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Cookbook Review: The Prairie Table Cookbook

Updated on March 17, 2008

Do you love delicious beef recipes? If so The Prairie Table Cookbook might be the perfect addition to your cookbook collection. This unique cookbook is written by Bill Kurtis, and features stunning photography by Michelle M. Martin.

The book is a cross between a history book and a cook book. It features an impressive collection of delicious recipes, tracing the history of American dining from the country's beginnings until modern day. Many of the recipes have been contributed by top chefs, professional ranchers, and others have been around since before the west was settled. The majority of the recipes in this book feature beef, but there are also instructions for preparing a variety of different types of dishes.

Native American Recipes

The book features interesting historical details about ranching and cooking tracing back to ancient Native American times. You'll find a number of traditional American Indian recipes, including Scrapple, Fried Meat Pies, and Poke.

Early American Military Meals

There is also an extensive section focusing on the dietary habits of the early American military. For example, there are several recipes commonly used by civil war soldiers, including Irish Stew, Buffalo Tongue (you probably don't want to try this one at home), and Hardtack (simple hard crackers made from flour, water, and salt).

Prairie Settlers Eating Habits

You'll enjoy reading about the dining habits of those brave souls who first settled the American west. You'll find a variety of recipes with roots in the early days of the western settlement of the U.S., including Meat Rocks, Meat Loaf, Flank Steak, Beef a-la-Mode (don't worry, there is no ice cream in this recipe), and Apple Dumplings.

Cowboy Dining

We've all seen images of cowboys dining on the open range in the movies, with groups of tired and hard working men gathered around an open fire enjoying simple and hearty fare. Some of the delicious cowboy recipes you'll find in The Prairie Table Cookbook include: Ranch House Pot Roast, Chuck Wagon Bean Soup with Beef, Frying Pan Supper, Chuck Wagon Scrapple, and Chuck Wagon Stew.

The Finishing Touch

The book ends with a collection of modern favorite recipes featuring healthy, grass-fed beef. Many of the dishes are favorites of the Tallgrass Beef Company. Others have been contributed by noted chefs, including Chef David Burns of Wrigley Field's Stadium Club and Executive Chef Paul Katz of Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse.

About the Author:

Author Bill Kurtis is the founder of the Tallgrass Beef Company, which is based in Sedan, Kansas. His company is dedicated to producing high quality beef from grass-fed, grass-finished free range cattle. Kurtis has worked in broadcast journalism for more than 30 years, with experience on A & E, CBS, and manning the anchor desk and Chicago's WBBM-TV.


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  • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

    Zsuzsy Bee 10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

    Thanks for sharing

    regards Zsuzsy

  • JerseyGirl profile image

    JerseyGirl 10 years ago from Jersey Shore

    YUM.... perfect for my hubby! Thanks for sharing these ideas. Much appreciated.