“I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain just to eat weeds!”
The food on a traditional chuckwagon was often pretty basic, And it was mainly based on meat, taters, beans and bread. As it turns out, the balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates and fiber was pretty close to what a 20-year-old, still growing, hard-working cowboy needed. Well, maybe a little short on fiber. And this guy could burn the carbs! Now, with a few more winters under our belts, we might hanker for the old days, with smoke in our faces, and a little crunch of sand or charred wood in our stew, but what our bodies need is more fiber and fewer carbs. We’ve actually found that natural fats are less of the problem than sugar, so we once again have a green light for butter and maybe even a little lard! (Margarine, like I grew up on, has been found to have too much trans-fat) last week we had to cook for over 50 folks so we “whomped up” a beef stew for 75. I outright stole the recipe from Sue Cunningham and Jean Cates, the C Bar C wagon chefs. Their dad, Dick shepherd was the chuckwagon cook for the great XIT ranch in the panhandle.Stew for 75 or more
- 20 pounds stew meat
- 10 pounds of potatoes
- Eight onions, chopped
- 3 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
- Three bunches of celery, diced
- 1 gallon corn
- 1 gallon tomatoes
- 1 gallon tomato sauce
- 1 gallon mixed vegetables
Salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste
Cook meat about an hour. Add onions, carrots, celery, and cook until tender. Add other ingredients, except potatoes, then add them the last hour.
Their book “More Chuckwagon Recipes and Others” is available online
Remember this the next time YOU have to cook for 75!