Ask the Marshall

How did the Mountain Men cook beaver tails?


Click image above for larger view

How did the Mountain Men cook beaver tails?

Vaughn Cosand

Flagstaff, Arizona

While the main diet of the Mountain Man was meat, it usually wasn’t beaver. Still, roasted beaver tail was considered a delicacy. Not so the rest of the beaver; the cook threw the rest of the carcass to the animals.


Fried Beaver Tail

2 Beaver tails

14 t. Garlic Powder

12 c. Vinegar

14 c. Butter

1 T. Salt

14 c. Sherry or cooking wine

2 t. Soda

1 t. Dry mustard

14 c. Flour

1 t. Sugar

12 t. Salt

1 T. Worcestershire sauce


Strip the beaver tails, clean thoroughly in a solution of salt water. Let soak overnight in cold water to cover, adding a half cup vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt to water.

The next day, remove from the brine, wash, then cover with solution of 2 teaspoons soda to 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Drain.

Dredge beaver tails in seasoned flour. Melt butter in heavy fry pan and saute tails at low heat until tender. Mix wine with mustard, sugar, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. Add to beaver tails and simmer gently for 10 minutes, basting frequently.

– From Northern Cookbook edited by Eleanor A. Ellis, Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Ottawa 1973 –

True Westerners

Rick Wallner

Rick Wallner

The best book on Bent’s Fort is David Lavender’s Bent’s Fort , although Mark Lee G...

Justice for Jack

Justice for Jack

Pioneer Jack Swilling should be remembered for his many contributions to Arizona...

Liberty, Not Death

Liberty, Not Death

Children soothed their thirst by scraping their fingernails on barrack windows t...

MAY 2015

True West Magazine Issue May 2015
Buy This Back Issue: May 2015

JUNE 2015

True West Magazine Issue June 2015
Buy This Back Issue: June 2015

JULY 2015

True West Magazine Issue July 2015
Buy This Back Issue: July 2015


True West Magazine Issue August 2015
Buy This Back Issue: August 2015


True West Magazine Issue September 2015
Buy This Back Issue: September 2015

True West Site Guide


True West captures the spirit of the American West with authenticity, personality and humor by linking our history to our present. Whether you call it the Wild West, the Old West or the Far West, America's frontier history comes to life in True West, the world's oldest, continuously published Western Americana magazine.

Western movie fans, re-enactors, history buffs and road warriors, we got your history covered: outlaw, cowboy, Indian, lawman, gunfighter, fur trapper, miner, prospector, gambler, soldier, entertainer and pioneer. Check out these True Westerners now!

Product of the Month

The Illustrated Life and Times of Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp

"Your book is fascinating, coupling your powerful illustrations [and] tracking...from birth to Tombstone to the legend [Wyatt] had become;...even Wyatt would approve." --By Hugh O'Brian, of the TV series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp

"Hands down the definitive books on Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday." --By Allen Barra, New York Newsday