Sun of a Gun Beef Stew

Total Time
Prep 0 mins
Cook 0 mins

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.

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.


Most Helpful

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.

MechanicalJen February 10, 2015

Wow! This was so good my 7yo even ate the onions! Definitely a keeper. I browned the meat, coated in flour, and softened the onions in my wok with olive oil. Then threw everything in the slow cooker. I skipped broccoli and peas as I intend to freeze the ample leftovers and those would get too mushy. For the liquid I threw a bottle of amber ale (Keith's Red Amber) in the wok after frying scraping up the bits, then added consommé to make up the rest of the liquid. And mmmm so yum :D! ETA: I was going to make & review this for Feb TOTM tag game when I realised, I've already done so lol (and spelled flour wrong)! Spelling corrected and will definitely be making again :-)

Just_Ducky!! February 25, 2011

An excellent stew that tastes better the next day and freezes well. I used wild game as that is what is in my freezer. Otherwise the recipe is the same.

Abby, Sarah & Eli's Mom February 22, 2010

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