COWBOY POTATOES by CHERYL PIERSON

 

Hi everyone! I was thinking about how much I love fried potatoes tonight when I was making them for dinner. Those are a great “comfort food” to me, and one I don’t think I’d ever get tired of. But I imagine the cowboys of yesteryear grew sick of the fare they ate constantly–beans, chili, stew, potatoes, and the like–when they were on a cattle drive. 

 

Dinner time at a cowboy’s camp, banks of the Yellowstone, Montana, U.S.A. Original source: Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views. 

 

 

 

Here’s another awesome picture that is around 120 years old–Wonder what they’re having to eat? Chili? Beans? Maybe biscuits and gravy? Or…POTATOES??? These color pictures were produced using a method called photochrom. This is making colorized photos from black and white negatives through the direct photographic transfer of a negative onto lithographic printing plates.

It was invented in the 1880s and by the 1890s, was extremely popular (when this image was shot). Credit: Mediadrumimages/PublicDomain

Here’s a really good recipe for — what else? COWBOY POTATOES!
  • 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1?4 cup onion, diced
  • 1?4 cup bell pepper (or jalapeno for spicier fare!), diced
  • salt and pepper
  • Peel potatoes, if desired or leave the peel on and cut into 1/2″ cubes.
  • Heat oil in large skillet.  Add the potatoes, spreading into a single layer. Let them get  brown on one side before stirring.
  • Stir the potatoes, and let them brown on another side. Stir once more, and add the pepper and onion. Cook until the onions and peppers are tender. If the potatoes are not done, reduce heat to low and cover the skillet until they’re done.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

YUM, YUM! Hope you enjoy these! Do you have a favorite potato recipe? I’m sure we have a LOT more variety than the cowboys did! Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win some great prizes!

 

Cheryl Pierson
A native Oklahoman, I've been influenced by the west all my life. I love to write short stories and novels in the historical western and western romance genres, as well as contemporary romantic suspense! Check my Amazon author page to see my work: http://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson
I live in Oklahoma City with my husband of 40 years. I love to hear from readers and other authors--you can contact me here: fabkat_edit@yahoo.com
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88 Comments

  1. HOMEMADE SCALLOP POTATOES:
    Boil quarter of an inch or thinner slice potatoes. 4 to 5 potatoes
    After boiling I drain them and set to the side.
    In bowl I put a few pieces of butter a few chopped onions then a layer of potatoes and cheese your choice of cheese.
    Repeat: put onions, butter on top of cheese, salt and pepper, potatoes then cheese
    Repeat

    I don’t have a recipe, we just guess our measurements. Granny taught my mom then she taught me.

    1. Oh, Pam, that sounds so wonderful! I love scalloped potatoes and my mom didn’t make those much–I think maybe my dad didn’t like them or something. Can’t imagine anyone NOT liking them, and this recipe sounds absolutely wonderful and EASY!

  2. I love potatoes. Every Thanksgiving I make a dish I believe came from Scotland. Just simply mix asked potatoes & mashed turnips together with a little cream & butter added. I grew up having this side dish and continued making it. My kids all said “it’s not Thanksgiving without this”.Add some gravy and you’re in Heaven 🙂

    1. I have to stay away from potatoes now, too many carbs! I love potatoes prepared any way, shape or form!

      1. Oh, Melanie! How awful! I’m sorry–I tell you, if I had to not eat everything the doctor says stay away from, I would have nothing left to eat. So I try to just eat in moderation and it has worked, but good grief I miss those days of being able to just sit down and eat and not even know what a carb was, don’t you?

    2. Carol, I love them, too. I don’t think I could live without potatoes. LOL I have never had turnips! My parents ate a lot of those growing up here in Oklahoma during the Dustbowl and I think that they neither one ever wanted to see another one, so I never had one before. This sounds like something I would like, because I’m all about vegetables and finding new ways to used them. Turnips always looked good to me, and this would be a good variation on mashed potatoes for a change.

      1. Together they are so delicious. I always use a few more potatoes then the one average sized turnip. Cutting turnips can be a job. So instead of cutting & dicing it’s easier to just cut pieces off the turnip until it’s all slice.

        1. Now see, I would never have known that if you hadn’t mentioned it, so thanks for that! Don’t you wonder how they cut turnips up “back in the day”? Maybe “pa” took an ax to them! LOL That would probably be the easiest!

