Nostalgia and curiosity bring back the chuck wagon experience from yesteryear

How many  westerns have you watched with a cowboy cook standing in front of a chuck wagon, steam wisping up out of the enamel coffee pot while he stirs something crackling in the cast iron frying pan over an open flame? Well, I can tell you that if you have ever wondered how that would look, smell, or sound in real life, now is your chance.
Local rancher Larry Hauser is perfecting the art of chuck wagon cooking and bringing a little bit of yesteryear back to the prairie.  Larry says he got started when he purchased a smoker. “I liked the way the food tasted, so I got a couple of dutch ovens and started experimenting with recipes at home. Word traveled through the neighborhood, which led to more dutch ovens, supplies, and a chuck wagon built on a trailer base. I like to cook with cast iron and I just love the cowboy way of life, so why not combine them.”
Larry has been busy this spring traveling to various neighbor ranches to provide meals for the branding crews. He has cooked for crowds upwards of 50 people. Larry says he has quite a few recipes he has tested to offer. “I like to change up the menu. It keeps things fun.” In talking to those who have attended a branding and been lucky enough to enjoy Larry’s cowboy cooking in the cast iron over the open flame, all agree that everything is amazing. Especially, the biscuits and gravy for breakfast and then Meat, taters, and baked beans for lunch. Don’t be fooled, these aren’t just plain old roast, taters, and canned beans. A lot of time and ingredients go into creating a meal worthy of the term gourmet. 
“Good food and good company are always a great combination. It’s really neat to see a generation that remembers sheep wagons dotting the prairie and cooking in cast iron on a wood stove feel nostalgic, while younger generations get a sensory experience of how their grandparents and great grandparents lived out here on the prairie all those years ago.” said one branding crew member. 
I’m sure those who have had the pleasure of this experience would agree that Larry’s chuck wagon experience is more than just great tasting. It is keeping our country heritage alive and creating memories that will be passed through yet another generation out here on the prairie. 
Larry plans to have his chuck wagon available for brandings, fall cattle working, and other special events as time allows with work at his ranch. 
You can find many more pictures of Larry’s chuck wagon adventures on our Facebook page.
In the words of Larry, “We’ll see ya out on the cowboy trail.”

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
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