You can’t have a collection of campfire cooking recipes without a good smokey pot of chili in the mix. Fire cooking with cast iron cooking just spells the great outdoors. What could be better depending on how hot you want that pot of chili than cooking it in a dutch oven and place on hot coals? And chili can be made so many ways that even a little celery and carrots added with some salt and pepper wouldn’t turn up anyone’s eyebrows if the mood struck to toss them in.
Traditionally the cast iron dutch oven is placed over the hot coals and about 1-2 Lbs of ground beef is added to brown with some chopped onion and garlic. Add about 2 Tbs of chili powder and stir to mix well. You can add some peppers of your choice depending on how hot you want to make it from mild with a sweet pepper to holy cow with some hot spicy peppers. You’ll want to drain off the fat as the ground beef browns. You might want to throw in a couple pieces of bacon to give it that smokey taste and add a little Worcestershire sauce or about 1/2 Tsp of liquid smoke. Just keep letting the meat brown up nice but not burn and keep mixing in those peppers, onions and garlic.
When the meat is nicely browned and the onions, garlic and peppers are tender you can add canned kidney or chili beans to the meat mixture juice and all. If you like your chili with just a tiny taste of sweetness try adding a can of pork and beans. Continue simmering your chili over the campfire and stir to keep it from sticking. The chili will thicken as it continues to simmer over the coals or your wood fire.
Meanwhile you can take out a cast iron skillet and treat with a little oil. What goes better with a pot of campfire chili than a skillet fun of cornbread? You can actually make a box of cornbread that you bought in a store but instead of cooking it in an oven you just mix the ingredients together and pour into the cast iron skillet. Place the lid on the skillet and place it on the grate over the fire. The cornbread will cook in the covered cast iron skillet and you’ll have a full flavored bread to go with your campfire chili.
Chili doesn’t have to be made with ground beef either as other meats work just as well like buffalo, venison, ground pork and even chicken. Chili can also be made with no meat at all or with meat and no beans. Let’s not forget either that chili can also be made with stewed tomatoes, tomatoes and diced peppers, tomato sauce or even vegetable juice if necessary. Garnishing chili with a little shredded cheese never hurts either or a spoonful of sour cream if you have it and some chopped green onions and let’s not forget the corn chips for that added crunch instead of crackers.