cowboy beans

Frontier food staple cowboy beans

Beans were a staple on the frontier.

Cowboy Beans and Hard Tack

Cowboy beans (also known as chuck wagon beans) is a bean dish popular in the southwestern United States. The dish consists of pinto beans and ground beef in a sweet and tangy sauce. Other types of meat can be used. The flavor is similar to baked beans but with a southwestern twist. They’re high in protein, and they stick to your ribs. They were easy to pack and store, until you were ready to cook up a batch. Pinto beans were the choice of the cowboys, and they were even better if the cocinero had some chili peppers to add spice.

Out on the trail, the chuck wagon cook soaked beans in a pot during the day. He’d set up camp and cook up a batch, but the beans would have to be eaten right away. Cooked beans spoil or sour quickly, so cowhands didn’t eat them on the trail unless they were traveling with the chuck wagon.

Another bean dish emerging in the southwest, Chili con carne became a popular dish in Texas by 1882

Watson Lake Inn at Acker Night

This past week the Watson Lake Inn team set up shop at the new Western Heritage Center on Montezuma Street. To celebrate 30 Years of Acker Night and to support the Prescott Western Heritage Foundation. We dished out  some cowboy beans with hard tack, just like in those old days and some 400 people enjoyed a sample of our interpretation of pioneer food.

Stay local – eat local at Watson Lake Inn

Stay local, eat local in the Granite Dells, Choose from one of our four suites for your visit to Prescott. We know you’ve got many options for lodging; but staying with us at Watson Lake Inn, you can be sure to indulge in a memorable experience and culinary discovery.

Looking for a unique gift this holiday season for the very special person in your life?

We have cooking class tickets, dinner tickets and for the undecided – gift certificates available.

You can order those conveniently here.

Watson Lake Inn – “Where culinary pleasures and experiences become lifetime memories.


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