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If you’ve never had a meal over a campfire after a long day, let me let you in on a secret: there are very few things better than what woodsmoke and the crack of a fire can do for your spirit and your stomach. The first time I can remember having a true campfire meal was on a horseback trip in a state park in southern Ohio when I was thirteen—after a nine hour day in a humid deciduous forest on the back of an Arabian, I could’ve called just about anything a worthy meal. That said, the recipe below is based on one my uncle, a true man of the woods, threw together in a foil packet and tossed into the embers of our campfire. Over the years, I’ve adapted it and started making it on a cast iron to up the char and flavor factors. It’s easy, delicious, filling, and can be enjoyed right out of the pan.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
While this dish is great on its own, it’s amazing with frybread, an easy-to-make Navajo recipe where dough is fried in oil. Given that frying requires consistent heat, it’s best to make frybread in advance—this recipe is easy and delicious. Use the bread to eat the meat, put the meat mixture in the bread like a Navajo taco, whatever you want.
If you’re not a cast iron kind of person, you can also make this by heating ground beef and onions over a camp stove until cooked, then rolling everything together in a foil packet to get that smoky flavor.