Whatís it good for?
Camping without electrical
hookup (so the crock-potís at home), yet you want to be away on an all day excursion?
Granted, these days youíd probably just stop at a restaurant on the way back to the campground, but sometime you might be staying and playing in a remote location, where eating out just isnít an option. Thatís no reason to settle for a supper of bean dip and chips! You can make a Bean Hole.
What is a Bean Hole?
With a Bean Hole, you cook your vittles in your cast iron dutch oven (with lid!), just as you would on your campfire. Except with the Bean Hole, the fire is in the hole, and the whole thing is buried.
How to make a Bean Hole
First, with that shovel you always bring along but never really seem to need,
you dig a hole, about 15 to 18 inches deep and about 6 inches wider than the diameter of your cast iron dutch oven. Reserve dirt for later use. (This part could be done a day ahead!)
Then you build a fire adjacent to the top of the hole. (Variation: build the fire
in the hole.)
Next, throw your food together and into your cast iron dutch oven. Suggested are things like beef or pork roast, potatoes, onions, and carrots, ala those Sunday- after- church dinners that Moms used to make. Add enough water so the bottom of the pot is just covered. Close lid.
When the fire next to (or in) the hole has burned down considerably, rake plenty of coals into the hole (if they arenít there already), and lower the covered dutch oven into the hole, on top of the coals.
Rake the remaining coals into the hole, on top of the dutch ovenís lid, and also around the sides of the pot. (If you built your fire in the hole instead of adjacent to it, build another small fire on top, and let this burn down as before.)
Gently fill the Bean Hole with dirt. (You will have dirt left over.)
Go away and play for hours on end. Your dinner is slow-cooking, in the ground, as those banked coals smolder all afternoon. When you arrive back at camp, dig up the dutch oven, being careful (of course) not to disturb the lid.
Have a great
meal, just like if youíd slow cooked it in an oven or crock pot. :party
Of course, there are several caveats to the above:
--You do need that shovel, and a cast iron dutch oven, with lid.
--Unless the ground is very soft, those collapsing shovels that are perfect for a small, molded fiberglass travel trailer, arenít the best choice of implement.
--Some campgrounds might frown on you digging a hole at your campsite.
--Even if a Bean Hole is permitted, you must, of course, refill it with dirt when finished, and leave the site as if the hole were never there. This makes it somewhat labor intensiveÖ werenít we on vacation?
--Not recommended for a rainy day (light rain okay, but no gully washers).
Next Weekís Recipe:
[/i]Bean Dip and Chips![/i]