11 March, 2021

Campfire cooking. Dutch Oven French Ranch Peppered pot roast.

 Okay time to add another entry to the blog, and a recipe to enjoy. I will be adding this one to video soonest possible as well...

This one uses our camp dutch oven, coals, and time. Use the dutch oven heat guide apps (LOTS available) or bring a printed guide to help you determine how to maintain heat. This works best if you are camping lake / riverfront, and will be fishing it all day close to camp so you can keep an eye on, and tend the fire and coals... NEVER leave a campfire unattended, so don't even think about doing this unless you can commit to being there the whole long slow cook time... This is a recipe that is honestly a crock pot recipe converted time and temp for a camp dutch oven. 


2.5 - 3lb beef roast.

1 packet dry ranch mix. Hidden valley, store brand really doesn't matter.

1 packet Knorr French Onion Soup Mix

1 stick pasture / grass fed butter.

Pepperoncini peppers drained. About 6 to 8.

Facility issue. You either need a cleaned up / ash removed fire pit, which you could be kind enough to do for the campground, or a dutch oven table. I don't have one of those. If the grate swings out of the way, you can use one of those campground standing grills as a dutch oven table pretty easily. Not all, or even the majority do this though.  And do NOT violate any burn bans. I WILL not be responsible for any legal problems you get into for violating the rules...


You will need a camp dutch oven, the kind with a raised lip on the lid to keep coals from falling off, a hoop to catch the lid lifter on the lid, and of course at least 3 or 4 legs undernath to give you clearance for the coals. You want this pre seasoned, however this recipe will certainly help with seasoning it.

I am upfront about my Amazon affiliate links, but if they are not the best deals I won't post them. And in this case they aren't even close. Presently my local Walmart and I believe chain wide at least in the CONUS, have the Ozark Trail 5 quart cast iron camp dutch oven for under $18.00. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-5-Quart-Cast-Iron-Dutch-Oven-with-Handle/55208717 The least expensive one I can find on Amazon starts at over $40.00

Both Walmart and Amazon seem in the same range for thsese so here goes. Dutch Oven Lid Lifter. to help you lift the lid to rotate, and just, well open the thing up https://amzn.to/3qJ39EB

Cast Iron dutch oven trivet. This goes inside the oven and lifts the meat off the bottom to give, well a more oven experience to the contents. You want the kind that goes INSIDE the dutch oven, not the kind the dutch oven sets on. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Lodge-8-inch-Cast-Iron-Meat-Rack-Trivet-Pre-Seasoned-L8DOT3/15836674 

Oven mitts, or something like an Ove Glove. You will want to pick up the dutch oven to rotate it by the bail handle.

Means of igniting charcoal. Do NOT use Match Light. I prefer to use a proper charcoal chimney but you CAN use lighter fluid. 

BBQ tools including long stainless steel tongs to handle the coals.


Long burning hardwood charcoal. Kingsford or Royal Oak. Walmart's house brand I think it is called Master Grill seems to be rebagged Royal Oak.

Ignition source for the charcoal. In my case old newspapers. 

A BBQ lighter.


Pre heat number of coals given by your dutch oven temp guide in your chacoal chimney, +  4 or so coals until the top coals are grayed over. 

Place the trivet in and the lid on the dutch oven.

Place the proper number according to your calcuator for the lid of the dutch oven.

Let this heat up for 10-15 minutes, allowing the cast iron to get fully hot, and the inside air of the DO to get fully hot.

Remove the lid of the DO and set aside on a clean heat safe surface.

Place the roast on the trivet.

Sprinkle the ranch powder on the roast.

Sprinkle the French Onion Soup mix on the roast.

Unwrap and place the stick of butter on the roast.

Place the peppers on the roast next to the butter.

Carefully place the lid back on the dutch oven.

Cook for 2.5 to 3 hours maintaining the 325 deg F. Every 15 to 30 minutes pick up Dutch oven and rotate 90 degrees clockwise, Rotate lid another 90 degrees clockwise. Replace coals every 30 minutes or so. Place partially spent coals in campfire. 

At 2.5 to 3hr mark, remove from heat. Let rest for 10 min before serving.

Serve with your choice, but we like foil packet roasted veggies, grilled asparagus or similar greens, a couple of small roasted potatoes, and some crusty french bread.

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