Monday, April 19, 2010

Dutch Oven Chili

Next weekend we have the annual spring campout for the Boy Scouts. It’s the Advancement campout where the leaders get the new scouts that crossed over last month moving in Scouts with their Fire and Totin’ Chip cards, start them moving to Scout rank and Tenderfoot, and the older scouts do some teaching. Delaney is working on First Class, and that has a lot of cooking and first aid, so I grabbed my Scout cookbook the other day to find some things to make next weekend. I’m one of the 2 or 3 chef dads, so I wanted to prepare a few things.

Delaney looked through it as well and asked if we could try a recipe he picked out. I said sure and he chose Campfire Chili, which is a pretty easy recipe. I grabbed ingredients on Sat and then after baseball yesterday sat down to get to work. It’s a pretty easy recipe, with just a few ingredients

  • 2lbs ground beef, and an onion
  • 1 15oz can each, dark, light, and red kidney beans
  • 29oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp each chili powder and garlic powder and 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt, pepper

I could have easily dropped the dutch oven on the stove and made it there, but there won’t be stoves next weekend, so I decided to have a go of it outside. Which meant buying and lighting charcoal. I bought a chimney awhile back and this was the first time using it. So in between working on the sprayer and getting weed killed out, I lit charcoal, let it get hot, and then put it in our fire pit, with the Dutch oven on top. I browned the meat and onion in there, which went pretty good. It’s a heavy pot, so instead of pulling out meat and then draining it, I tipped it and used some paper towels to sop of up most of the grease. Those coals cook well and my Lodge red gloves came in handy.

Then Delaney helped me to dump in the other ingredients, mix them up, and put some of the coals on top of the lid. That was interesting, and it worked out well. Two hours of simmering, which didn’t quite work out as well with all the wind. On the campsite I’ll have the ability to shelter it more, or dig down into the ground a bit.

After that, I put it on the stove briefly since it was more like 2 1/2 hours and my coals were pretty done, the chili just warm. My fault, doing too many chores, but I did come in and make cornbread in the oven to go with it and we had a nice campfire meal at the counter.

I learned a few things, which was the point. One, I need a lid stand. Taking off that lid is find with Delaney’s lid lifter or my gloves, but I need a place for it to live. The other is that I need a small brush to clean off coal dust. Don’t want that in the food.

The last thing? I need a low stool. I’ll likely look on the ground and my knees and back do not appreciate supporting the rest of me. Since I need to get to Bass Pro shops and return some shoes, I’ll probably head up Tues or Wed and get a few other things as well.

No comments: