Archive for November, 2013

Camping Recipe: One Dish Meal-Dinner in a Pumpkin

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Prior to your camping trip, you will need to prepare a few ingredients, which include one pound of ground beef, and 2 cups of rice.  The ground beef will need to be cooked with a diced onion, drained and then seasoned with black pepper, garlic powder, and salt to taste.  Also, the 2 cups of rice will need to be precooked. 

After the prep work is done and you arrive at your campsite, prepare a fire.  While the fire is burning, continue to prepare the dish by dicing up a whole bell pepper.  Once that is done, place the seasoned, ground beef, rice, and pepper in a large bowl.  Add to this bowl 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 can of tomato, chopped, fresh mushrooms, ½ cup of water, ½ teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and hot sauce to taste.  Then, mix the above ingredients together and set aside.

Now, cut the top off your 8 to 10 pound pumpkin and clean out.  Make sure to remove all the pepitas (seeds) and strings.  After the pumpkin has been cleaned out, pour the hamburger mixture into the pumpkin and replace with the lid.  Double wrap with aluminum foil. 


Next, move the coals around in the fire so that you have a flat surface by which to place your pumpkin and enough room to bury the pumpkin in the coals.  Once you have the place prepared, place the pumpkin in its location and cover with hot coals so that only 1/3 of the top is exposed.  Replace the “coals” often with hot coals and cook for at least one hour.

To check to see if your one dish meal is ready is easy but should only be done by an adult.  To do this, place an oven mitt on your hand and gently squeeze the pumpkin.  If the pumpkin does not give, then it needs to cook longer.  On, the other hand, if it gives, then it is done.   

To serve your one dish meal, remove the foil from pumpkin and take off the lid.  Scoop out the contents of the pumpkin along with some of the cooked pulp.   Serve with additional hot sauce, as desired. 

While this recipe is easy, it is just a guide.  Experiment with different meats such as chicken along with different spices.  A more savory dish can be made by increasing the brown sugar while a spicier dish can be made by using hot peppers verses bell peppers in the prep step. 

Camping Recipe: A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That Stew

Monday, November 18th, 2013

This stew recipe is one that can use any type of meat you may have packed for your trip or caught.  But what makes this stew excellent is the rub that placed on the meat before cooking.  Below is the recipe for this rub. 

Rub Recipe

 3 Tablespoons of fresh-ground black pepper

4 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons of salt

1 Tablespoon each of cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and ground red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Cut meat into 1-inch cubes and cover with rub.  Allow the meat to sit in the fridge or cooler overnight.


Once the meat has sat for 24 hours, place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven and pre-heat.  After the oil begins to sizzle, place the meat in the Dutch oven and brown.

After the meat has browned, remove it from the Dutch oven.  Place the following ingredients into the empty Dutch oven:  1 cup onion, sliced, 1 ring of smoked sausage, sliced, and 2 cloves garlic, minced.  Cook until the onion becomes brown.  Once that happens add the following ingredients:  1 bottle of dark beer, 2 cups low-sodium beef broth, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, and 2 bay leaves. 

Heat the Dutch oven up to the point that the stock comes to a boil.  Next, add the meat and place the lid on top.  Add 8 charcoal briquettes to the top and 4 on the bottom.  Keep rotating out the briquettes so that you always have hot coals on the Dutch oven.  Cook for 1 ½ hours and then add the following ingredients:  2 cups potatoes, chopped, 2 cups carrots, chopped, and any other vegetable and/or beans you desire.

Cook for another 30 minutes or until the potatoes are done.  Prior to serving, remove the bay leaves.  If the gravy is too thin for you, thicken it up by creating a roux with a little flour and one cup of gravy.  Stir the flour into the gravy and once completely combined, add back into the Dutch oven.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes to thicken up.

Please note:  This dish is wonderful eaten the same day it is fixed but for a real treat consider doing it the day before.  Allowing the stew to sit for a day gives the flavors time to mellow together into a tasty treat.