Ramblings of a small town girl living in suburbia
Our first foray into dutch oven cooking was a 50/50 split. While we were in Yosemite we made tamale pie (a success!) and brownies (so-so). For the tamale pie, I modified a Cook’s Illustrated recipe that is one of my standbys at home. PIA, MIL & the little pias all loved it, so it’s definitely going in the camping “keeper” box. It’s a total one-pot meal, and the perfect end to a day out on the trail.
Cook’s Illustrated Skillet Tamale Pie
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 (6.5 – 8 oz) package cornbread mix (I used Jiffy, our fav)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (so not enough! I used more)
1 (6 oz) can black olives, drained (my addition)
1 (14.5 oz) can corn, drained (my addition)
Since I’m still so new to the whole dutch oven cooking process, I’ll assume that you know how to build your fire and get your pot hot and ready.
1) Heat oil and add onion, chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until onion is softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2) Stir in ground beef and all cans and bring to a simmer, breaking up beef.
3) Meanwhile, mix cornbread batter according to package directions.
4) Stir cheddar into filling and season with salt & pepper to taste. Spoon batter on top and spread into an even layer.
5) Put lid on and top with desired number of coals (as you can see in the picture above, I think we went a little overboard!).
6) Bake until cornbread is cooked through in the center.
The brownies? Well, let’s just say there was some definite yumminess to be scraped off the top. Our fire was a bit hot, so we’ll have to work on that next time. But I have to say, there’s nothing like eating a nice, warm brownie under the stars, even if it’s got a bit of char.