The Backcountry Chef – Beef Casserole a la Campfire


Sometimes all you need at the end of a long hike is a good meal.  With a little pre prep at home, literally all you have to do is combine ingredients and toss it in the flame.  The hardest part will be getting the fire started.  Please don’t blow yourself up with lighter fluid.

Good for
:  Hungry hikers, Car Camping, Hot meals
Time to cook: 20-35 minutes
Serves: 2 hungry people


  1. 1 lb ground beef, cooked
  2. 5 tbsp cream of potato soup per person
  3. 2 small-medium red potatoes, cubed
  4. 1 large carrot, chopped
  5. ½ white onion, diced finely
  6. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  7. Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Ziploc bags
  2. Aluminum foil
  3. Spoon
  4. Campfire


Pre Prep (at home):

  1. Chop up potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic, store in Ziploc bag for easy access
  2. Cook ground beef, cool, store for easy access and higher food safety

At Campsite:

  1. Cut sizeable squares of aluminum foil (you will be wrapping all ingredients in this)
  2. Mix together beef, 5 tbsp cream of potato soup, and ½ of prechopped mixed veggies
  3. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Wrap package up as well and spread out as possible, making sure that all food is well contained
  5. Wrap with one more layer of aluminum foil to ensure no food spillage or dinner disasters
  6. Toss in campfire, cook for 20-30 minutes depending on heat and size of fire, or until vegetables have softened
  7. Enjoy!

Weekly Backcountry Cooking Tip: Recycling
Common tools used in backcountry cooking are Aluminum foil and Ziploc bags.  Did you know that these are both recyclable?  In the case of Aluminum foil, whether or not foil with food on it is accepted heavily depends on each specific recycling center, but a lot of times it simply takes a quick rinse to get the foil ready.  In the case of Ziploc Bags, they can be taken to your grocer to be recycled with all other plastic bags.