Introduction: Camp Cooking the Easy Way - in Ground Roast
Camping is fun, exhilarating, and the activities can be exhausting. Spend the day in the woods hunting, on the river fly fishing or kayaking your favorite river or estuary and you will arrive back at camp ready to eat and STILL have to fix it yourself or wait for someone else to do it. This is a way to be eating within 10 minutes of getting back to camp and just needs a little time in the morning to prepare and all day to cook.
Step 1: Prep Work Makes the Going Easy
One small bag of new potatoes
Two onions - 1 chopped - 1 quartered (also some small pealed but uncut onions are great too)
One small bag of baby carrots
usually use one small bag of celery
3 tablespoons of garlic
1 - 4 lbs chuck roast
spices as desired
Step 2: Sear the Roast - Important!!
Put the Dutch oven on the fire and get it super hot
Sear the 4 lbs chuck roast on all sides
Step 3: Finished Searing
After you sear all sides, put the roast aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Step 4: Saute the Onions and Garlic
Sauté the chopped onion and just as they are turning translucent add 3-4 heaping tablespoons of minced garlic and sauté for only a few minutes. This smells great and everyone from 3 campgrounds around will be ready to eat with you at this point.
Step 5: Put It All Together
Put the 4 lbs roast on top of the onions. Add new potatoes, carrots, quartered onions, celery (forgot mine this time - but see tip later)
Step 6: Spices Make the Meal
Season to taste - this is what I used this time. I usually just use my nose and add things that smell like they would work together well.
TIP - for forgotten celery - I used celery seeds to make up for my missing vegetable.
After spicing - Pour one 12 oz can of beef (or chicken) broth over everything.
Step 7: Time to Go Into the Ground
Dig hold deep enough to fit the entire pot and your coals, but make the sides close (as in picture). The depth of the hole will need to be 6-9 inches deeper than your Dutch oven to accommodate the coals from the fire or charcoal brickettes. One more word about cooking with a dutch oven. Not all dutch ovens are created equal. You need a dutch over with 3 short feet on the bottom AND a lip around the lid that will hold the coals in place. (also I love Lodge cast iron!!)
Step 8: Coals on Top AND Bottom
There is a layer of coals under the Dutch oven and a similar bed of coals on top of the oven (note how the lip holds them in place). You are now ready to bury it. WARNING: Do not cover more than 1 inch with loose dirt. The coals will go out and you can recover them ... but if you cover too deeply or pack the dirt down, you can kill the fire before it finishes cooking (I learned the hard way).
Step 9: 5 Hours Later and Almost Ready to Eat
5 hours later it is ready to come out of the ground. Sweep the coals and dirt off the lid. Note: coals in background are from the top and they were dead out - but roast was perfect.
Step 10: Clean Clean and Clean Again
Make sure you have the lid and outside rim perfectly clean - you do not want the dirt and grit in the pot!!
Step 11: Yum
Voila,cooked to perfection while we rode rafts down the Hiawassee River in Tennessee.
Step 12: Let's Eat!!
Nothing beats coming back into camp from hunting, fishing or canoeing and having supper ready to eat. No cooking and an easy clean up. Good, well seasoned cast iron Dutch oven just needed to be wiped out and then it was ready to cook the peach cobbler that we had for dessert.