Some cooks need a kitchen full of gizmos and gadgets and stuff to bust out a quality meal. There is, though, a certain pride in being able to deliver something tasty in the field and especially welcome the challenge of making good eats using our rinky-dink two burner Coleman propane stove with patented overly-sensitive/mostly useless flame controls.
This summer I’ve hit on a couple of recipes that I think may be worth sharing as they’ve become my go-to Coleman stovetop dinner recipes.
For me, a go-to camping recipe needs to meet a few basic requirements:
- It’s got to be something I would eat at home. Meaning, I don’t eat MREs or any dehydrated crap at home and won’t eat that stuff while camping either unless circumstances make it totally impossible to eat real food. In which case I’d probably stay at home.
- Easy to prepare at the campsite– can be prepared on Coleman griddle with easy clean up and minimum prep.
- stores well in cooler for 2-3 days.
- bonus points if meal offers opportunity for eating leftovers for a late night snack
- can do prep at home without a whole lot of stressing out
The Coleman Grill paired with a griddle is a primitive and unrefined cooking tool until you master the low-heat setting. It will take some time and some singed eyebrows perhaps but it’s worth learning how to dial in the lowest possible flame setting on your Coleman.
So with those requirements in mind, I’ve come up with these two go-to meals for weekend camping. I’ve had one or both of these on each of my last few camping trips and they consistently meet the above requirements.
Pork Belly Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw
The key here is a long braise at home for the belly and making the slaw up ahead of time. It’s amazing how little work it takes to finish this off in the field and how satisfying the results are for minimum effort.
- 2-4lb pork belly (skin on or off, whatever you can get from your butcher)
- 1 large onion
- Spice rub of choice for belly
- braising liquid of choice for belly (i like combo of orange and lime juice)
- 1 recipe of red cabbage slaw (I add very thinly sliced jalepeno peppers and sriracha)
- pack of corn tortillas
At Home Prep Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 250F
Slice an onion up into thick rings, put them on bottom of pyrex lasagna dish
Rub some salt, pepper, cumin and smoked paprika and/or chipotle chilli powder all over porkbelly
Lay porkbelly on top of onions (skin side up if the skin is still on it)
Pour in braising liquid up to about 1/3 height of belly.
Cover with foil and put it in oven
Cook it for 4-6 hours. It’s kind of hard to screw this up, you want to cook it until it’s very very tender but not necessarily falling apart.
Take it out and cool — at this point I like to put something flat and heavy on top of belly so as it cools, it stays flat and will make nice slices.
When it’s cool. Slice it into 1/2 thick slices and wrap in plastic and put in ziplock bag.
Make up the slaw recipe and put it in a plastic container.
Field Cooking Directions
Put the Coleman burners on super super low and warm up the griddle.
Lay the slices on the griddle and cook until brown and crispy, take your time, don’t rush.
Keep some tongs and paper towels nearby so that you can soak up excess rendered fat from the uneven corners of the griddle and avoid a grease fire.
Remove slices to a plate and warm up corn tortillas on the griddle (note it’s better to warm them up on a dry griddle so wipe off some of the fat)
Serve up the belly and slaw in the tortillas.
Sausage, Peppers and Onions
Here, the slicing can be done at home. Cooking the meal in stages takes a bit longer but the results are worth it.
At home prep:
Slice up the onions, peppers and mince some garlic.
Put the sliced veg in a ziplock bag
Grab a handful of herbs from your garden if you’ve got access, wrap them up in a paper towel and put them in the ziplock.
Cook the sausages on the griddle over super low heat for a long time until they’re cooked through and crispy on the outside.
Remove to a plate.
Put some olive oil on the griddle and fry up the peppers and onions. Chop herbs and add them after 5 minutes.
When vegetables are almost done to your liking, add the sausage back on to warm up.
If you end up trying any of the recipes and/or have any feedback, let me know in the comments below!