Sun of a Gun Beef Stew

Recipe by riffraff

This stew was a mainstay for many chuck wagon cooks of the early cattle drives. It was often used at social gatherings when visitors would bring a variety of ingredients. This recipe has been modernized for convenience but should be cooked in a well-seasoned cast iron kettle. It can be cooked over an open campfire, charcoal, or on a modern stove. The recipe comes to us from Scottsdale, Arizona's Festival of the West.

Top Review by MechanicalJen

Boyfriend loved it. I like it a lot. We made it pretty faithful to the recipe. We did use two turnips (they were in danger of going bad). <br/><br/>I see this as a good jumping point for modifications, later. Next time, I'll cook the beef in red wine and add a few dollops of tomato paste. I want this soup to be more tomatoey.<br/><br/>Also looks like a good receptable for root vegetables needing to be used. Parsnips, beets, whatever. I will also up the barley next time.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat oil in Dutch oven or large skillet. Add garlic and chopped beef.
  2. Brown beef on all sides.
  3. Add onion, stewed tomatoes, and 3 quarts of water.
  4. Add seasoning, tomatoes, potatoes, and onion and simmer for 2 hours watching carefully to be sure the pot doesn't go dry.
  5. Add vegetables and pearl barley and simmer covered for 1 hour.
  6. Add water as needed.
  7. Thicken stew with cornstarch.

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