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The Apache name for this bread can be tsegustei meaning “cooked on a rock” or chigustei which means “cooked on embers.”  These days it is ordinarily cooked on a griddle.  Chigustei resembles a thick version of a Mexican-style flour tortilla. It has been a familiar Apache food item for a long time and is mentioned in accounts from the 1800s.  Chigustei is very good served with boiled meat.  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortning
  • ¾ cup warm water

Blend shortning with dry ingredients.  Add water.  Mix well.  Knead lightly.  Let the dough rest, covered in a warm place for 30 minutes.  Divide dough into 6-8 pieces.  Keep the dough covered until it is used.  Take a piece of the dough and roll it into a flat circle no more than ¼ inch  thick and cook on a non-stick griddle or lightly greased iron griddle over medium-high heat turning the bread over once.  They should have dark speckles on one side and dark spots on the other.  Serve them warm.  They are often torn into pieces and dropped into the broth with the boiled meat.

  • 1 lb. lean beef stew meat cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt


Place all ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  This may take about 30 minutes to boil.  Watch carefully as it comes to a boil because it foams up and might overflow.  Reduce heat to simmer and stir down the foam for a few minutes until it stays down.  It can be skimmed off if you prefer.  Cover and simmer for 90 minutes.  Serve as a few pieces of meat in a bowl of broth.

To remove fat, allow to cool, chill and lift off the hardened fat from the surface.  Reheat to serve.  

Common variations: Beef short-ribs are the preferred meat to use when making boiled meat. Deer meat can be substituted for beef; black pepper, red or green chili, or chunks of onion can be added while cooking for seasoning; chunks of potato or a handful of rice (from reservation rations) can be added in the last 30 minutes of cooking.