Campfire Stew

October 30, 2009

We’ve been camping as a family for 19 years now.  We’ve developed a pretty efficient routine and had plenty of chances to experiment with cooking on a campsite.  A Thanksgiving camping trip was our tradition for many years and we did a pretty fine job of cooking an entire Thanksgiving feast with a smoker, a campfire and a Coleman stove.  Most trips now don’t involve anything quite that elaborate but cooking and eating are still a big part of our camping experience.  This campfire stew is included on nearly every trip.

The vegetables don’t require refrigeration for a day or two so it’s easy to pack them in the food box without using up valuable real estate in the cooler.  Only the meat and canned biscuits have to stay cold.

Our cast iron Dutch oven, from Lodge,  has legs and is made for cooking on an open fire.  You’ll need a good, hot wood fire with lots of hot coals.


  • Stew Beef
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Beef Bouillon or a can of broth
  • Diced Tomatoes, canned
  • Corn, canned
  • Canned Biscuits
  • Salt/Pepper (the grinders might seem like a luxury on a camping trip but they don’t clog up in the humidity like those cardboard shakers do)
  • Olive Oil (not really necessary but I had it in the  food box already)

KBP_2965Trim the green beans.  Chop the potatoes into quarters.KBP_2972Open the tomatoes and corn, saving the liquid.KBP_2977Dump the potatoes, green beans, carrots, tomatoes, corn and a couple teaspoons of beef bouillon base into a pot.  Cover it and set it aside.KBP_2992Slice an onion and crush 2 or 3 garlic cloves.KBP_2995Generously season the meat with salt and pepper.KBP_2981Barely cover the bottom of the Dutch oven with olive oil. KBP_2998Put the lid on the pot and settle it over hot coals, making it as level as you can.KBP_3006Add the meat, onion and garlic.  Stir it a bit but if your fire is as hot as it should be then it’s hard to stay close long enough to really stir and thoroughly brown the meat.  Be careful as you step around the fire that you don’t kick up dirt and dust.KBP_3008Pour in the vegetable mixture.KBP_3016Add a cup or two of water.KBP_3025Cover the pot and let it cook untouched for an hour or so.KBP_3049Carefully remove the lid and arrange the biscuits on top of the stew.  It’s going to smell absolutely wonderful when you do this and neighboring campers will wonder what you’re cooking!KBP_3056Replace the lid and throw some coals on top so the biscuits brown from above.  Let it cook for another 15 or 20 minutes.KBP_3072Remove the hot coals and brush off the top of the pot.KBP_3082Take the pot from the fire to the table and carefully remove the hot lid.KBP_3092Serve it up!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 hitendra January 16, 2014 at 4:09 am

Hard work pays off, smells good. :)


2 Krystal January 31, 2014 at 11:16 pm

You had me hooked at the first picture.


3 campfire girl February 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Yummy! Thanks for the pictures.


4 Chrystal @ YUM eating March 12, 2014 at 2:19 pm

That looks so YUMmazing! I’ll have to pin this one for a camping trip. We also like to spend time around our fire pit and this could be a lot of fun to make in our own backyard.


5 Doris June 29, 2014 at 8:56 am

Tried your delicious recipe it turned out great. I have posted photos here:


6 karenbove June 29, 2014 at 9:02 am

Thank you! So glad you enjoyed it.


7 kellie July 23, 2014 at 7:54 pm

your pictures look better than these instructions


8 Malyssa July 20, 2014 at 12:01 pm

This turned out awesome! We had to improvise a little because silly me I left the beef broth at home, so we had to use a can of beef stew we bought at the local general store, but the biscuits were AMAZING!!!! A hit with the ENTIRE family even our 2 year old!!!


9 karenbove July 20, 2014 at 8:04 pm

So glad you improvised and it was a hit1


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