• June 2015

How to Cook Man-Food

“Cooking for cowboys is serious business,” says Ree Drummond, whose blog, The Pioneer Woman, offers recipes for just about any dish you’d like to cook up — from peach salsa to freezer food.

Of herself, Drummond writes: “I’m a desperate housewife. I live in the country. I channel Lucille Ball, Vivien Leigh, and Ethel Merman. Welcome to my frontier!”

So what do cowboys want to eat? “They aren’t looking for the wheel to be reinvented,” Drummond believes. “They just want food that’s plentiful, piping hot, and delicious. From biscuits with sausage gravy to panfried pork chops, these recipes are the way to any cowboy’s heart!”

Drummond has graciously allowed us to share one of her favorites:

The Breakfast Patty Melt

  1. First, slice up an onion and grab some sausage. Regular sausage is just fine, or you can get fancy and use chorizo.
  2. Melt a little butter in a skillet and throw in the onions.
  3. Cook ‘em low and slow for probably 15 minutes or so, tossing/stirring them occasionally, until they’re lovely and soft and beautifully golden brown and irresistible. Sauteed onions are my life. My purpose. My reason for being. There’s nothing in life that sauteed onions won’t make better. Except my cowlick. Nothing can make that better.
  4. Put the onions on a plate and set them aside for a sec.
  5. Now, grab some sausage and form it into a thin patty a little larger in circumference than the bread you’re planning to use. Keep in mind that sausage packs much more of a flavor punch than regular ground beef, so you can go really thin and still have sausage flavor all over the place.
  6. Throw it into the same skillet in which you cooked the onions and raise the heat to medium to medium-high.
  7. Cook it on both sides for a good 5 minutes total, pressing it here and there to make sure it stays nice and flat.
  8. Now, whip up a couple of eggs (and if you’re feeling sassy, add several drops of hot sauce) …
  9. Wipe the sausagey (is that a word? I fear it isn’t) skillet almost — but not entirely — clean. Then pour the eggs into the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  10. Push the eggs into a rough circle around the sides of the sausage patty, then, when the eggs begin to set, flip the circle to the other side and let it finish cooking. Set it aside when it’s done.
  11. Now, to assemble the sandwich: Piece of bread (I used sourdough sandwich bread), slice of cheese (I like cheddar). Add the sausage patty. Eggs. More cheese (this is a patty melt, after all!). A bunch of onions. Another slice of cheese. And the second slice of bread.
  12. Add into a very buttery skillet on low heat. Buttery skillet, because you want the bread very, very buttery and golden and crisp when it’s all said and done. Low heat, because there is a lot to heat up/melt inside this sandwich, and you want to give it a chance to do so without burning the bread. Just watch it, flip it, add more butter if necessary until the cheese is melted and perilously close to running out of the sandwich and into the next county.

Now eat! Good morning, Sunshine!

See this illustrated recipe, and more, at thepioneerwoman.com.

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