Lake Shelbyville Chili Cookoff Campfire Chili
Our Dutch Oven has a flat bottom (just like...nevermind:wak ), so I set an old charcoal grill rack on a couple logs and set it on that.
Anyway, brown your ground meat in the d.o. and throw all your favorite chili fixin's in. I don't usually drain the meat, since I use lean stuff. As far as amounts are concerned, I try not to fill the d.o. over 3/4 full. Simmer over (or beside) the fire, stirring occasionally (mostly to let everyone get a whiff - you'll be very popular!). I can usually fight everyone off for about 2 hours, but I've given up in as little as an hour and held on for an entire rainy afternoon.
15 minutes before you plan to eat, mix up a batch of corn bread batter. I usually use a 'just add water' mix, cheap & simple. Pull the chili off the fire and carefully spoon the batter on the top of the chili. (Trust me!) Set the d.o. beside the fire and put the lid back on it.
Now - some Dutch Ovens have a flat lid that sets down in the pan. Our lid is curved, so after wiping it off and oiling it on top, I put it back on the pan upside down. Carefully scoop up some coals from the fire and put a layer of them on top of the d.o. Give it about 15 minutes, but you can check it once or twice-you'll know when the cornbread is done.
Take it to the table, stick a spoon in it, and stand back! We judge the winners of the cookoff by how much chili is left over and I hardly have to clean the d.o. afterwards!
Dina (& Jim) Schulz