Friday, May 14, 2010

Hobo Dinner Freezer Meals

We've got summer vacation coming up soon...and that mean camping trips. What mom, dad or granny wouldn't love to be prepared way ahead of time for that big camping trip...or dinner tomorrow? I think this freezer meal will shock and amaze even the pickiest eaters in your house. We call it a Hobo Dinner (or Foil dinner), but it's one of those classic comfort foods that we always had as a kid when we went camping. It's basically a hamburger pot roast cooked over hot coals in the woodland setting. Or, at home it can be baked in the oven (or solar oven) They can be made fresh for dinner, or frozen for later use. However you do it, be prepared to sing a rousing ensemble with your favorite hillbilly harmonica songs. It's campfire good. Down home good. If you precook the veggies and meat, it's even fast and good. we go:

Hobo Dinner's A La Chef Tess

5-6 large russet potatoes, cleaned well and cut into cubes, cooked in microwave or stove top until fork tender OR 4 lb frozen cubed hash browns
1 lb baby carrots, steamed 5 minutes (or frozen)
2 medium red onions, chopped, steamed with the carrots
2-3 T Chef Tess All Purpse seasoning blend
3 lb cooked hamburger patties, about 12
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
2 Cups dark brown mushroom gravy of your choice (I use homemade Gravy Mix made easy)

12 sheets of heavy duty foil (use the heavy stuff if you don't want a mess) about one foot long each.

Directions: In a large bowl, combine the carrots, onions, potatoes, and seasoning
Place one cup of vegetable mixture onto a lightly oiled sheet of foil. Place the cooked hamburger on top of the vegetable mixture and wrap tightly. I roll the ends and sides very well. Repeat until you have used all your hamburger and vegetable mixture. You can use veggie burgers if you choose instead of meat. Top the meat with a few tablespoons of the prepared gravy.

Place 4 meals in a gallon size freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Label with baking directions:
Remove from plastic bag and place in a 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes until heated through, or place in a solar oven Pot, cover the foil with a dark sheet pan, and close oven. Cook 45 minutes to an hour. In the on hot coals and cook 25 minutes.

Pour contents onto a plate and sprinkle with parsley if desired.
There you go. Quick and easy on the go for camping, oven baking, or solar cooking.


Anonymous said...

Your pictures look amazing. Is there another sauce I could used besides gravy? None of us like gravy around here. I's unamerican or something to not like gravy, but we are a whole family of non gravy eaters!

Rachelle said...

I think we will make these Sunday night around the fire pit in the backyard. Won't that be fun. I am surrounded by woods. It counts.

Chef Tess said...

You can use a lot of different sauces if you don't like gravy, my main concern is any sauce that has a lot of tomato or vinegar in it, as those react to the foil when left in contact for very long. If you like a nice prepared Alfredo, it is really good here, but I'd lay down a cabbage leaf on the foil and then your other ingredients. It will help it to not scorch. Rachelle...yes, a backyard fire pit is perfect! Make one for me. Smooches!

mlebagley said...

It only took me reading this twice to realize why the hamburger patty looked so different...and why it wasn't this pink blob. COOKED hamburger patty. Okay. Gotcha. Can I just say that is just genius? My family really enjoys hobo dinners, but they take so long to cook because of the meat! Love the precook. :)

Chef Tess said...

Pre-cook is the only way to go! It's so fast. You never know if you'll arrive at camp late...or at home just want dinner fast and fun. We do indoor camping evening where we have hobo dinners, roast marshmallows on the stove, and turn off all the lights and tell stories with flash lights. It's a great way to have fun on a budget.

Nivasi said...

My sister cooked this for me the other night, she used the beefy-onion dry soup.. a tsp on each patty.. was completely AWESOME.