    3. My favorite potato recipe is what I call Poor Man Stew.
      Peel 5 to 6 potatoes and cut into chunks.
      Boil
      Cut a package of hot dogs into small slices.
      Dice a medium onion in small size pieces.
      Add to boiled potatoes. Do not drain the potatoes.
      Mix 1 1/2 cps milk with 4 tbsp flour and pour into the potato mixture and thicken to make stew. Enjoy.

      1. I love that idea, Charlene! WOW–I know hot dogs are not the best thing in the world for us to eat, but anymore, gosh WHAT IS???? That sounds awesome!

        1. Thank you. I remember eating this as a child. My mom raised 6 children by herself.

          1. Charlene, I meant to comment on this yesterday. I wanted to say, I’m amazed at single moms who manage to raise even one child alone, much less SIX. I SO admire your mom! She must be a very very strong woman. That must have been so hard.

  3. Finnish potato rieska! There are different versions, and I usually don’t bother looking at a recipe. I just take the mashed potatoes I have left from a meal and add all the other stuff. Here’s one recipe:
    1.2 cup mashed potatoes
    1 tl salt
    (1 egg)
    0.8-1.2 cup flour

    1. Preheat oven to 390F and line baking trays with baking paper.

    2. Add salt (and egg) to mashed potato, add flour and mix until smooth. Using two spoons, scoop portions of the dough onto the trays. Flatten the breads with flour-dusted fingers.

    3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, spread some butter or margarine on them and serve warm.

    1. Oh, Minna! This sounds like some great comfort food! I love this idea. I will be trying it , for sure–I have leftover mashed potatoes often because I make them a LOT.

    2. Loaded baked potato soup!
      There are so many recipes for it out there. Potatoes, cream, butter, cheese, bacon, etc!!

      1. YUM, KATE! That sounds soooo good! Gosh, I’m hungry now, and guess what? I am OUT of potatoes! Good thing it’s spaghetti tonight–and a trip to the store tomorrow!

    3. Minna,
      That is also a Norwegian way of making potato pancakes. My Granddad was Norwegian, these were a favorite!

      1. I’m enjoying seeing these recipes that are Finnish and Norwegian–I know nothing about cooking from that part of the world, so this is really interesting to me!

        1. Pancakes? My mom makes potato pancakes, too, but those include also milk and she makes them either on a pan or puts one big pancake in the oven. Rieska is bit more like flat bread than a pancake.

          1. That all sounds wonderful. I love pancakes of any kind! LOL

            1. Here’s one for a pancake (lettu, lätty, räiskäle, ohukainen) in the pan and also for a pancake (pannukakku) in the oven:
              Pancakes (Ohukaiset)
              2.11 cup milk
              0.8 cup flour
              2 eggs
              c. 1/2 tsp salt
              1. Mix the flour and the milk. Add the salt and beat in the eggs. Let the batter stand for a minute before frying.
              2. Fry pancakes on a hot pan, greased with butter or margarine.
              3. Serve with sweet jam.

              To make a sheet pancake from the same batter, pour into a greased baking pan or frying pan and bake in the oven at 225° C until golden brown.

              If you want potato pancakes (or carrot pancakes etc.) just add some mashed potatoes. And instead of sweet jam you can fill pancakes for instance with minced meat (+onion, spices and cheese).

              1. THANK YOU! So much “good” here!

              2. Oops, 225°C =437°F. You can also add banana (mashed) on the pancake batter, but then you have to fry them in lower temperature. Spinach pancakes are good, too.

                1. Thanks for letting us know, Minna. It all sounds sooooo good.

  4. My mouth is watering just reading your Cowboy Potatoes recipe, Cheryl! I must try that. My Mother made them a lot as a side for a quick Saturday night dinner, very similar to your recipe. Yum.

    I like the photos you included too. Amazing what they could cook over a camp fire.

    1. Sharon, I worked at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum here in Oklahoma City many years ago, and we had a huge chuckwagon gathering every Memorial Day weekend. You could “buy a bowl” for $5 and carry it around to all the different chuckwagons to taste what they cooked around the campfire-stew, biscuits, chili, and cobbler, even!A lot of it they made in dutch ovens and covered them over with coals from the fire. It was all wonderful!

      I love old photos, and I was thrilled to see the collection of photochrom pictures. There were several of those and they were so interesting!

  5. Avatar

    We love potatoes anyway in this household! My personal favorite is twice baked potatoes. I don’t use a recipe but this is what I make. Bake the desired amount of potatoes until tender @ 375° then allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Slice off a thin portion of the top of the potatoes and scoop out the inside of the potatoes leaving a thin layer in the skins. Return these to oven until crisp. Mix in a bowl interior of potatoes, sour cream, salt, pepper, chopped green onion, shredded cheddar cheese, and milk until smooth and return to potato shells. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Sometimes I add crushed bacon and/or for an even creamier potato I add cream cheese.

