Red Flannel Stew (sallye) Recipe

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sallye bates


This is a traditional "Wild West" recipe favored by chuck wagon cooks who didn't have access to refrigeration. My grandpa told me that it was named Red Flannel Stew because it was warming on a cold winter's day. Makes sense to me.

Whatever else it's called, it has to be called delicious. Enjoy.


★★★★★ 1 vote

4 to 8 depending on appetite
5 Min
20 Min
Stove Top


  • 2 Tbsp
    bacon drippings (or oil)
  • 1 large
    white onion
  • 1 medium
    hatch or other chile pepper
  • 2+ c
    cooked pinto beans
  • 1 can(s)
    corned beef (12 oz)
  • 1 can(s)
    diced tomatoes (14-16 oz)
  • 1 or 2 tsp
    chili seasoning mix (to taste)
  • 8 oz
    cubed cheddar cheese
  • 6 +
    flat cooked tostado shells
  • 3 to 4
    green onions (optional)
  • ·
    cilantro sprigs (optional)
  • ·
    sour cream (optional)



  1. Open can of corned beef and shred into bowl. Set aside for later use.
  2. Peel and quarter onion
    Cut chile pepper in half and remove stem, seeds and membrane.

    Place in food processor together and pulse until finely diced.

    Reserve for later use.
  3. Cube cheddar cheese into bite sized chunks, or you can buy cheese already cubed to save time.

    Slice green onions into thin pieces, green part included.
  4. Place bacon drippings or oil in heavy (cast iron preferable) skillet over medium high heat.

    When oil is hot, pour onion/pepper mix into the skillet and cook, stirring often with wooden spoon, until onion begin to brown.
  5. Add one cup of beans and mash into a paste, blending into the onion/pepper mix well with wooden spoon.
  6. Add shredded meat, remainders of beans, tomatoes, and spices into mixture.

    Turn heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring frequently to avoid burning until heated thoroughly.
  7. Add cubes of cheese to mixture and continue heating until cheese is melted.
  8. Serve on tostado shells. Best if eaten while still hot.

    Garnish optional with chopped green onions and cilantro sprigs, and a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Printable Recipe Card


Course/Dish: Tacos & Burritos
Main Ingredient: Beans/Legumes
Regional Style: Southwestern
Other Tags: Quick & Easy, For Kids, Healthy

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