” When close to complete, if the chili is too thin, remove about two cups liquid in a bowl, whisk in more flour for thickening, and return to the chili. Serve with flour tortillas. Great poured over burritos.
Range Riders Stew
- 1/2 lb green cooking Apples
- 5 Tbsp Butter
- 3/4 lb Beef already cooked
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- dash Nutmeg
- 1/4 lb Onions sliced
- 3 lbs cooked sliced Potatoes
- 3 cups gravy
Add Onions to melted Butter band brown, remove Onion rings, melt rest of Butter and saute Apple slices. Layer 1/3 of Potatoes, Meat, onion rings and Apples. Season with Salt, Nutmeg, and Pepper. Repeat layering until all ingredients are used. Pour gravy over top. Butter breadcrumbs and layer overall. Bake @ 350°F for 1 hour.
Got a recipe that fits the Old West! Shoot us a note or leave in the comments below. Thanks, Pard!
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