Recipes,  Wellness

One-Pot Cast-Iron Camp Meal

I am so, so happy to live here in Colorado. One of my favorite activities is camping. I can decide on a Friday afternoon that I want to spend the weekend in the mountains- and by dark I will be sitting by a fire stargazing. That’s a major reason I moved to Denver in the first place. I want the ease of adventuring…. which means spontaneous weekend getaways that may have previously taken months of planning.

I got in some early spring camping this year. April is still quite cold and unpredictable, but I was set on getting out there! I took the gamble, and endured some mighty winds and woke up to snow on the ground outside the tent. Luckily, my gear stood up to the test and I stayed warm and snuggly inside my sleeping bag (of course, going outside to pee was daunting….). 

With some practice, I’ve gotten my camping list down to being able to throw together gear and provisions to make it through a couple days. Beyond the usual camp gear, the food essentials are: S’mores ingredients, Coffee, Beer, and my go-to One-Pot meal.  On day two of ‘camp life’ it is so satisfying to tuck into a warm, savory, filling stew.I learned this cast-iron dutch oven technique from a handsome outdoorsy man.

The trick is evenly lit charcoal that gets very hot. Allow it all to light and come to an even temperature, then place the cast iron on the coals and cover the lid with extra brickettes to distribute the heat. Simmer for a few hours, enjoy the occasional waft of spice, kick back, enjoy a beer or two while waiting….ahhh the good life.

BE CAREFUL while eating this meal, because it is VERY DELICIOUS.

 

Lamb and Beef Cast-Iron Stew

My go-to one-pot meal for camping and enjoying by the fire. I prep ingredients before, so all I have to do is take them from the cooler, throw together and let it simmer. Sooooo warming and satisfying. 

Course Dinner
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces Beef Broth (One carton)
  • 1/2 pound Lamb Stew Meat (Or one full lb. any meat)
  • 1/2 pound Beef Stew Meat
  • 1 medium Sweet Potato or Yam
  • 1 medium Chioggia Beet
  • 1 medium Red Onion
  • 3 stalks Celery
  • 1/2 cup Green Beans
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp Paprika
  • 1-2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Adobo Pepper Sauce (From canned peppers)
  • 1/2 tbsp Tomato Paste

Instructions

  1. Prep meat and veggies prior to being in the woods.

  2. Evenly chop stew meat into chunks, wrap and freeze if desired for a longer trip. I like to store my meat in plastic then inside pyrex to minimize contamination inside the cooler (ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT WITH PORK). Don't forget sanitizer, soap, etc. for proper handling of meat and empty containers at the campsite. 

  3. Dice sweet potato, beet, and onion into small chunks. I store these together in a pyrex. 

  4. Chop celery and green beans. Feel free to add or change up veggies depending on what is available. 

  5. Mince garlic and measure out spices into one small bag or container. It makes it way easier to throw into pot once at the campsite. Measure out tomato paste and adobo sauce into small bag as well. 

  6. Once at camp- Add all ingredients to cast-iron pot. Give it a stir. Once coals are evenly warmed place pot in center and cover lid with extra charcoal bricks. Leave it be to simmer for one hour. 

  7. After one hour- carefully lift lid and stir. Replace lid and leave to simmer another 30-45 mins. 

  8. Remove charcoal from lid, scoop out stew into serving bowls and enjoy by the fire. 

Kate Daugherty is a Functional Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist candidate specializing in mind-body wellness. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to bring the physiological body into balance. Kate offers nutritional consultation and functional medicine healing at her clinic, The Facility, in Denver, Colorado. Read more about her nutritional approach here and her background here.

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