Saturday, December 22, 2007

Testing

Hello Internets,

I decided to take my gear for a hike last weekend, in preparation for a new season of back country adventure.

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I hiked into echo lake with a full load of gear, to practice.

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The area was marked "closed", but it look pretty open to me.

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Echo Lake wasn't frozen yet, so I walked around it.

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Hiking in the snow was really hard, and fairly slow.

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I had a blast walking in the snow though, and can't wait to return for some over night adventures.

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Be safe out there,
Cayenne

Beef Stew

I wanted to see if I could make a beef stew in a trail friendly format.
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I start with big chunks of beef, a sprinkle of salt and dash of black pepper.

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Brown the meat over fairly high heat to get a good sear, and begin building some fond on the bottom of the pan.

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Set the browned meat aside, lower the heat to a med-high and cook some onions for 3-5 minutes, adding garlic during the last 45s or so.

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Deglaze the pan with some wine and chicken broth, add the meat back into the mix and bake @ 225 for an hour or so, with the lid on. I tossed in some more garlic too.

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Then we add in the carrots and potatoes, and let it stew @ 275 until they are cooked.

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This is what it looks like when I've finished cooking.

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I remove the beef chunks and shred them before drying

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It dries down into a big sheet.
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Done drying. I took out the big potato pieces and busted them up and dried them
further with some more carrots, beans, onions, and garlic to enhance the flavor.

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No much to look at, and light on flavor too, which is why I added more onions and garlic to mixture that I took on the trail.


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I also added some fresh steamed carrots and green beans to the final trail mixture,
for color and texture.

Um, I don't have my notes handy to write up the exact recipe, but look for it in the future to magically appear in the recipe list. You can pretty much guess the amounts from the pictures. 2 onions, 6 cloves of garlic, 3/4lb of carrots, four potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, half bottle of wine, some chicken stock, 2lbs of beef, a little flour etc.

Happy Holidays,
Cayenne

Lessons in Chili

Hello Internets,

I've given up on trail friendly ravioli for the moment. It's winter time, and I'm moving more and more into instant, cook in the bag, type of foods. I have done some experimenting with stews, soups, and chilies. Lets take a look at what a failure looks like, the beef chili.


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I wasn't planning on making this for the trail, so there are no pictures up to this point.

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I put some hunks of dried chili into the bowl, already I am thinking this is going to be a pretty nasty treat.

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Boiling water was added, and I wait for a few minutes

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Yuk, this tastes like something not so fresh from a fast food restaurant.

So, no recipe. I would be very disappointed in this if I brought this on the trail. I'm happy with the beans being nearly instant, but the flavor was flat and bitter at the same time. The meat and sauce was just too fatty to be dried reliably. When I have the time I'd like to make a chili with the intention of drying it down for the trail.

I have a beef stew that I made for the trail, and that turned out good enough that I took it on the trail and ate it all.

happy holidays,
Cayenne