Camping Recipe: Campfire Dinner in a Pumpkin

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A simple, all-in-one dinner that’s perfect for autumn and Halloween campfire entertaining.

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Prepare Ahead:

  • 1 pound cooked crumbled ground beef, seasoned to taste with diced onion, garlic powder, salt and black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 small orange, yellow or green bell pepper, diced

 

To Assemble at Campsite:

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 small can mushrooms, drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2-4 teaspoons Frank’s Hot Sauce to taste
  • 1 sugar pie pumpkin about 8-10 inches in diameter, seeded and cleaned like a jack o’ lantern

 

Equipment:

Aluminum foil and 26-30 hot charcoal briquettes or a bed of campfire coals

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl stirring to mix. If the pumpkin is large enough, the ingredients can be mixed directly in the pumpkin. Add the mixture to the pumpkin and replace lid.

2. Double wrap the pumpkin securely in aluminum foil taking care to seal all edges. Make a mound of briquettes or coals and bury the foil-wrapped pumpkin as much as possible inside the mound so just the top 1/3 is exposed. Bake the pumpkin for at least 1 hour until the pumpkin is soft. If using a wood coal fire, take care to replenish the coals keeping them hot. Scoop out the filling and portions of cooked pumpkin to serve.

Tip: Campfire Cooking

Successful campfire cooking starts before you even strike a match. It’s important to build the proper fire to create an even bed of coals. A campfire requires fuel and plenty of oxygen. A log cabin-style fire constructed like a pioneer’s log cabin allows for plenty of air circulation and an even spacing of fuel, which results in a perfect bed of coals. Wood used for cooking fires should be well-seasoned, meaning it’s from a dead tree or was cut months earlier. Hard woods such as trimmings from fruit or shade trees make better fires than softer woods such as pine and fir. For the easiest, most consistent cooking over a fire, use commercial charcoal briquettes. Briquettes burn evenly and longer for trouble-free cooking. A chimney-style briquette starter is useful for in creating a perfect bed of charcoal coals for cooking.

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