Cowboy Stew – An Easy & Filling Recipe when Camping

May 10, 2014

Cowboy Stew is a regular favourite and a really easy recipe to make at the campsite if you have a Dutch Oven (see our guide to cooking with a Dutch Oven if you’ve not used one before).

Here’s some reason’s why it’s popular:

  • You don’t need to be a chef to make it.
  • You don’t need to follow the recipe exactly.  It’s basically beans ‘n stuff.
  • You can spice and flavour it as much or as little as you like.
  • You can pack it full of nutrients and that ‘slow release energy’ that’s good for being outside.
  • You can eat a proper hot meal on the campsite.
  • You don’t need to juggle different pans on a gas stove.
  • You don’t have to just eat burnt sausages from the BBQ.
  • (err, and enough beans can help warm your sleeping bag if you know what I mean….)

The Recipe

As mentioned, you don’t need to follow this exactly.  And you can add all sorts of tinned stuff to save preparation hassle (though we do tend to take real onions and real potatoes).

  • 1lb Mince (Quorn mince works too)
  • 1 onion
  • 3 potatoes, chopped about 1inch square
  • 1 can green beans
  • 1 can baked beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tps chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf (if you must)
  • Salt and pepper

The Method

Preheat the Dutch Oven with all coals underneath, but don’t get it too hot at this stage.  Add some oil to the oven.

Brown the mince and onions.

Putting the lid on will heat it up, but often for frying I’ll keep the lid off.

If you have fresh potatoes, I would add them next.

Open the cans and tip all the contents in.  Stir.  Add spices (as much as you want).  Stir.

See, I told you it was easy.

Cook for about 45 mins with the lid on until potatoes are soft, stirring every 5 mins, and rotate your oven as well (to avoid heat spots from the coals underneath).

Moving a few coals to the top may help with cooking, though remember to lift the lid carefully to avoid ash going in when stirring.

When it is nearly done, pop the kettle on.  This isn’t for a brew but for cleaning the oven.

Serve out the stew, and pour the hot water into your oven (never add cold water to a hot oven), put the lid on and leave on the heat.  You’ll then find cleaning the oven very easy, and if any did get burnt and stuck to the bottom, you should find that easier to remove.

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Gav Grayston
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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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