Sloppy Joes. It doesn’t initially make people’s mouths water. There’s a certain skepticism about the idea. Sloppy Joes? That’s what they served in the cafeteria. When they ran out of real food. Adam Sandler. It’s just bad. But we decided to try it anyway in our dutch oven, camped along our favorite spot on the Eel River, and guess what? It was damn good! And our friends even had seconds. So there. Recipe below.
12″ dutch oven
2.5 lbs ground beef
2 tablespoons butter
half a large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 cups of ketchup
1 cup of water
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt + pepper
Buns of your choice
A lot of this you can prepare at home so you have it ready to go to toss into your hot dutch oven. So at home dice your onion, green pepper and garlic and throw into a ziplock. Also at home combine in another bag the brown sugar, chili powder, and red pepper flakes. Get your fire nice and hot with a good bed of embers. Find a snug spot for your dutch oven and get it heated, which only takes a minute, but make sure it’s not getting too much direct flame.
Melt the butter in the dutch oven, then add your ground beef and cook/stir it until it’s all brown. Try to drain most of the fat if possible. Then add in the contents of your onion/pepper/garlic bag, and let these cook until they are getting soft. Squeeze in your ketchup, and then add in the seasoning bag, salt + pepper to taste, Worcestershire sauce, and the water. Stir this all up and then let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
Now you are ready to feast. Toast up your rolls on the fire and top them with a helping of Sloppy Joe. Take a big messy bite, and enjoy!
1 Packet of Taco Seasoning – mix with dehydrated beef in a ziplock at home
Block of cheese of choice
Bell Peppers (optional)
Hot Sauce Packets (steal from your local taco bell)
Boil two pots of water (one full, one 1/4 full). In the full pot toss in the instant rice packets (follow the box instructions, usually needs to boil for 10 min). In the 1/4 pot, stir in your dehydrated beef with taco seasoning, add more water if needed. Keep cooking and stirring for about 10 min until the beef is hydrated and tastes flavorful. Meanwhile have a friend heat the can of beans in the fire, or re-hydrate your dehydrated beans in the third pot.
As an extra not-necessary-but-delicious addition, we fire roasted some bell peppers. Once hot and lightly charred, slice up for serving. Slice up the avocado. Slice up the cheese into thin easily meltable shreds. Display your hot sauce packets.
Once everything’s cooked, lay out your tortilla, load it up with all the fixings of your choosing, and roll it up tightly. Burritos!
We love jerky; we love it on the trail, we love in our house, we love it when we are driving in our car from our house to get on the trail. If you’re like us, and can get your hands on a dehydrator, this super easy recipe might be for you. A disclaimer: while we are all about making our own marinades, rubs, etc… when something is done well for you, there is no need to screw with it. Soy Vay is by far the best teriyaki flavor for meat (poultry, beef, pork, fish) we have ever come across and thus we use it. Feel free to judge but, you’re the one missing out.
2lb London Broil (yields 3/4 lb jerky)
Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki
So easy! First, take your cut of meat and put in the freezer for a couple hours, this will make it easier to slice thin. Once the meat is a bit more firm, not frozen all the way, slice it into 1/4″ strips. From there marinate your strips in Soy Vay – Veri Veri Teriyaki overnight.
Next, you will lay out your marinated strips on your dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 160 degrees for 10-12 hours taking a paper towel and soaking up any moisture periodically as the meat dries. That’s it, that’s all. Take it out and enjoy it, we aren’t sure how long it keeps, but chances are it won’t last that long anyway.
One of our favorite things to cook in cast iron is cornbread. This time we decided to try it out over the fire to go with an easy-speedy version of Chicken Gumbo. Now Gumbo Purists may scoff, but for a fast, flavorful and we think quite tasty stew cooked over a fire, this does the trick. The spice heats up your body real fast, making this great for a chilly night.
Chicken & Okra Gumbo
12″ Dutch Oven
cutting board or cardboard
medium heat fire
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2-4 tablespoons of secret Gumbo spice, depending on how spicy you want it
2 red bell peppers, chopped [tip: chop these, onions and garlic at home so it’s ready to go]
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt + pepper
4cups water or chicken broth
1 package (10 ounces) frozen, cut okra
1 package of smoked andouille sausage (precooked), chopped into half-rounds
1 rotisserie chicken (about 2 1/2 pounds), meat shredded – remove skin and bones [do this at home too]
Place the Dutch Oven in the fire, where it’s over decent heat but not ragingly hot. Heat up the oil then add the flour and a few pinches of the Gumbo Spice to make your roux, and keep stirring it constantly until golden (this happens quickly over the heat, about a minute or two). Add in the red peppers, onion, garlic and oregano, season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add 4 cups of water or chicken broth to the mix. Add the Okra in. At this point if you have vegans or vegetarians with you, let this cook for a bit (add more spice, salt and pepper to flavor), and then let them eat. Then add in the sausage, and let that cook for about 10 minutes to let the flavor set in. Lastly, add in the shredded chicken. Once it’s fully warm, dig in and serve with a piece of fresh cornbread (see below for recipe).
Click below for full cornbread recipe and more photos!
Everyone loves a good camping breakfast. While bouncing around the Plumas National Forest, we decided to experiment with a Campfire Quiche using Spinach, Tomato, Bacon, Cheese. It takes a while to cool, so if you want to eat it for breakfast, we recommend cooking it the night before while you’re cooking everything else for dinner. This is really great for 4 to 6+ people – we were just 2 people, so we still have quiche left that is still being eaten for breakfast (and other snack meals). Anyway, put this together with some coffee in the morning, and you’re ready for a full day!
One of the easiest Dutch Oven recipes we have come across and despite it’s ingredients being on the ‘not so healthy’ side of things, is absolutely delicious. Also, who in their right mind would turn down the opportunity to use Doritos for your car camping dinner in Yosemite. Embrace your gut and get down with this incredible campfire dinner treat from your own Dutch Oven. We served our Casserole with roasted sweet mini peppers in our Lodge cast iron skillet.
When you have the time, the space and a lot of hunger, get your Dutch Oven out and cook up a feast. It truly does take time, but it’s the best kind of time – time deserved – spent sitting around the fire and enjoying the evening light while you await the best camping dinner you may have ever eaten. While kicking back at Stumpy Meadows Lake, CA we whipped this up, served with some grilled corn and lots of banquet beer.
– Barbeque Ribs Recipe –
Tongs of some kind, or a couple sticks
Rack of Ribs
Bottle of Ketchup
Salt + Pepper
Spice Blend (Chile Powder, Cumin, Nutmeg)
Apple Cider Vinegar