    I’m loving these potato blogs. I don’t think I’d ever get tired of potatoes as long as they’re made different ways. I love scalloped potatoes too.

    1. Stephanie, I have not had those for the longest time, and I’m so glad you mentioned them here! I love those things, and had just forgotten about them. SO GOOD!

  6. love potatoes, mashed,fried,baked, ect. here is a recipe for garlic ranch baked potatoes about 4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed, leave the skin on but cut out the bad spots, i cut my potato by halving and then taking the half and cutting it in to 4th. and then i cut the 4th again. so once all cut, rinse them put in a zip lock back with one cup of ranch dressing, and 1/2 tsp of garlic, and about 5tbs of oil, let them all marinate for a good 2 hrs, put in a 9×13 bag with foil and bake 400 degrees for 45 minutes, i have to cook mine almost an hour because our oven cooking time is off for everything

    1. OH WOW, Elaine! Those sound wonderful! Hubby has cut out most meat trying to keep heart healthy, and we eat a lot of potatoes, so this will be a great variation and something new. Those sound easy and really good. I love ranch dressing and I love garlic! LOL

  7. I just enjoy potatoes. I did find a recipe I like but I lost it. I shall keep looking.

    1. I do too, Debra. ANY kind of potato is good with me! LOL Yes, if you find the recipe please post it–we can never have too many of these!

  8. My mother-in-law used to make this really good potato dish using several potatoes (of course) a can of mushroom soup and butter. Basically it’s a scalloped potato dish. It’s easy to do and cooks in the microwave. I just might have to make some now. I had totally forgotten about it until now. My husband likes them too and one year the company he worked for had a potluck Thanksgiving meal and he asked me to make them but I totally messed it up. I couldn’t get them to cook good enough in the microwave. I wasn’t used to making a big portion, so my potatoes weren’t cooked all the way through. Needless to say, I wasn’t asked to cook anything again after that. They probably laughed about it.

    1. Janine, that sounds like something I would love. Growing up, my mom made a meatball recipe with mushroom soup and something else as the gravy. We had those on Sunday a lot, and out of everything she cooked that was my least favorite recipe. But one time when my husband and I were at Mom and Dad’s she made those and he raved over them, so ever after that, I had to make them, and guess what? All grown up–I loved that mushroom gravy! I bet these would be wonderful!

      1. It’s amazing how our tastes change when we get older.

        1. It really is. I was not ever a “picky” eater, but Mom made green beans a LOT and those were not something I really liked, so to this day I will not eat them unless they’re fresh. But I love eggplant, squash, fried okra, — odd things that some people might think were “ick” and I’ve always loved them, even as a child. I have discovered some foods (like the mushroom meatballs) that I love now that I wouldn’t probably have liked as a kid, though. I guess it’s that way for everyone.

  9. In Minnesota, I like making potatoe boats. In a large skillet fill with a small amount of water (1/2 inch). Scrub potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and put skin down in skillet. Steam the potatoes. Add cheese, onions, ham, bacon, whatever you like, and steam until potatoes are tender. The water should be almost gone in the bottom of the pan. Don’t forget your favorite seasonings too. Add sour cream to garnish.

    By the way, I love the pictures shared. Thank you!

    1. Oh, Kathy, that sounds delicious! I have never had those. But…I’m GOING to! Hubs had some business trips to go to in Minnesota (we live in Oklahoma and he’s originally from West Virginia)that I accompanied him on a few years back. I was enthralled! A beautiful place and there was a LOT of great food there and the people were all so nice.

      I am so glad you enjoyed these pictures. I ran into some really wonderful ones while I was searching these out. I’m a huge “old picture” lover!

  10. I can’t cook without potatoes at out supper meal. I have fried potatoes every week except I slice them thin and then fry and sometime I cut up onions and have fried potatoes and onions which are very good.

    1. I have not had those in years with onions in them. My grandmother made those sometimes and they were just wonderful. I will try those–because I do love me some fried potatoes! LOL That sounds so yummy and brings back great memories.

  11. Love fried potatoes. Could eat them every night.

    1. Estella, I could too. If I was on a desert island, and could only have one food, it would have to be potatoes (yes, I love them even more than chocolate!)

  12. We grew up on potatoes, too, and my husband loves them fried like this, Cheryl. I’ve never tried jalopenos, though. He’d like that, too!

