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Thread: Whatchyagot Stew -- camp cooking from Aiiii to Z

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Raleigh, NC USA



    I've learned to make my own jerky! I found it a great, fat-free & lo-cal snack, especially when I came out of the woods from hunting. But $6-8 for a 4-oz. package was a little steep. So I decided to try making my own. My oven has a 'drying' stage and even a cute little block to prop the door open an inch or two for ventilation. Food dehydrators and driers are becoming less expensive all the time.

    A butcher where I get my suet & pork to blend into my venison sausage gave me a starter point -- Allegro Marinade. The "flavorizer that tenderizes meats & vegetables 'naturally'" Whatever . . . basically a bottled, soy-sauce based marinade. Many of the big sporting goods 'outfitter' chains carry ready-made kits, though I sometimes find their price for the kit plus meat make it run more than store-bought.

    When I Googled "jerky", I got about 4 million hits, not counting the teenage blogs discussing boyfriends. Jerky Recipes was the first I found. I have some in my Venison cookbooks.

    What I did was combine. The Allegro marinade was a good base, but not exactly overloaded with spices. From two vension cookbook recipes, I added a tsp. garlic powder, tsp. dry mustard & a little paprika or cayenne depending on your inclination for heat. You may also want to include liquid smoke. Plus some seasoned salt and course-ground black pepper. This for about 3-3 lb. of meat.

    I used venison "London broils", a flat cut off the rear haunch very much like the London broils sold in the grocery stores. Around here, they go on 'buy one, get one free' sale fairly often. You can really use most any roast cut, but it is imperative you remove all the trimmable fat and any membranes between cuts. Those membranes will dry to a leather-like sheet rather than melt away as they would in a roast recipe. Heavily marbled cuts like a chuck roast are not really suitable.

    I cut mine the long way so I end up with strips. Most of the recipes call for ", but I try for thinner, maybe 3/16". An electric slicer is best; an electric knife probably better than by hand. I cut mine still mostly frozen to hold slice shape better.

    Then, in a covered square backing dish, lay meat out in layers and pour on mixed marinade. Refrigerate. On 2nd day, remove and restack meat strips to ensure even penetration; marinade 2nd full day.

    After at least 2 full days in marinade, remove meat and pat dry with paper towels. This will use a bunch! I lay out 3 sheets wide by 2 thick; lay on meat and then press down with 2nd layer of paper towels to squeeze out as much moisture as possible. When dried of excess moisture, lay out in a single layer on a mesh grid. I've got a couple for grilling, including one cast-iron, but even baked-goods cooling racks will work at these temperatures. Folks, don't use galvanized " chicken wire!

    As I said, my oven has a drying mode, which incorporates a fan and exhausts via the propped open door an inch. Auto is 120F, but I up it to 140°F. At this point I will caution that many claim this is insufficient to kill bacteria. See USDA for their suggestions.

    I dry for two hours and then rotate racks. I will usually end up drying for at least 4 hours, often 6. You want to remove any 'moist' inner texture but stay short of dried-to-aged-leather.

    I vacuum pack in 4-pz. packages. (See "Vacuum packing . . ." in TIPS forum.) I then freeze these vacuum paks for long term storage. Once opened, I usually move to a zip-lock in the refrigerator. The USDA warnings become more important if not stored correctly and not air-tight. If you plan on throwing it in a paper bag and leaving in the Westy for 6 months, better stick with the commercial version.

    PS: I've tried the jerky made out of ground meat pressed into ribbons with 'jerky makers -- basically a caulking gun with flat tip. Texture stinks! Part of the fun of eating jerky is the chewy texture and 'gnawing' on a piece.
    Last edited by Capt. Mike; 08-18-2008 at 09:05 AM.

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  3. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005


    My wife and I go camping, on average 50 weekends out of the year... Up until we relocated from the Westcoast (Northern California/Oregon to Connecticut - yes I still ask myself why) we also liked to camp along the pacific, usually on a cliff with a great view of the sun setting... I am a Chef by trade and my wife worked for Goldeneye Vineyards (owned by Duckhorn) so meals in the Westy got to be pretty damned good. The happiest meals tended to be simple meals like Duck Confit slowly cooked till the skin was extremely crispy served with potatoes cooked in duck fat with tons of sweet garlic... duck just goes well with pinot noir.

