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Ranch vacations are a food-lover’s paradise. There are dude ranches to suit almost any taste, budget or requirement and ranch food is always awesome. In fact, our ranches often get asked by guests for their recipes to take home, so they can recreate their homemade ranch food over and over again!

If you can’t get to your favourite Summer ranch vacation this year, we don’t want you to miss out on those tantalizing tastes! We’ve put together some of our favourite ranch recipes, homemade ranch food that embraces Summer, and we’re sure will appear on your table time and time again. Bon appetit!


Elk Mountain Ranch’s Homemade Ice Cream

Elk Mountain Ranch's Homemade Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 7 cups whipping cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 13oz cans evaporated milk

Preparation:

  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients
  • Pour into ice cream-maker
  • Surround ice cream-maker with ice and rock salt. Churn until thick
  • Pour into storage container
  • Mix in thoroughly-crushed Oreo cookies
  • Freeze

Gros Ventre River Ranch’s Organic Arugula Salad with Watermelon and Feta Cheese Crumbles

Gros Ventre River Ranch's Arugula Salad

Ingredients:

Dressing

  • 1 minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1.5 cups olive oil

Salad

  • Organic arugula
  • 2 cups watermelon (cubed)
  • 2/3 cup feta cheese
  • Fresh ground pepper

Preparation:

  • Blend ingredients for the dressing and add water if mixture is too thick
  • Put washed arugula in a large bowl, top with watermelon
  • Sprinkle feta cheese over, and top with dressing and fresh ground pepper as desired

The Ranch at Rock Creek’s Sapphire Range Bacon and Gouda Frittata (cooked in a Dutch Oven)

The Ranch at Rock Creek's Dutch Oven

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1lb bacon
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 cup cubed gouda (we suggest Flathead Lake Cheese Company Gouda)
  • 2oz clarified butter
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • Pinch chilli flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1oz olive oil
  • 1 avocado

Preparation:

  • Prepare campfire. Note it is important to produce coals for effective Dutch oven cooking. Once the firewood has mostly reduced to coals, use a shovel to push the flaming wood to one side. On the other side, away from the flame, create a flat cooking surface covered with a small layer of coals (equal to 10 small pieces of charcoal)
  • Place your Dutch oven (lid on) atop the coal-covered cooking surface. Shovel an equal amount of coals onto the top of the oven. Allow the dry (no oil or ingredients within) Dutch oven to pre-heat for 10 minutes
  • Cut bacon into one-inch pieces. Sauté until crisp in another pan on your fire. Remove bacon and set aside for later
  • Prepare garnish. Halve cherry tomatoes and chop parsley. Halve avocado and cut into small pieces. Place all in a bowl. Add lemon juice, salt, chilli flakes and olive oil. Toss and set aside
  • Cube cheese and set aside
  • Whip eggs thoroughly in a bowl until they lighten. Add scallion and whip together
  • Using thick oven mitts, remove lid on the Dutch oven, placing it on the rocks of your fire ring. Keep some coals on top to retain even cooking temperature while it rests
  • Add clarified butter to Dutch oven and pour in eggs. Scrape across the bottom with a spatula to fold in the cooking eggs as they bubble. Repeat folding process until eggs are about one-third cooked. Season with salt and pepper
  • Add bacon and Gouda. Fold into eggs quickly. Replace lid of the Dutch oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes without peeking
  • Check frittata after the allotted time. Remove Dutch oven from coals. If eggs aren’t fully cooked, fold through one more time before serving
  • Garnish the top of the finished frittata with tomato and avocado mixture. Adjust garnish to include whatever is in season in your area. Serve around the campfire

The Home Ranch’s Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

The Home Ranch Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 2 egg whites
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon

Preparation:

  • In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients
  • In a medium bowl combine the melted butter, ricotta cheese, milk, egg yolks and lemon zest
  • Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the milk mixture, stirring until the dry ingredients are just moistened
  • In a small, dry, clean bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into the batter
  • Pour batter on a greased griddle and let it cook until bubbles pop on top. Flip and cook until golden brown
  • Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with berries

Vista Verde Guest Ranch’s Cheddar Cheese-Chive Waffles

Vista Verde Ranch's Cheddar Cheese Waffles

(Makes 8 waffles)

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup rye flour
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ⅓ cup minced fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted

Preparation:

  • Preheat waffle iron before mixing together the flours, cheese, chives, baking powder, soda, nutmeg and salt into a large bowl
  • In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites to soft, glossy peaks
  • In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, milk and melted butter
  • Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and combine
  • Fold in the egg whites until incorporated
  • Make waffles!

Alisal Ranch’s Coq Au Vin

Alisal Ranch's Coq Au Vin

Ingredients:

  • 10 all-natural chicken quarters (dark meat), leg and thigh attached
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups hearty red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 ounces bacon, diced into ¼ inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons blended oil, more as needed
  • 12-15 fresh peeled pearl onions
  • 4 carrots, sliced 1in
  • 4 cups white mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed, halved if large
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (rice flour for gluten-free)

  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 3 cups good quality chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Preparation:

  • Season chicken with 2¼ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. In a large bowl, combine chicken, wine, bay leaf and thyme. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or, even better, overnight
  • In a large Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid, cook bacon over medium-low heat until fat has rendered, and bacon is golden and crispy (10-15 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving rendered fat in pot
  • Remove chicken from wine, reserving the marinade. Pat chicken pieces with paper towels until very dry. Heat bacon fat over medium heat until it’s just about to smoke. Working in batches if necessary, add chicken in a single layer and cook until well browned, 3-5 minutes per side. (Add oil if the pot looks a little dry.) Transfer chicken to a plate as it browns
  • Add pearl onions, carrots and mushrooms to pot. Cook until vegetables are lightly browned, about eight minutes, stirring up any brown bits from the pot and adjusting heat if necessary to prevent burning
  • Stir in garlic and tomato paste, and cook for one minute, then stir in flour and cook for another minute
  • Remove from heat, push vegetables to one side of pot, add brandy and reduce for one minute. Add reserved wine marinade and chicken stock, bring to a boil. Skim off any large pockets of foam that form on the surface
  • Add chicken, any accumulated juices. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, turning halfway through. Uncover pot and simmer for 15 minutes to thicken
  • Taste, and add salt and pepper if necessary
  • Mount (melt) the butter into the braising liquid until emulsified and creamy
  • Serve over creamy polenta or mashed potatoes with braising jus and bacon

Have we got your mouth watering? Check out Food Glorious Food: What to Expect on Your Ranch Vacation and discover an amazing range of real ranch food!

You might also like to check out the sorts of food and wine events our ranches offer throughout the year – you heard it here first: ranch vacations are the next big thing for food and wine lovers!

Don’t forget to explore our ranch vacation Specials for the latest dude ranch discounts, offers and events, and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram @top50ranches and Twitter @top50ranches