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
- Green Beans
- 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)
Trim the green beans. Chop the potatoes into quarters.Open the tomatoes and corn, saving the liquid.Dump the potatoes, green beans, carrots, tomatoes, corn and a couple teaspoons of beef bouillon base into a pot. Cover it and set it aside.Slice an onion and crush 2 or 3 garlic cloves.Generously season the meat with salt and pepper.Barely cover the bottom of the Dutch oven with olive oil. Put the lid on the pot and settle it over hot coals, making it as level as you can.Add 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.Pour in the vegetable mixture.Add a cup or two of water.Cover the pot and let it cook untouched for an hour or so.Carefully 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!Replace the lid and throw some coals on top so the biscuits brown from above. Let it cook for another 15 or 20 minutes.Remove the hot coals and brush off the top of the pot.Take the pot from the fire to the table and carefully remove the hot lid.Serve it up!