When I was a kid I loved canned stew. My love became so well-known that people started giving it to me for my birthday. Yep, canned stew for my birthday and I was excited bout it. At some point, my palate matured though and I lost my zeal for canned stew. (That or hit my lifetime limit on how much canned stew my body could handle.) For a long while I even avoided all stews. Then a nice crockpot version wandered into my life and I fell in love with stew all over again. It was hearty and comforting and made the world seem right no matter how much snow was piling up outside or how long the week had been.
Clearly, the next step was taking it on the road. We whipped this stew up on our last camping trip and it was well received by our crew. It’s just the sort of comfort and replenishment you need after a long day in the wilderness.
Dutch Oven Beef Stew
A hearty stew made in the dutch oven.
Cut beef into cubes and put in a ziplock bag. If you're cooking the stew within 24 hours, add flour and garlic powder. Shake the bag to coat the beef. If you're making this recipe later on in your trip, mix the flour and garlic powder in at camp. (Doing it too early can make the flour get gummy.)
Cut the potatoes into cubes and dice the carrots. Put them into a well sealing tupperware and cover with water. (This prevents the potatoes from oxidizing and changing colors.)
Pack the chopped meat, chopped vegetables, and remaining ingredients.
Start your charcoal. (We usually start fill a chimney 3/4 of the way. After that charcoal is heated and working it's magic on a dutch oven, we'll start another 1/2 chimney for replenishing dying coals.)
Place the oil in a 12" dutch oven and heat either over coals or on a camp stove. Brown the meat (don't cook all the way through) seasoning generously with salt and pepper.
Add red wine and scrape up bits off the side of the pan. Add the water and bouillon. Transfer the dutch oven a ring of 10 coals if you were browning the meat on a camp stove.
Drain the water off the vegetables and add them to the dutch oven. Cover with a lid and put 14 briquettes on top of it. Cook for 60-90 minutes or until the meat has reached your desired tenderness. Replenish the coals as necessary.