Dutch Oven Recipes

Dutch ovens are perfect for campfires, as well as the home kitchen
Dutch ovens are perfect for campfires, as well as the home kitchen | Source

What's a dutch oven?

A dutch oven is a lidded cooking appliance ...a large pot with thick walls, usually but not exclusively made from cast iron. They have been used in various forms cooking for hundreds of years.

These cooking implements are known as 'dutch' ovens for the simple reason that at one point in time the Dutch were the best at making them and exported to many other countries.


Modern dutch ovens used on a cooktop at home are smooth on the bottom but camp dutch ovens have legs and a handle. They are great for camping because you can just throw everything in and let it stew without the need for extra saucepans and pans. You can also use them on the barbecue at home.


Another good thing about a dutch oven is if there's ever a power crisis and no electricity or gas is available you'll have the perfect object to use on an old-fashioned fire! A good quality dutch oven is a lifetime piece of dependable and versatile cookware.

Cast iron camp dutch oven
Cast iron camp dutch oven

Some Dutch Oven History

  • The dutch oven was made Utah's official State cooking pot in 1997
  • Although the cast iron versions date back to the early 1700's, they are considered a uniquely American cooking tool
  • Paul Revere is credited with refining the pot by introducing the flanged lid
  • George Washington used them to cook food in for his army
  • The most popular size in a dutch oven is 12 (holding 6 quarts of food)

Dutch ovn circa 1890's. They haven't altered much. Image from McClures Magazine
Dutch ovn circa 1890's. They haven't altered much. Image from McClures Magazine

Nourishing Tomato and Lamb-shank Soup Recipe

This is an inexpensive, nutritious and very easy recipe to make in your dutch oven.

Ingredients

  • one lamb-shank
  • one large onion
  • one carrot
  • one turnip
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • one tablespoon of tomato paste
  • one can of tomato soup
  • stock
  • salt and pepper

Method

  • chop all vegetables and cook in a little oil on medium heat in the dutch oven
  • add tomato paste
  • add tomato soup, refill can with stock and add to pot
  • add salt and pepper to taste
  • bring to the boil
  • turn down heat, pop on the lid and simmer for an hour and a half to two hours
  • serve with crusty bread and grated cheese if desired

Campfire curried sausages, served on a bed of rice
Campfire curried sausages, served on a bed of rice

Camping Recipes for a Dutch Oven

Easy Curried Sausages

Ingredients

six sausages

one onion

tablespoon of butter

dessertspoon of curry powder

one tablespoon of flour

one tablespoon of red jam

two cups of water

Method

  • saute onion in butter
  • add curry powder and flour and mix in
  • add sausages and brown
  • add two cups of water
  • add red jam
  • simmer for half an hour with the lld on

If desired, serve with rice and vegetables or bread rolls

Chow Mein

Ingredients

  • 500 grams of mince
  • one onion
  • one carrot
  • one cup of shredded cabbage
  • one teaspoon of curry powder
  • one packet of chicken noodle soup
  • one stalk of celery
  • one and a half cups of water
  • two tablespoons of rice

Method

  • brown the mince in half a cup of water
  • add finely chopped onion, grated carrot and curry powder
  • sprinkle the noodles over everything
  • add rice, cabbage and celery
  • add the remainder of the water and bring to the boil
  • simmer for twenty minutes

Delicious Australian Damper
Delicious Australian Damper
Traditional Billy Can
Traditional Billy Can

How to Make Billy Tea

  • Add a small palm full of loose leaf tea for each person to a billy can
  • Fill the can with water ( about 800 mls) and boil on the campfire
  • Remove from heat, tap the billy to settle the leaves and let the can brew for 2 mins or so
  • Pour into tin or enamel mug

Traditionally, the billy (with the lid firmly on) is swung around by the handle three times in rapid succession but don't try this one unless you really know how to do it.

How to make Australian Damper in a Dutch Oven

Damper is a traditional bread made by swagmen, drovers and campers and when cooked on a campfire in the bush, is customarily served with billy tea but you can also use it to accompany soups and casseroles.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • approx 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk


Method

  • Sift flour and salt into a large bowl but if you don't have a sifter, don't worry about it.
  • Rub the butter through the flour until crumbly.
  • Gradually stir in water and milk
  • Cover hands in flour and knead the bread until reasonably smooth. Shape into a ball and flatten slightly. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes.


Cook in dutch oven over coals for around 30 minutes until golden brown (check every 10 mins as cooking time may vary). Note: to ensure even cooking, place coals over the lid of the dutch oven

Billy tea and damper in the Australian bush
Billy tea and damper in the Australian bush | Source

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