EASY DUTCH OVEN INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEGINNERS
I love (like?) one-pot meals cooked in a Dutch oven. This is the easiest way to teach Boy Scouts to cook. If you make a mistake it doesn’t take much to correct it. Ok, it is possible to burn a one-pot meal but then it’s easier to disguise the burnt flavor by adding more ‘stuff’ (food), seasonings, or by tossing in some liquid smoke flavoring. Under cooked? Just cook it a little longer. To take the guess work out of cooking in a Dutch oven and to eliminate most of your mistakes I have three words for you: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Practice at home and make your mistakes there not at Deer Camp, on a Boy Scout camp out, or heaven forbid you should make a ‘food-goof-up’ around your mother-in-law. You’ll never hear the last of it.
For equipment, I would suggest a #12 (deep) 3-legged Dutch oven made by LODGE. They sell for around $60 in the Boy Scout catalog or at the Anthony Wayne Area Council Boy Scout Office here in Fort Wayne. Anyone can shop there; you don’t have to be a Scout or a Scout leader.
Of course you’ll also need charcoal, charcoal tongs, a lid lifter (pliers), charcoal starter, and aluminum foil. The aluminum foil is to put on the ground to keep the earth from pulling the heat from the briquets and to reflect the heat up from the charcoal. You can also line your Dutch oven with foil to make cleanup easier when baking, not recommended when cooking stews. You can hang the Dutch oven from a tri-pod over a bed of hot coals or put it right on the BBQ grill. I prefer using charcoal on the ground since it’s easier to regulate the heat this way.
Pre-campout tips – Try recipes at home before trying them on your friends, double check all your equipment to make sure you don’t forget anything. Precook (boil or microwave) whole potatoes before going camping – it will make your meals easier and faster to prepare.
RAY’S POTATO CASSEROLE
(A Dutch oven breakfast)
10 cups cubed pre-cooked potatoes (peeled or unpeeled)
1/2 stick margarine
12 oz. sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 cup crushed corn flakes
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Melt margarine and pour half of it into the Dutch oven. Put half of the potatoes into the Dutch oven. Mix soup, sour cream green onions, and milk together. Pour half of this mixture over the potatoes. Put half of the shredded cheese over the potato mixture. Put the other half of the potatoes over the cheese. Add remainder of the soup mixture over the potatoes and sprinkle on the last of the shredded cheese. Scatter the crushed corn flakes over the cheese and drizzle the rest of the melted margarine over the corn flakes. Put on the lid and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees (12 to 14 hot briquets on top and 4-5 hot briquets under the Dutch oven. Serve with eggs over easy and ham, bacon, or sausages.
RAY’S VERY EASY DUTCH OVEN HAM/BEAN LUNCH
(This is so easy any Boy Scout can prepare it)
1 gallon can Navy Beans
1 tbsp. margarine
1 pound canned ham
1 large onion
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt margarine in Dutch oven and cook onion until tender. Add beans and stir until onion is mixed with the beans. Add ham (cut in 1/2 inch cubes) and stir into beans. Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes and serve with cornbread.
RAY’S SCOUTMASTER STEW
(Easy to make; easy to serve supper)
2 lb. hamburger (cook and drain)
1 TBS. margarine
2 cans mushroom soup
2 cans green beans/liquid
4 medium potatoes (cut 1/8’s)
4 medium carrots (cut 1/8’s)
2 ribs celery (cut 1/8’s)
4 medium onions (cut 1/8’s)
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
Optional – 2 cans vegetable soup & 2 cans water
Brown the hamburger in the Dutch oven. Drain off grease. Add rest of the ingredients and season to taste. Cook until vegetables are tender. Serves 8. Company? Add vegetable soup and water to stretch the stew. Serve with biscuits or cornbread and a salad.
TRADITIONAL BOY SCOUT DUMP CAKE
(The actual name for this dessert is Memphis Molly)
2 dry cake mixes (chocolate)
2 cans cherry pie filling
1 stick margarine
1/2 pint pecan pieces
Put 1 can of cherry pie filling in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Sprinkle 1 package of ‘dry’ chocolate cake mix over the pie filling. Pour the other can of pie filling over the ‘dry’ cake mix. Sprinkle the other package of ‘dry’ cake mix over the pie filling. Cut the margarine into 1/8-inch slices and dot the top of the ‘dry’ cake mix with the slices. Sprinkle the pecan pieces over the top of the margarine. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until charcoal goes out. Cool and it will slice like cake.
NOTE: Do not stir ingredients at any time and do not uncover to check on cake progress – you want to keep the steam inside. Trust me; it will be ok and it’s good.
Try using a Dutch oven the next time you’re kookin’ ’round your kampfire and I think you’ll agree that it’s worth taking along.