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Camping Food and Beverage

Jeff cooks up sausage and beans and beer bread!

Jeff: Well, it’s a beautiful weekend out here in camp, and it’s time to get some dinner going. So, we have the Dutch oven set up, we got the coals that are– boy, they’re– yeah, they’re ready to go. And our ingredients are all lined up, so we’ll get started here and show you how we make up our Dutch oven beans, potatoes, and sausage.

We get things going with a homemade fire starter under the briquette chimney. This handy device kicks off the briquettes without using petroleum type firestarter chemicals. Next, we cut up three small potatoes into bite-size chunks. For serving convenience, we cut two packages of chicken bratwurst sausages into four chunks each. we’ll put a little bit of olive oil in the pan here to heat up. Doesn’t take much ’cause the sausage is going to have its own goop in there, of course. Dump in our sausage.

This is some very nice chicken with, oh, a couple of different spices. But we use– we like chicken sausage because it’s a little bit less fat. You don’t absolutely have to brown the sausage first depending on the type, but this is uncooked sausage, so we’re going to go ahead and put a little bit of brown on this before we throw the beans and the potatoes in and everything else. Smells pretty good already.

Beer bread is our complement to the sausage and beans. A temporary foil liner makes a good spot for blending the bread mix. We use a local brew to help flavor the bread. It’s a bit of a mess, but it works. Rub a little butter on your hands to help keep the dough from sticking. The large Dutch ovens come pre-seasoned, but we rubbed in some butter to help keep the bread from sticking.

Unceremoniously plop the dough into the pan, leave it in a lump, cover, and it’s good to go. All right, things are starting to look a little bit brown, and man is it smelling good.

Going to pull the lid off, and it looks like the sausage has browned up nicely. So, I’m going to move this off to the side and add the potatoes that we cut up earlier. And we’ll get those a little bit precooked before the beans go in.

All right, we’ll start with the chili beans, and the black beans, and a little bit of garbanzos for light–little bit of color. Same with the kind of white bean. Little bit of corn for color, little more garbanzos. Little bit of this Ninkasi special beer run IPA just to add a little bit of moisture to the whole thing. Worked in the beer bread, ought to do just fine here, too. And then, of course, we stir that stuff up, get the potatoes and everything going. Cover it up and see what happens in a little while.

Meanwhile, it’s time to take a look at the beer bread. And it is–it is puffing up nicely. Started up a few more coals here ’cause the coals started burning down. We began the first coals a little early, so we started a few more, added them on here. And it looks like everything is cooking along just fine. Well, the beer bread is coming along nicely, but it’s starting to get– it’s a little brown on the bottom, but it’s okay. So, what we did was we moved all of the coals from the bottom up here on the top to put the heat mainly down off the top of the bread. We’re getting close, things ought to be just about ready here, mmm. Water is boiling, smell is really good. Everything looks like it’s blending together nicely.

All right, first of all, the beer bread is about done. Chewy crust and a robust interior texture make this bread a terrific side dish to stews and the like. All right, this is about done. It’s been boiling for, I don’t know, 15 minutes or so. Get a few chunks of the sausage in there, feel how hot that is on the bottom on my hand. Looks pretty darn good. We have the bean mix with corn and whatnot, and the sausage, chicken sausage so it’s a little bit healthy. And beer bread, a one pot wonder.

All things considered, not an all bad way to start a meal for an evening of camping. And definitely recommend Dutch ovens as an addition to your camping supplies, cheers.