【Recipe】Camp Gourmet: Dutch Oven & Stovetop Favorites

Almost anything tastes good after a long day in the mountains.

Hot dogs, hobo dinners, and instant oatmeal rarely disappoint, but if you have the luxury of bringing along a camp kitchen chuck box and really want to knock the socks off your fellow campers, these Dutch oven and stovetop recipes are sure to do the trick.

Backcountry-Style Dutch Oven Potatoes

This backcountry twist on an old Dutch oven classic can serve as a hearty meal on its own or as a side dish with grilled steaks, salmon, or pork chops. To make cleanup really easy, you can line your Dutch oven with aluminum foil. The bacon can be omitted for a vegetarian-friendly dish. Makes about 6 servings.potato_gird

What you’ll need:

  • 2 ½ pounds baby red potatoes, quartered or sliced
  • 4-6 slices thick cut bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 four-ounce package herbed goat cheese
  • 1½ cups fontina cheese, shredded
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 ten-ounce package baby carrots
  • 1 eight-ounce package mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • ½ cup red wine
  • green onion for garnish, chopped (optional)
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

What you’ll do:

Lightly coat the sides and bottom of the Dutch Oven with olive oil, then add the potatoes, carrots, onions, chopped bacon, mushrooms, 1 cup shredded fontina cheese, red wine, and the chopped sage. Drizzle the ingredients with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss with a large spoon until well incorporated. Set the Dutch Oven on 15 to 20 smoldering charcoal briquettes, then add another 15 to the top. Resist the temptation to remove the lid while cooking, doing so will compromise the oven effect.

After cooking for one hour, remove the lid and check the potatoes for tenderness. When tender, sprinkle the remaining fontina cheese and crumbled goat cheese on top. Put a goat on it, as we like to say. Let cook uncovered for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, allowing excess liquids to simmer off and the cheese to melt. Garnish with chopped green onion.

Dutch Oven Jambalaya with Cornbread Top

This savory one-pot meal is loaded with carbs, protein, and vegetables, making it ideal for refueling after a long day on the trails. Most of the prep work can be done at home and stored in your cooler in sealed baggies. Makes 6-8 servings.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 green or red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • ½ pound cooked ham, diced
  • ½ pound cooked kielbasa sausage, sliced
  • 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, diced, taking care to preserve the juices
  • 32 ounces vegetable broth
  • 1½ cups long grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning to taste (use extra Cajun if you like it spicy)
  • 1 package corn bread mix (usually calls for oil, milk, and an egg)

What you’ll do:

Lightly coat the sides and bottom of the Dutch Oven with olive oil, then add the bacon, celery, bell pepper, chopped onion, and chopped garlic. Set the Dutch Oven over a full complement of smoldering charcoal briquettes and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes or until veggies begin to soften. Then add the ham, kielbasa, tomatoes, vegetable broth, rice, thyme, rosemary, and spices. Stir lightly, then cover. Reduce the amount of heat by moving about half the briquettes to the outside edge of the oven, then place 15 to 20 briquettes on the top of the oven for even heat. Let cook for about 30 minutes.

While the jambalaya is cooking, whisk the corn bread mix into a thick batter. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and thinly spread the batter across the top of the Jambalaya. Cover and let cook for an additional 30 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown. Best served in deep bowls with a cold beer.

Stovetop Standbys

Easy From-Scratch Flapjacks

The ‘just add water’ pancake mixes might be all right, but once you make your own from scratch, you’ll have a hard time going back. Not only are they delicious, but a fat stack of pancakes is also a great way to fuel up before a full day of outdoor pursuits. To make it really easy, you can whip up the batter at home, store it in a jug, and place it in the cooler where it should keep for several days. Just be sure to shake it up well before cooking.pancake

What you’ll need:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

What you’ll do:

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Then add the milk, egg, vanilla, and melted butter. Stir vigorously until smooth. Place a greased griddle or fry pan over the stove on medium to high heat, then pour about a ¼ cup of batter on the hot griddle for each pancake. Cook to golden brown on both sides. Serve with maple syrup, softened butter, a side of bacon or sausage, and a cup of fresh brewed coffee.

Glazed Flank Steak with Grilled Asparagus

For this recipe to really be a success, you’ll need a grill box attachment for your stove or an open-fire grill grate. The sweet and savory marinade turns a less expensive cut of beef that’s generally tough into a tender and juicy steak that’s simply divine. You can even place the flank steak and marinade in a large Ziplock and stow it in the cooler before leaving home. A version of this flank steak marinade won best recipe in the 1997 national beef cook-off. Makes 4-6 servings.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 1 or 2 bundles fresh asparagus
  • 1 ½ cups teriyaki marinade
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Black pepper and salt to taste
  • Rosemary sprigs for garnish

What you’ll do:

To make the marinade, combine the teriyaki marinade, diced onion, honey, orange juice, sesame oil, garlic, pepper, and rosemary in a bowl or large Ziplock bag. Shake or stir until well incorporated. With a sharp knife, score the flank steak diagonally from two directions on both sides to create a diamond pattern. Place the beef in the marinade for at least 30 minutes before cooking. If you allow the steak to marinate in your cooler for a day or two, it will be even tastier.

Set the grill on medium to high heat. Grill the flank steak for 7-10 minutes on either side for medium rare, slightly longer for a medium steak. While the steak is grilling, be sure to baste generously with the remaining marinade. Before serving, cut the flank steak, against the grain, into thin strips and garnish with a rosemary sprig. For the asparagus, lightly brush with olive oil.