Campfire Cooking: Beef (and Beefless) Stew

Nothing hits the spot when winter camping like a hearty stew. A frozen stew can be warmed up in a Dutch oven for a meal, but you can save some weight by bringing prepared ingredients and then adding water in camp. Your group can divide the ingredients among yourselves, so that one person carries the meat, another the potatoes and so on.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg stewing beef (cubed)
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 large potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • 4 carrots (sliced)
  • 4 stalks of celery (sliced)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Note: Rosemary, pepper and parsley can be mixed together at home. Ditto for the chopped vegetables, in whatever combination your group finds most convenient for packing.

Directions

  • In your Dutch oven, brown the stewing beef in oil. To save time, this can be done at home and chilled or frozen to warm up in camp. Be patient if cooking or reheating from frozen—stir the meat frequently, and remove the Dutch oven from the heat source periodically to avoid burning the meat.
  • Crumble beef bouillon cubes and dissolve in 4 cups of water. Pour into pot. Stir in rosemary, parsley and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Stir potatoes, carrots, celery and onion into the Dutch oven. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 teaspoons of cold water and stir into the stew. Cover and simmer for another hour.

Vegan

For a vegan alternative, substitute coarsely chopped Portobello mushrooms for the stewing beef, and vegetable stock for the beef bouillon.

Cook mushrooms in oil, stirring frequently, until softened (about 5 minutes), then add vegetables. Cook 5 minutes more, then add stock, rosemary, parsley and pepper. Bring to a boil. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 teaspoons of cold water and stir into the stew. Cover and simmer for an hour.

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