One boring Saturday when college football wasn’t in season, I was channel surfing on the couch looking for something worth watching on tv, when I stumbled across “Cowboy’s Kitchen” on Rural TV–Now RFD-TV. Immediately attracted by the title, I watched an episode or two, and was immediately hooked. The host, Grady Spears, cooks everything on an open fire with a grill or cast iron pans or dutch ovens, and all the recipes are western/southwestern inspired, suitable for camp cooking (and you know how I like good camp cooking) or a backyard bbq. To add to the flavor of the show, he cooks it all outdoors with his buddy playing the guitar in the back ground and a group of a dozen or so people sitting in camp chairs watching him, and occasionally asking a question. Production values are not terribly high, but the food is good and Grady is entertaining and informative.
The first dish I’ve made from his show is his Jalapeno Beef Stew, which immediately became the best stew I’d ever made. It has a bit of a kick (though not as much as you’d think), so we’ll continue to make the kids’ “Best Stew Ever” when they’re eating with us, but the Cowboy Kitchen Jalapeno Beef Stew will definitely stay on our rotation when it’s just us grown-ups eating.
It was remarkably easy, and uses rib-eye steak, which makes for a more tender and tasty meat than your average stew meat, but if you wanted to save a few bucks, I’m sure you could just use that instead. I was tempted to do so myself, since I initially struggled with the idea of putting a perfectly good steak into a stew, but in the end, it was totally worth it. We served it with “Mosley’s Jalapeno Cornbread”, a favorite of ours, but any cornbread or rolls would do.
Unfortunately, Cowboy’s Kitchen doesn’t appear to be running on RFD-TV anymore, and the nearest thing to it, Campfire Cafe, also on RFD-TV has such painfully low production values that it can be painful to watch. I’m just glad I found the show when I did. You can also buy any number of cookbooks by Grady Spear’s, including “A Cowboy in the Kitchen”, which apparently includes this recipe.
We halved the recipe for the two of us (which is the version below) and cooked it on the stove top in a ceramic Dutch oven, but if you want to do it on the coals with cast iron, more power to you!
- 1 Pound ribeye steak, cut into bite sized pieces
- ½ Cup flour
- 1 Tsp ground black pepper
- 1 Tsp salt or seasoned salt (like Creole Seasoning)
- ½ Lg red onion, rough chopped
- ¼ Lg sweet or yellow onion, rough chopped
- 2 Medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 Garlic cloves, smashed and chopped (this is double the original recipe)
- 1 Jalapeno, finely diced
- ¼ Cup unsalted butter or 3 tbsp oil
- ¾ Cup red wine
- ¾ Cup beef stock or broth
- Heat grill or coals or turn on stove top.
- Combine flour, pepper and salt in a bowl.
- Dredge ribeye pieces in flour mixture, coating completely.
- In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter, then add onions, carrots, jalapenos and garlic, saute until just beginning to soften.
- Add meat and brown.
- Add beef stock and red wine.
- Cover and move to lower heat, simmering 30-45 minutes, until slightly thickened.