    Other favorites include making cioppino with as much local seafood you can get your hands on. One time up on a very back road 55 miles out a gravel road from the town of Cordova in Alaska we were camping near the Child's Glacier. A large piece calved off and knocked a ton of silver salmon onto the shore. You cannopt waste chances like that... We ended up eating sauteed Salmon with a Rice Wine and Ginger Sauce... I usually keep a pretty well stocked Westy just for this kind of occassion. My wife and I have converted part of our closet to a twelve bottle wine cellar. Please try this recipe for Rice Wine and Ginger Sauce.... It keeps forever, doesn't really need refrigeration and makes an impromptu stir fry out of just about anything... (pork, chicken, veggies, tofu, glacier fished salmon, whatever)

    Aswah's Rice Wine and Ginger Sauce

    1 cup Rice Wine (available at most larger grocery stores in the oriental aisle... much cheaper if you happen to live near an asian grocery store) - if you can't find rice wine sub dry Sherry
    1 cup water
    1 cup Soy Sauce
    1/2 cup Sugar
    1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
    as much sliced fresh ginger as you like. I would say at least one large piece
    as much chopped garlic as you like... I usually put about ten cloves mashed
    and lastly, as much red chili flakes as you like.... for me, the garlic, ginger and chili flakes are added in legendary quantities...

    anyhoots: bring everything to a boil, than simmer. Strain thru whatever fine meshed strainer you got at home. Mix roughly one tablespoon of cornstarch into a 1/4 cup of water and whick in. You want to thicken the sauce but not make it too thick. Simmer the sauce for 10 to 15 minutes and strain.

    Now make whatever stir fry you like... thin sliced pork and scallion over rice... same with salmon, a mess of vegetables and chicken... so easy and so good and so healthy.


  4. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Pacifica, CA

    Default Camping menus

    Hi everyone:

    I'm the proud new owner of an '89 Westfalia and will be hitting the road soon. After a few shakedown cruises I'm planning on a monthlong trip this summer, and am hoping some of you will share some of your tried-and-true menus. I'm especially interested in having a few basic dinners with ingredients that can be easily restocked at any wayside market (like spaghetti and Ragu, for instance.) I'm also interested in fancier meals and breakfast and lunch ideas.

    I've already learned a ton by reading this board, and I want to thank you all for so generously sharing your knowledge. I'd heard Westie owners are a good bunch of people, and this site proves it.

    Finally, this is only the second time I've ever posted anything on any site, anywhere, so please forgive me if I made any sort of protocol errors.


  5. #14
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Raleigh, NC USA


    See also "Oven cooking . . ." & "Hot Food . . ." topics in CAMPING TALK forum. There are many recipes in John's CAMPING NEWS forum. Since much of camp cooking hinges on what you can carry and store, see the "Vacuum packing . . ." topic in the TIPS forum.

  6. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Logan Trail Bread

    LOGAN TRAIL BREAD: This is a dense, chewy bread, very high in calories & almost impervious to spoiling. It last quite well on the trail. It orginated in 1950 from a U of Alaska trip to climb Mt. Logan. This recipe is slightly different from the original & has an unusually high fat content & is very rich & nutritious. A single 4-inch square gives approx. 718 calories and 10.4 grams of usable protein. The first figures are for half the recipe. Makes two(2) pans. Good for a test run.
    1.5 or 3 cups whole wheat flour
    1.5 or 3 cups white flour
    .25 or .5 cups dry milk
    1.25 or 2.5 cups rolled oats
    .75 or 1.5 cups brown sugar
    1.5 or 3 tsps baking powder
    1 or 2 tsps salt
    .5 or 1 cup soy grits
    .75 or 1.25 cups broken or chopped nuts
    1 or 2 cups raisins
    .5 or 1 cup of honey
    .25 or .5 cups molasses
    1 or 2 cups margarine
    .5 or 1 cup oil
    3 or 6 eggs

    Combine dry ingredients in a LARGE mixing bowl & stir well. Combine remaining ingredients in a MEDIUM bowl & beat until well mixed. Fold into the dry mixture and stir until well mixed. [Then give it a few more twists] Divide equally between the 9-inch pans [metal, pyrex, Corning] and bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until done. Bread does not rise. Bread is dense and chewy. {Rodale book of practical formulas}
    And check out www.bakepacker.com for an interesting cook pot.
    Last edited by Capt. Mike; 01-21-2009 at 04:08 PM.

  7. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2018


    The most joyful dinners would in general be straightforward suppers like duck comfit gradually cooked till the skin was greatly firm presented with potatoes cooked in duck fat with huge amounts of sweet garlic...

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