Camp Fire's Meat Pie from Lac St-Jean [camp fire]
From: Nicole, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Comments: A 'tourtiere' that we like to prepare every year; it is possible to increase the quantities.
This meat pie is excellent reheated, served along with warm crusty bread and a green salad, sprinkled to taste with homemade or not salad dressing.
Serve along with a tea, a coffee, or a glass of red wine.
For best results, prepare meat, potatoes and seasonings the day before leaving; keep refrigerated into a zipper plastic bag until ready to leave, or freeze then thaw mixture the day before leaving.
As we usually camp for approximately 2 weeks, I must admit that our camping neighbors are surprise to us bake this pie over the camp fire as they only light it during the evening but I use it even during day, raining or not; my husband makes sure that there always is some embers at the bottom, the fire only needs to be keep it alive. I also cook some spaghetti sauces, pancakes, French toasts, toasts, eggs, bacon, coffee, tea, boiled corn-onthe-cob, even heat the water to wash the dishes. What I need for the camping season is a small and a large cast-iron casseroles and a frypan, the same ones that I use in my oven during the winter, that I wash then dry with paper toweling or clean old throw-away rags.
It is REALLY IMPORTANT to use black cast-iron casserole with lids, barbecue utensils and mittens or thick handlers. The cast-iron frypan is useful to cook pancakes, French toasts and even homemade French fries, cast-iron casseroles to boil vegetables, prepare sauces, oatmeal, poached eggs and more. As rolling pin, it is always possible to use a clean beer or wine bottle or any other round container such as a can.
To cook directly over the camp fire prepare a light a fire using wood logs and charcoals until a little more than embers remain. Make a well in the middle and arrange a few regular bricks in the middle to sit the casserole without embers touching the casserole. Note : intense heat can cook a meat pie, a pudding or baked beans in approximately 1 hour [always watch carefully as you do not want any dish to thick to the bottom of the casserole nor to burn; it is sometimes necessary to remove the casserole after 5 to 10 minutes and to continue the cooking onto the wire rack. Add some wood logs or charcoals whenever needed. After cooking remove the bricks from the fire using camping shovel or any other safe tool; leave bricks to cool onto wire rack. If desired, wrap a cast-iron frypan or small casserole into al foil and use it as a support; clean it when you get back at home and wrap it for another camping trip.
  • 1 pound [454 g] small stewing beef cubes
  • 1 pound [454 g] small lean stewing veal cubes
  • 1 pound [454 g] small lean stewing pork cubes
  • 1 large yellow or red onion, into small cubes
  • 4 to 5 potatoes, peeled then cubed
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup [125 to 190 mL] beef broth concentrate, store-bought or homemade
  • Leftover red wine [optional]
  • Ground black or white pepper, to taste
  • Steak spices, to taste [optional]
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 approximately 1/2-inch [1.3-cm] thick homemade or store-bought pastry shell, large enough to cover the mixture
  • Prepare fire.
  • Transfer beef, veal and pork cubes into a large cast-iron casserole.
  • Season meat cubes to taste with balck or white pepper and, if desired, steak spices.
  • Mix to well season all meat cubes.
  • Mix in yellow or red onion and potato cubes.
  • Reserving any remaining liquids, pour in just enough beef broth concentrate and, if desired red wine, to cover the ingredients.
  • Add bay leaf.
  • Completely cover mixture with pastry shell; cut a round in the middle for steam to escape and to be able to pour in liquids if and whenever needed while cooking.
  • Cover and transfer casserole in the middle of the fire, onto hot bricks.
  • Cook meat pie until pie cruts is golden yet not blackened, a little crunchy, for approximately 1 hour according to the heat of the fire, adding more liquids if needed.