Book Review: Cooking the Cowboy Way

Book Review: Cooking the Cowboy Way

Recipes inspired by campfires, chuck wagons and ranch kitchens.

By Grady Spears with June Naylor Andrews McMeel Publishing $29.99, October 2009

“When you wake up with the sun and to the smell of coffee on the boil and biscuits from the chuck wagon, you are living the cowboy way.” So begins the new cookbook by native Texan and cowboy-turned-chef Grady Spears and food journalist June Naylor.

Flipping through the book, eyes feasting on the sun-drenched photos of wagon wheels and hearty meals, you can almost hear the triangle ringing and the ranch hand's call of “Come and git it!”

With each chapter, you'll sidle up to a different region of the country and menu ideas galore. Hearty fare like Chuck Wagon Stew and Squash and Hominy Casserole would be great for winter menus with a down-home flavor.

Also intriguing are recipes for Little Yammers, baby sweet potato pies from Gates Bar-B-Q in Kansas City, and Dutch's Frito Pie (one version of the “big deal” Texan favorite) that looks like a great candidate for one-bowl applications.

Flavors are strong and sultry in recipes for Wildcatter Steak Rub, a versatile rub for many cuts of meat; and Spicy Barbecue Sauce, a balance of spicy, tart and sweet that will work on lamb, pork ribs, beef brisket, chicken and sausage. Also, don't miss Mole Sauce for Poultry, an easy recipe for a traditionally complicated sauce.