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‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond Uses a ‘Secret Ingredient’ in Her Hearty Cowboy Breakfast Sandwich Recipe

Ree Drummond's hearty breakfast sandwich recipe is a hit with cowboys and kids alike. 'The Pioneer Woman' star adds a little extra kick with a simple shortcut 'secret ingredient' that makes all the difference in flavor.

Ree Drummond has a hearty breakfast idea that satisfies hungry cowboys (and non-cowboys, too!) and it’s so simple. Drummond’s cowboy breakfast sandwiches recipe was featured on the very first episode of The Pioneer Woman and it’s such an easy portable meal.

Ree Drummond wears a black top while cooking with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2019 on 'The Late Show'
Ree Drummond and Stephen Colbert | Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images

Ree Drummond’s cowboy breakfast sandwiches recipe uses a ‘secret ingredient’

Drummond loves to use some shortcuts in her cooking to save time and she’s got a great addition to what would otherwise be an ordinary breakfast sandwich.

She wrote about cowboy breakfast sandwiches in a 2008 blog post on The Pioneer Woman website. “Cowboy breakfast sandwich ingredients are as basic as they get: Texas toast. Eggs. Cheese. Sausage. Mayo, if you want it,” she wrote. “It’s something I love cooking for hungry cowboys, traveling salesmen, visiting dignitaries, and Orkin men. And it always elicits smiles and groans, as only hungry dudes can muster. My father-in-law has made these for years.”

Drummond revealed the one thing that elevates the sandwich to a new level. “The secret ingredient of this extremely simple and highly gourmet work of art is jarred jalapenos: Grilled jarred jalapenos,” she explained. “I picked up the trick from a short-order cook.”

She did have a word of warning, however. “If you grill the jalapenos as I’m demonstrating, make sure your stove has proper ventilation/exhaust,” The Pioneer Woman star wrote. “You’ll have to trust me on this: the fumes that result could seriously rival the most potent chemical weapon. If your stove doesn’t have ventilation, you might want to open a few windows … or put on your gas mask.”

Drummond cooks all the elements of the cowboy breakfast sandwich

Drummond demonstrated how to make the cowboy breakfast sandwiches on the first episode of The Pioneer Woman. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned on the ranch in all these years… nothing does the trick better than these cowboy breakfast sandwiches,” she shared. “And everybody loves them. The cowboys love them, the kids love them, ranch wives love them.”

She started by frying breakfast sausage patties in a hot skillet and, while the meat cooked, she cracked eggs in a bowl and whisked them with half-and-half, salt, and pepper. “If you want perfect scrambled eggs, you must use half & half. This is a law of nature,” she noted in her blog post.

Then she grilled the jalapenos after draining the liquid from the jar. Drummond put the sliced jalapenos on a hot griddle, added butter, and cooked them for a few minutes. After removing the jalapenos, she buttered the griddle to toast the bread. “The key here is to use plenty of butter as you grill the bread,” Drummond explained on her blog. “When you flip the bread to the other side, go ahead and butter up the pan again.”

When the meat was completely cooked, she set the heat to low and added the eggs to scramble them.


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Assembling the breakfast sandwiches is a snap

With the elements prepared, Drummond assembled the sandwiches, putting the sausage, eggs, and grilled jalapenos on one slice of toast, topping it with cheese, and putting another slice of toast on top. The Pioneer Woman star recommended placing the sandwich back on the griddle to melt the cheese before serving.

“When it’s nice and warm, you can wrap it in foil and deliver it to the nearest cowboy,” she wrote on her blog. “Or, if it’s all for you, just place it on a cutting board … and slice right into it.”

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.