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Video:How to Make a Hobo Stew

with Brent Rose

Learning how to make hobo stew is a good way to solve the question of what to have for dinner. Here, see instructions on how to make hobo stew.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make a Hobo Stew

Hi, I'm Brent Rose for About.com, and today we're making Hobo Stew in the campfire.

What Is Hobo Stew?

Hobo Stew is a terrific base camp meal for groups because you can use virtually any ingredients you have available, and because everyone makes their own, it's easy to accommodate a whole range of tastes and dietary restrictions.

Supplies for Making Hobo Stew

You will need:
  • a Knife
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Butter or a flavorful cooking oil
  • and a Cutting Board
These cutting boards are light and flexible, which make them great for backpacking.Here's how I like to do it. Start out by thoroughly washing all of your vegetables in clean water, then chop everything up into small chunks.

Ingredients for Hobo Stew

For this stew I'm using:
  • bell peppers
  • zucchini
  • a red onion
  • garlic
  • potatoes (which must be cut to quarter-inch or thinner slices)
  • ground beef
  • salt and pepper
  • and a secret ingredient I'll show you in a moment.

Instructions for Making Hobo Stew

Lay out all of the ingredients in a row like a buffet, so to let each person choose their own ingredients. Now tear off two pieces of aluminum foil that are roughly 18” each. Be very careful not to puncture or tear the foil anywhere near the middle. Now take the butter (or cooking oil) and rub it into the foil to make a square in the center that is non-stick. Now, just start adding whatever ingredients you want.

Potatoes generally take the longest to cook, so I recommend putting them on the foil first, ensuring that they are closest to the highest temperatures. Then add onions, a good amount of ground beef, garlic, bell peppers, zucchini, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Now here's my secret ingredient. To add moisture and make it more stew like, I add roughly a few tablespoons of cream of mushroom soup. If you don't like cream of mushroom, any thicker soup will work just fine. Don't add too many ingredients, or it won't cook evenly.

Now here's the tricky part. Fold the foil in from the short sides, sliding the food inward, until the sides overlap a bit. Then carefully roll the long ends in, as you would a tube of toothpaste. You want the package to be nice and tight. Then place this package on top of the other piece of foil, with the opening facing down. Then fold the second piece of foil around it, ensuring that you won't have any leaks. If you've got a big group, it may be worth marking your pouch with a pen so it doesn't get mixed up with someone else's. It's now ready for the fire.Once the campfire has burned down some, use a stick or a metal trowel to even out a nice bed of coals. Do not attempt to do this with your hands unless you have high-heat resistant gloves. If you don't have gloves, use barbeque tongs or sticks.Now simply place your packet into the bed of coals, and use a stick to pull more coals on top of it, covering it completely.

Cooking time will vary depending on how hot your fire is, and how thick your packet is, but I say let it bake for about eight minutes, then carefully flip it over using some sticks or tongs, re-cover it, and let it bake for another seven minutes or so. When removing it from the fire, make sure you brush off any hot coals that might be sticking to the outside. Let it sit and cool for at least five minutes, then carefully remove the outer layer. Then turn it so the opening is face up, and being cautious not to burn yourself, unroll and open the package.

If it's fully cooked, the beef should not be at all pink, and the potatoes should be tender under your fork.You can eat it right out of the package, or you can pour it into a bowl, if you're classy like that. Mix the ingredients well. It may not look great, but trust me, it's delicious and extremely nourishing after a long day in the woods. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.

Additional Notes About Hobo Stew

Of course, Hobo Stew can also be made in a pot or a pan, it's just not as much fun. Plus, using foil allows you to pack ultra-light.Other great ingredients include: corn, peas, carrots, cubed beef, squash, tomatoes, and really just about anything else you would find tasty.
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