The first time I made hobo stew was on my camping trip for my Boy Scout First Class Badge. I wanted to be first in the troop to earn that honor so I went camping in the dead of winter in a snow storm.
Last weekend, I was in DC with my family and it was all I could do to force myself to go out in the cold on an adventure with my daughter (shopping) which was fun and to indulge my granddaughter at Toys R Us where she could buy all she could carry to the register ($56). That was fantastic watching her run around and pick up toys and put them back until she found her 7 year old heart’s desire (more dolls). That trip was worth trekking out to the tundra to freeze my butt off.
Hobo stew is a very logical name for a slow cooked meal made with root cellar crops and road kill. Now my Mom prepped the mean which was beef and came from a grocery store. But the onions, potatoes and carrots came from our pantry.
The recipe was simplicity in itself. Cut up the beef, onion, potatoes and carrots, put in a proper sized tin can and add salt and pepper to taste, cover with water and put it by the side of the fire where it can cook slowly without boiling over. Add more water during the course of the day so it cooks without drying out. Since I was cold and freezing to death, the only time I left the fire was to get more fire wood so keeping the stew moist was easy.
I was also cooking sourdough pancakes made with a fermented potato skin liquid to give the yeast and sourdough. All I remember was they were so good and I was so cold, that I spent the whole day cooking pancakes and eggs and eating them. I wish I could find that recipe again although using fermented potatoes probably isn’t all that bright.
1 medium potato
5 oz. lean beef
1 small onion or 1/2 large
1 medium carrot sliced long ways and cut to pot size.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Like always I put the potato into the coffee pot a with a teaspoon of salt and and add 10 cups of water to the coffee maker to blanch the potatoes. Drain the salt water after 1/2 hour and put the meat, carrots, onions and potatoes back in the pot with the meat on bottom and the carrots next. Add about 1 cup water and don’t forget to add the salt and pepper. Put it on the coffee maker to cook all day.
I didn’t keep real good track of calories or cost because after 50 years of cooking and using spices I knew I would do better if it turned out Ok.
It turned out great. Everything cooked and the meal was fantastic.
For various reasons, I called the improved version Pirate Stew and will publish it soon.