Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Old Time Cowboy Food

Many cowboys ate four identical meals every day, especially cowboys of the American southwest.

The first requirement for such meals was frijoles, a Mexican dish in which pink or black kidney beans were first soaked in water and then boiled, mashed together with oil and onion to form a lumpy puree and finally seasoned generously with salt and fried in bacon fat. Much like today’s canned refried beans, but a little more flavorful.  Three to six fried eggs was then placed on top of the beans. The meat most commonly served with such meals was mutton and, if the cowboy was lucky enough to have a large plate the meat would be placed alongside the beans and eggs. Cowboys much preferred beef but settled for mutton although some were served pork if it was available.

If cowboys had small plates everything was piled on top of other things, if they had a large plate food items could be placed beside each other. Seems like this would get a little old to me but when cowboys went to town they often ordered the same thing and maybe a single shot of red-eye.

Out on the range cowboys often ate canned peaches and canned tomatoes to supplement whatever they could hunt or to help make the ever present jerky taste, at least, palatable.

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