Monday, September 1, 2008

Campfire Pot Roast

I saved my favorite campfire food for our last night. Every single time I have gone camping, I have made pot roast in the cast iron Dutch oven my Mom gave me one Christmas after I seriously coveted hers. Since pot roast takes about three hours to cook, this recipe requires leaving the pond early and settling in at the campsite tending the fire for the long haul.

Our granddaughter, Skylar had her first camping experience with us that night. She was thrilled to join “the girls’ tent” with Julie, but like my kids, she was totally unimpressed by the pot roast. I actually anticipated this and made roll-up sandwiches for all the kids for dinner.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother with such a time consuming recipe that no one but the Hubby and I will eat, but certain foods bring me right back to the flavors of my youth and that makes it all worthwhile.

For dessert I made baked stuffed apples, wrapped in tin foil and cooked over the fire. It was the perfect end to a pretty wonderful camping experience.

The Recipe:

Campfire Pot Roast

Serves 4 - 6, depending on appetite

1 tablespoon olive oil
5 – 7 pound pot roast of your favorite cut
2 medium onions, cut in quarters
2 stalks celery, cut in thirds and then halved
2 cloves of garlic, cut in thirds
1 cup red wine
1 cup water
5 medium size potatoes, cut into quarters
1 bag carrots, peeled and cut into thirds (slice thick pieces in half again)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups water

Build small fire and let flames die down. Place cast iron Dutch oven on the grate over the fire and add olive oil. When heated, put pot roast in and brown on all sides. Add celery, onions and garlic and brown for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add one cup of red wine and bring to a boil. Add 1/2 cup water, cover and simmer for two hours, occasionally flipping pot roast. If liquid level becomes too low, add more water.

Add potatoes and carrots and cook for another hour. Remove pot roast and slice or cut into chunks. To make gravy add 1/4 cup of flour to 2 cups of water in gravy shaker. Thoroughly shake to remove lumps. Making sure juice in pan is boiling, add flour mixture a little at a time until gravy is formed, stirring constantly. (You should not need all of the flour mixture. As soon as gravy thickens, stop adding flour mixture. Put chunks of meat back in pan to coat with gravy.

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