    Fun blog, filly sister. Love seeing our friends’ recipes!

    1. Pam, we did, too. Cheap, and so many things to be done with them! My best friend’s mom used to make “Spanish Hats”–that was a piece of bologna, frying in the pan, with a dollop of leftover mashed potatoes in the middle and cheese on top of the mashed potatoes. My mom never made those, but that was a special treat when we were at my friend DaNel’s house!

      I love seeing all these great recipes, too! Hugs, Pam!

  13. I love fried potatoes. They’re a go to side dish. Mashed and boiled with butter are also big.

    1. Cathy, I have to confess, there are times when I just make fried potatoes and eat them with nothing else. Growing up, we ate them with mustard. I never realized that other people didn’t often use mustard and got some weird looks from time to time. LOL But I still love them with mustard or ketchup, and another favorite, pepper gravy over them.

      Boiled with butter are one of my favorites, too.

  14. No favorite recipe, I just love them baked.

    1. Kim, I do, too. I can always eat a baked potato–and lots of times if I’m just feeling “off” and not sure what I want to eat, that’s what I’ll make.

  15. yes these fried potatoes and add smoked sausage slices and then whip up 3-4 eggs and put that in as well – so yummy and a 1 skillet supper is ready!

    1. OH WOW, Teresa! That sounds sooooooo good! And easy. I’m thinking, what a great thing to make for Christmas morning for everyone along with a pan of biscuits!

  16. Cheyrl, thank you for the wonderful recipe! I can’t wait to try it.

    1. I love that stuff, Jeannie. Kind of “spicy” but not too “hot” unless you get carried away with jalapenos, if that’s your pepper of choice. LOL

  17. I love potatoes- baked, mashed, scalloped, and French fried. I am trying to cut back on carbs, so it is killing me not to eat potatoes.

    1. Cheryl, I’m not supposed to eat them, but I do. I can’t imagine NOT eating them. What would I EAT? LOL

  18. Great blog sister fiily! The first comment by Pam L., brought back so many memories. I still make scalloped potatoes and I learned how to fix them from my Granny! Spelled exactly the same. Now I’m a Granny and enjoy them with about anything but growing up it was Meat Loaf, Scalloped Potatoes, and Baked Beans. Love your post! Big hugs, P

    1. Thanks, Phyliss! And thanks for stopping by today! Listen, I could take a pan of scalloped potatoes and just eat them out of the pan. I don’t need meatloaf or baked beans, either. Just the potatoes…LOL Hugs back atcha! XOXO

  19. Fun post! I enjoy eating red potatoes.

    1. I love red potatoes. I especially like those in potato salad or halved and boiled, with butter on them. Oh, sooooo good!

  20. All of these sound sooo good and are making me hungry for potatoes!! I LOVE potatoes!! I could eat them at every meal. I love fried potatoes as you have in your recipe. I’m going to have to copy some of these off!!

    1. Hi Trudy, I was just thinking, “Is it lunchtime yet?” LOL But alas, I used my last potato LAST NIGHT so I won’t be eating any…hey…wait a minute…WAIT A MINUTE…I have some frozen TATER TOTS IN THERE!!!! LOLLOL!

  21. I love roasted potatoes. So tasty and especially during the fall and winter ideal.

    1. Anne, how do you make yours? I would love a good recipe for those! Please share if you have one! (Especially love those simple ones!) LOL

  22. Potatoes are so comforting and give me that good feeling. My grandmother used to make the most enticing potato latkes.

    1. I’ve heard of those but never had them, Laini. I agree–they are comforting, in any form! I’d love to have a potato latke.

  23. Potato Kugel is what we make during Rosh Hashanah which is next week. The entire family loves this dish.

    1. Sharon, what how do you make it? I’ve never heard of it.

  24. Love mashed potatoes, but my dad makes these sliced potatoes with garlic and onions that is so yummy!!!

    1. Oh, gosh, Colleen. I’d love to know how to do those garlic ones. I am a garlic FREAK. Love it!

  25. My mom made those, but without the peppers.

    Loved a good baked potato.

    1. Denise, I agree. There is nothing better than a good baked potato. It was always my job to wash them and wrap them in foil and get them ready to pop into the oven growing up. Did you know you can do several wrapped in foil in your crock pot? I have not ever done it but thought it was a great idea, if I still had kids at home.

  26. I, too, could eat just scalloped potatoes for supper. I usually make them in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish and with just the two of us there are barely any left over. We often have fried potatoes with chopped bacon or crumbled sausage for breakfast. A little bit of snipped chives on top adds color and a light onion flavor.

    So many wonderful sounding potato recipes. Thank you everyone for sharing.

    1. Alice, I’m so glad to find a kindred spirit on the “nothing but scalloped potatoes for dinner” list! LOL I feel like one of those memes on FB “Is it bad to want to eat nothing but scalloped potatoes for dinner? Asking for a friend…” LOL And there is just nothing like fried potatoes–I stay hungry for those all the time.

      Yes, you are so right! Thanks to everyone for sharing!

  27. Oh I adore all things potatoes!! Loved this post and how many uses potatoes have.

    1. I love them too, Susan! So many wonderful recipes here!

  28. I think I should have been a cowboy – beans, chili, stew, potatoes. Just throw in pizza and you’ve got all my favorites! Not healthy, but tasty. Fried potatoes and the crispy bits, loaded baked potatoes, mashed, whatever, love them.

    1. Sally, I agree. What’s not to love? Though I suspect I would get tired of eating it over and over again. And I would definitely miss the pizza. I doubt they had anything like that out there, but I will say, those biscuits in the dutch oven were just scrumptious!

  29. Enjoyed reading this post. I Love potatoes also, my husband makes them on the grill, on foil, he puts some bacon strips on the bottom the foil, then he cuts potatoes round or small squares puts them on top of the bacon, he dices onions adds them to the cut up potatoes , puts some more bacon strips on top, he then wraps the foil on the potatoes to cover them up, then he puts them on the grill , he will turn the foil with the potatoes in it so that the top bacon cooks after they are done he adds grated cheese to the potatoes. Sometimes he adds diced green chile when he adds the onions to the potatoes when he is getting them ready, they turn out really good.

    1. Oh my lord, Alicia. That sounds just heavenly! And it’s always better when someone else makes it, right? I mean, it’s that way for me even if it’s a sandwich–just tastes better if someone else puts it together! LOL That sounds wonderful!

  30. These were favorites when I was growing up. My mom never did put in peppers though, just potatoes, onions, salt, and pepper. We fix them now although my husband is usually the one who fixes them. We usually do not put peppers in them. If we have it, we use bacon grease instead of oil for a bit more flavor. We love potatoes in just about any form. Love them with eggs and bacon or sausage or ham. They are a good, filling dish no matter when they are served. I guess you could get tired of them, but I would work with different add ins to keep them interesting.

    1. I like doing rebaked potatoes. Bake them, take them out and cool a bit. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the potatoes. Mix that and whip with butter, milk, salt, and pepper. At this point, you can add in what you’d like – sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder, chives. crumbled bacon, shredded cheese (I like sharp cheddar), whatever. Spoon back into potatoes skin boat, place on a cookie sheet, and bake until heated through and lightly browned. If we are having a large group, I mixed the whipped potatoes with sour cream, butter, onion, salt , pepper, and shredded cheddar cheese. Mix well and put into a greased baking dish. Back until heated through and lightly browned.

      1. These sound good, too. Someone else mentioned something like this earlier, so I am thinking I need to make these SOON. A good variation!

    2. I used to have a big can of bacon grease I used to cook with. SIGH. Those days are gone, I guess, since hubby has had to go to a more heart-healthy diet. I miss it! LOL Your recipe sounds wonderful, Patricia!

  31. Potato salad with mustard sounds good to me. But, add some crumbled crisp bacon to be really special.

    1. Oh, yes, Jerri! POTATO SALAD! One of my faves! Now someone else mentioned earlier how our tastes changed from childhood to adulthood and I will say that potato salad was not something I liked when I was a kid all that much, but I could sit down and eat it till tomorrow now! LOL GOOD STUFF!

  32. I love potatoes in sooo many ways. Most recently potato soup but it wasn’t homemaade. If anyone has a tried and true crockpot potato soup recipe I am all ears! 😀

    1. Sabrina, it’s definitely getting to be homemade potato soup time, isn’t it? Gosh, I love potato soup! And Pam Crooks posted a great recipe for it yesterday right here on her potato post for our special week that I can’t wait to try. Be sure to look at her post!

  33. Howdy, Cheryl, I’m smacking my lips. Hubs does the cooking but I’m a sucker for mashed potatoes. Loaded with cheese and sour cream on top—even better.

    1. Oh, you lucky, lucky girl! I wish MY hubs knew how to just boil water! LOL That’s awesome! And mashed potatoes….sooooo good. Good in every single way! LOL So good to see you here, Tanya! Love you, girl!

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