Create a pot of Camping Beef Stew in a Dutch Oven on your next trip. This favorite American comfort food is easy to prepare in a cast-iron pot.
We love to eat stew. We make a variety of stews at home because it is a hearty meal. Sometimes we eat it with a side of bread.
Classic beef stew is a good idea after a long day out in the forest. We love an easy recipe with basic vegetables that serves as an entire meal.
Dutch ovens are great for making stews. Nothing can compare to a pot of stew cooked slowly in a cast iron Dutch oven. We think of it as a camping slow cooker.
This is a little more involved than our usual quick recipes, but you will discover that extra effort is worth it.
Best Camping Beef Stew Recipe
Here are the ingredients for this beefy stew. Several spices are included to give it tons of flavor.
- stew meat
- garlic cloves
- tomato paste
- bay leaf
- ground thyme
- ground rosemary
- Worcestershire sauce or red wine
- thawed frozen peas or green beans
- salt & pepper
- fresh parsley
- optional: jalapeno or hot sauce
The first time we made this tasty meal we used chuck steak, but then discovered that it works best with a chuck roast.
How to Make Dutch Oven Beef Stew
- prepare hot coals for the Dutch oven
- cook the meat with a good knife
- add water and chopped vegetables
- add paste and spices
- stew until cooked thoroughly
Dutch Oven Recipe Tip
For slow cook recipes like this stew, it is important to have a lot of coals prepared so that you can replace the coals that burn out. We like to do the cooking part of this recipe over the camp fire and the stew part with coals. For campfire recipes that need a lot of stirring, use a long-handled spatula.
Detailed Campfire Beef Stew Directions
Heat the Dutch oven over the campfire. Melt the butter in the pot and then add the pieces of meat.
Stir the beef around until it is gray. Add the flour and constantly stir until flour begins to brown in color, making sure not to burn it.
Slowly add ½ cup beef broth or cold water* while stirring constantly, without stopping the boiling process.
*Note: An important thing to remember is that pouring cold water into an extremely hot cast iron pot can crack the iron, so add water very slowly. No more than ½ to 1 cup at a time.
Add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery to the pot. Stir frequently and cook for about 10 minutes. Add small amounts of water or broth to keep it from sticking.
Add in the mushrooms and garlic. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
Mix in the potatoes, tomato paste, spices, Worcestershire sauce or red wine, and 5 cups of broth or water. When it has reached a boil, cover with a lid.
Reduce the heat on the Dutch oven to equal a simmer. This is when we remove the pot from the fire and use campfire coals on top of the Dutch oven to keep the pot at a simmer.
Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the lid and add the frozen peas. Recover and cook 15 more minutes.
Taste the stew and add salt or pepper as desired. Stir in chopped fresh parsley and serve.
So tasty and filling! Multiply the ingredients of this campfire stew recipe to feed larger families and friends.
Next time we are going to do some campfire cooking experiments with ground beef, root vegetables, and red peppers to come up with some other camp stew recipes.
More Hearty Dutch Oven Meals
- 1 pound stew meat
- 2 TBSP butter or olive oil
- ¼ cup flour
- 6 cups cold water or beef stock
- 2 medium onions
- 4 carrots
- 3 ribs of celery
- 2 cups of mushrooms
- 4-6 cloves of minced garlic
- 4 medium potatoes
- 6 oz can of tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ tsp. oregano
- ⅛ tsp. ground thyme
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 1½ tsp. Ground rosemary
- 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce or red wine
- 1½ cups thawed frozen peas
- salt & pepper
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- optional: jalapeno pepper or hot sauce
- Chop the meat into ½” chunks.
- Chop the carrots, onion, celery, mushroom, and potatoes.
- Place a Dutch oven over the campfire to heat.
- Melt the butter or olive oil in the pot.
- Add the meat chunks and cook, stirring until it is gray.
- Add the flour in. Stir constantly until the flour begins to brown in color, making sure not to burn it.
- Slowly add ½ cup beef broth or cold water* while stirring constantly, without stopping the boiling process.
*Add no more than ½ to 1 cup at a time, as a cold liquid to a hot cast iron pot can crack the iron.
- Add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery to the pot. Stir frequently and cook for about 10 minutes. Add small amounts of water or broth to keep it from sticking.
- Add in the mushrooms and garlic. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
- Mix in the potatoes, tomato paste, spices, Worcestershire sauce or red wine, and the rest of the broth or water. When it has reached a boil, cover with a lid.
- Reduce the heat to equal a simmer. We achieve this by removing it from the campfire and using coals for heat.
- Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid and add the frozen peas. Return the lid and cook 15 more minutes.
- Taste the stew and add salt or pepper as desired.
- Stir in chopped fresh parsley and serve. For those that like a little spiciness, add a chopped jalapeno pepper or some hot sauce.