By Richard Thomas
One of the things about car camping is that one doesn’t need to rely upon lightweight backpacker food. Yet at the same time making ice runs for a cooler to store perishables, like meat, is a serious nuisance that most prefer to avoid. That is where dried meat, like jerky, comes in. When used to make a stew or soup, jerky adds flavor while rehydrating in the cooking liquid.
That is the idea behind bourbon jerky stew. Here you can get the sweet and smoky flavor of bourbon beef jerk into your stew, while not having to rely upon a single ingredient that will spoil on a hot summer day. My personal choice for this dish is something like Duke’s Bourbon Glaze Beef Steak Strips, since the cuts are thicker than the usual beef jerk.
Three medium-sized or large carrots
Two medium-sized potatoes
One medium-sized yellow onion
One 8.5 oz can of peas
One cube of beef bouillon
One 15 oz can of tomato sauce
Two packets of thick-cut bourbon beef jerky
Peel the potatoes, onion, and carrots, and then chop them up. Put your beef bouillon cube into half-liter/half-quart of water to make broth.
Coat the bottom of your pot with a thick layer of oil, put in the chopped onion, potatoes and carrots, and stir them up so the oil coats the veggies. Then coat the veggies with flour, stirring so the flour evenly coats and clumps on the veggies. This creates an improvised, quick and dirty roux, which will thicken your broth.
After cooking your veggies in flour for five minutes, pour in the beef broth and tomato sauce. Take out your bourbon beef jerky and cut the bigger pieces into smaller, bit-sized chunks. Throw those in the pot. Stir and simmer for half an hour. Then let the pot sit covered for a further hour, so the jerky will season the stew gravy and absorb moisture, but you won’t overcook your vegetables. Serve.