One of my favourite camping dishes is a stew made out of ground beef and some veggies. Till now, I have called it a Shepherd’s Stew, and I was about to publish it under that name. Fortunately, just in time, a British friend of mine told me that preparing something with any other meat than lamb, and naming it shepherd’s stew, or pie, is equivalent to blasphemy, and if I want to stay in good relationships with shepherds, especially British or Irish ones, I should name my dish correctly.
Therefore, in order to avoid the wrath of the shepherds of the British isles, from now on, the dish will be called Cottage Stew.
Then to the newly named stew itself. There are several reason why I like my basic Cottage Stew so much;
1. All of the ingredients are very easy to dehydrate, and the reductions of weight is significant.
2. The recipe is pretty much fool proof and the required hands on time at the camp site is minimal.
3. The dish can be easily prepared using the most basic, one pot cooking gear, such as Mini Trangia.
4. The recipe is easy to modify. If you don’t have processed cheese with you, the dish is almost as good without it. If you happen to have some extra stuff, such as dehydrated mushrooms or herbs in your backpack, just add them into your stew, and the end result may be better than the original. If your closest friend happens to be a cow, or you have some other reasons to avoid meat, the dish can be converted to vegetarian version by replacing the meat with ground soy protein or equivalent.
5. The stew tastes damn good.