After many years of enjoying wilderness cooking on a campfire, I would like to share some ideas about what to bring along for the best campfire cooking experience. Plus, share with you a favorite wild game stew recipe. This recipe is easy to cook over an open fire and is sure to please.
Setting Up an Outdoor Campfire Kitchen
For basic outdoor open fire cooking, all you need are a few items that are easy to pack and carry to camp.
- One medium to large size sauce pan with a lid and one frying pan.
- A couple of spoons, knives and forks.
- A plate or bowl comes in handy but the pan will work fine too.
Store one pan in the other to save space during transport. The eating utensils will fit inside the pans for storage. Also if you would like more flavor, pack a couple tablespoons of your favorite spices mixed together and stored in a water tight baggie.
A small amount of lard or bacon grease comes in handy or a piece of fat from the game taken will work, too.
Minced dried onion and garlic is easy to carry.
Dehydrated carrots and potatoes are great additions and lightweight – they can be brought along for extra nutrients.
Used, small drinking water bottles with lids are great to recycle into containers to hold instant rice, flour, potatoes, oatmeal, milk, coffee and dog food (if the dog comes along).
Braised Wild Game Stew Recipe
This is a well-loved recipe that is easy to make from any wild game meat. My favorite is rabbit, although pheasant, duck and venison are tasty as well.
First, have a fire that has burnt down to coal a couple inches deep. Move the flaming part of the fire without too much of the coal over to one side and continue adding small wood to that flame for extra coal as the meat cooks.
Make a spot in the coal where you moved the flame from for the pan to fit. Use the biggest pan for large portions and the frying pan for one or two people.
Butcher the game and clean the meat. Cut the meat with the bones intact as you would at home to fry or bake.
Some people swear by soaking wild game in water overnight to get rid of the gaminess but I have found that the taste of gaminess actually depends on how well the animal is butchered and how soon after the kill the cleaning is done.
Coat the pan with grease or add a bit of fat to melt. Let the pan warm a few minutes on the campfire.
Brown the meat and add spices as the meat cooks.
Keep the fire going. Move coals from the flaming side to under the cooking pan to maintain a steady heat.
Once the meat is brown, about 15 minutes, add any vegetables you brought along. Wild artichokes make an excellent potato substitute.
Add water to the stew pot halfway up the meat. Cover the pot. Let the coals cool down where the stew is at a simmer, low bubbling liquid. Maintain the coals as the stew cooks.
Cook for about 1 hour, test the meat to see how well done. Add more water if needed and continue cooking until tender. For a thicker gravy, add 1/8 cup of flour (stirred in cold water first). Remove the pan from heat and add in.
Serve warm and enjoy!
For more campfire stories and information about experiencing the great outdoors check out the Campfire Collective online where you can become part of a growing community and learn more outdoor skills.