From chuckwagon recipes to dutch-oven favorites for your own campfire, The Cowboy's Cookbook features recipes, photos, and lore celebrating the cowboy’s role in the shaping of the American West.
Readers who don't know their cow grease (butter) from their lizard scorcher (camp stove) will appreciate the time and effort Monahan (Frontier Fare) has spent poring through newspapers and other sources from the late 19th century to come up with this guide to authentic cowboy cooking. Even if they aren't using the classic Dutch oven to whip up cowboy classics such as chili and fruit cobbler, amateur cooks will appreciate the simple and straightforward recipes for frontier classics such as coconut cake and baked prairie chicken, both sourced from the 1874 Kansas Home Cook Book. Recipes for mashed potatoes (called "Potato Snow" by the Omaha Daily World in 1886), pan-fried chicken with cream gravy, and chicken salad are virtually identical to the ones we're using over a century later. Monahan sprinkles in stories of chuck wagon cooks, called "Cookies," and the cowboys they cooked for, and even includes a bit of cowboy poetry and the occasional menu from a frontier restaurant. Though the dishes and stories don't differ all that much from other recent cowboy cuisine coverage, Monahan's dutiful research adds authenticity to her compilation and is sure to surprise a few city slickers.