One of the things I enjoy about our cabin trips is the novelty of cooking away from home. It helps that there’s not much else going on, so meals become a big event each day, and everyone’s involved in some way.
We’ve got a few favorites we make on every trip – to suggest we skip them would bring on mutiny. One of our must-haves is a dutch oven recipe – I learned the joys of dutch oven cooking when we were still tent camping and had no kitchen. Dutch oven meals are simple to prepare and cook very quickly. We came to love this particular recipe so much we still make it even now that we have a kitchen in the cabin:
Pot of Gold
1 1/2 lb browned ground beef
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 can Campbell’s golden mushroom soup
2 16-oz can Veg-All (this is the ONLY time I ever buy this distinctly odd melange of canned vegetables)
1 onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans refrigerated biscuits (ten biscuits per can)
block of sharp cheddar (AND a small chunk of Monterey Jack)
Before preparing the food, start a charcoal fire with about 30 pieces of charcoal. While the fire is starting, do the following:
Line the dutch oven with aluminum foil. Place a dutch oven liner atop the foil – this extra protection keeps the food from touching the iron of the oven, so clean up is TONS easier.
Mix the beef, tomatoes, Veg-All, soup, onion, and salt/pepper in the oven. Open the cans of biscuits and smash each biscuit flat. Cut the cheese into cubes. Place a cube of cheese on each biscuit, fold the biscuit over, and press the edges together. Why the one Monterey Jack chunk? Long ago we decided to make one “dumpling” with a piece of white cheese – whoever gets it in their bowl is the winner…but we’ve never managed to remember to bring a prize along, so it’s a fairly hollow victory.
Place the biscuit/cheese dumplings on top of the beef mixture, then cover it with the oven lid. Scatter the charcoal briquettes over the cooking surface, and set aside 15 briquettes. Place the dutch oven onto half the coals, then place the 15 briquettes you’ve set aside onto the lid. Hint: Use tongs.
Cook for 20 minutes. Use the tongs to scoot the briquettes off the lid. Carefully remove the lid (hint: use a seriously good oven mitt), making sure the ash left on top will blow AWAY from you and NOT into the food.
Remove the oven from the fire and serve. Makes 6-ish servings.
Our other cabin meals were awesome, as well. The first morning we had french toast and strawberries, with Canadian bacon on the side.
The plan for the next morning was scrambled eggs, muffins, and sausage…but SOMEONE decided the fridge wasn’t cool enough, turned the dial too far,
and in the morning we had two dozen FROZEN eggs. Frozen eggs are weird, and certainly not useable.
And of course we have S’mores every night. The Husband is a stickler for marshmallow roasting perfection – no singed of fiery marshmallows for him. We like to have variety in the chocolate portion – we’ve done the typical milk chocolate, but we also use dark or bittersweet chocolate, red pepper dark chocolate, and sea salt caramel chocolate. Gourmet S’mores!
Oh, here’s something we do NOT eat – these nightmare-inducing crappie that swarm the marina where we buy firewood. Nasty.