Old-fashioned Cowboy Stew is a hearty combination of beans, veggies and meat for a stick-to-your ribs meal that will satisfy even the hungriest eaters in your bunch.
Grab your favorite skillet or dutch oven and make this easy cowboy stew tonight.
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I love easy meals. But I don’t love easy meals that leave you unsatisfied and wanting more.
In my house, we want meals that cook quickly and fill us up. If clean-up is a breeze and there is a chance of leftovers that we can reheat for lunch, you can guarantee a recipe will make it on our regular rotation.
Texas cowboy stew with ground beef is the epitome of simple yet filling. This one-pot wonder is loaded with beef, smoked sausage, beans, potatoes and veggies.
Do you like meals that only take about 5 minutes of prep work? Me too! And while the easy cowboy stew simmers on the stove, you can learn how to make Jiffy cornbread taste better (for serving with cowboy stew, of course), and you’ll have dinner and a side ready in no time.
More Easy Yet Filling Meals
What Is Texas Cowboy Stew?
During the late 1800s, unbranded cattle were prevalent across Texas.
Large groups of cowboys would head out on trail drives to round up the cattle to bring them to markets in other regions of the country where they could fetch higher prices.
Trail drives could take up to three months to complete and the hungry cowboys worked hard and ate a lot.
Chuckwagons, essentially kitchens on wheels, traveled with the trail drives and stocked beans, potatoes and other essentials for keeping the men well fed. Beef was plentiful and butchered as needed.
Cooking was done on the trail, typically over a campfire using a cast iron dutch oven or pot. Meals of stewed meat with whatever extras were available could feed a crowd.
Although the recipe varied with the availability of supplies, the easy cowboy stew fueled the Texas cattle drives for years.
How to Make Old-Fashioned Cowboy Stew
It’s really easy to make this “cowboy goulash.”
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Ground beef
- Kielbasa or Smoked Sausage
- Diced Tomatoes
- Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies (such as Rotel)
- Pinto Beans
- Russet Potatoes
- Beef Broth
- Chili Powder
- Salt and Pepper
How to Make It:
(Full printable recipe is available below)
Cook the meat. First, you’ll brown the ground beef and onions, crumbling it with a spoon as it cooks. Add the minced garlic and the smoked sausage and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Simmer. Next, you’ll add the remaining ingredients and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover and simmer for about an hour.
Season and serve. Last, you’ll add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Notes and Adaptations:
- Feel free to serve with toppings, such as shredded cheese, sour cream, corn chips, etc.
- You can change up the veggies to use whatever you have on hand.
- You can use ground turkey or venison in place of the ground beef. Feel free to use any kind of sausage you prefer, such as turkey, chicken, kielbasa, smoked sausage, etc.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 TBSP minced garlic
- 12-oz kielbasa or smoked sausage, sliced into rounds
- 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
- 10-oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies (such as Rotel)
- 15-oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 15-oz can corn, drained
- 15-oz can peas, drained
- 2 medium russet potatoes, diced
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a dutch oven or large skillet, cook the ground beef and onions together over medium-high heat, crumbling the beef as it browns. Once beef is cooked through, drain any excess grease.
- Add minced garlic and sliced sausage and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for about an hour, to allow the flavors to meld.
- Add salt and pepper to taste prior to serving.
Feel free to serve with toppings, such as shredded cheese, sour cream, corn chips, etc.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 715Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 1578mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 9gSugar: 13gProtein: 43g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.
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