If you missed last week’s DestinySurvival Radio with Mark Hansen on Dutch oven cooking with food storage, check out the blog post with the show link and other links here. Part one focused mostly on Dutch oven basics. Part two this week goes more into Mark’s thoughts and advice about cooking certain foods.
Hot for Dutch Oven Cooking
When you listen to this week’s show, you’ll notice I start it differently than usual. It’s no exaggeration to say Mark is hot for Dutch oven cooking. He has five cookbooks on the subject to his credit. Then there’s his very popular blog. If anybody knows about Dutch oven cooking, it’s Mark Hansen.
His book, Stop, Drop, and Cook, emphasizes food storage cooking with your Dutch oven. His goal with this book is to help you be ready to cook meals for your family when there’s no power or gas for cooking. He says to start practicing now. Get acquainted with your Dutch oven and how to cook with food storage. This way it won’t be unfamiliar, and you’ll have skill and confidence for when the big event happens.
As I noted last week, the introductory part of Mark’s book is sort of a Dutch Oven 101. Recipes come in varying levels of simplicity, or complexity, depending on your point of view. They include plenty of helpful commentary and tips. Thus, they’re not just lists of ingredients and cooking times. You’ll find recipes on…
- Dinners and Entrees
- Side Dishes
The last few pages contain a resource list of helpful Web sites and a recipe index.
Morsels from Our Chat
Are you turned off by TVP? Mark was, too, until he started using it. However, he says not to make it the main focus of the meal. Add it to dishes like chili or spaghetti sauce.
Looking for info on how to make a meat substitute from gluten? He covers that in his book, too. How about Sloppy Joes anyone?
I was surprised to see so many soup recipes listed among the entrees. But Mark says soups are very well suited for Dutch oven cooking, since you’re simply cooking in a pot.
In case you didn’t already know it, you can make breads, rolls, biscuits, cornbread, pizza crust, pancakes, and more. Even do Ezekiel bread in your Dutch oven.
The dessert section in this cookbook doesn’t disappoint either. I’m impressed with the array of possibilities. Try carrot cake, brownies, or apple pie bites. In fact, you can even make full sized pies.
Want to do something creative with those beans you’ve stored? Make bean pie. Mark made a chocolate pie using beans, which he described as incredible.
Of course, you can always do what people might expect you to do with beans, such as fix baked beans or cooked lentils.
Breakfast recipes include a tasty casserole and hot cereal. Mark likes a mountain man breakfast casserole. In our conversation he described a twist on pancakes which left his kids wondering if they were eating breakfast or dessert.
Is there anything you can’t make in a Dutch oven?
Well, probably not waffles. Muffins are a bit difficult, too. And cookies are best made into bars you cut apart, rather than individual cookies.
Otherwise, the versatility afforded by Dutch oven cooking is amazing.
Mark is a believer in adaptability and substitutions and suggests several things you can use if you don’t have a given ingredient. You can easily mix and match fresh ingredients with canned food or freeze dried and dehydrated items. Consider what the recipe calls for, and do any preparation ahead of time. For example, you may need to soak dry beans a few hours, which you wouldn’t have to do when using canned beans.
It’s important to note that some ingredients, such as flour, aren’t shelf stable for long periods of time. Therefore, in a long term survival situation, grind your own wheat flour to have it fresh.
While you shouldn’t lift the lid very often to check on your food while it’s cooking, Mark doesn’t say not to do it. Sometimes it’s necessary to check the temperature of meat. That means adding a reliable food thermometer to your cooking accessories.
Mark loves to show off the versatility of Dutch oven cooking and surprise people with the results. If you really want to go out on a limb with unusual dishes, get Mark’s book Around the World in a Dutch Oven.
An unexpected benefit of Dutch oven cooking for Mark is his discovery that many of the foods he disliked as a child are enjoyable now. That’s because Dutch oven slow cooking improves flavors and texture.
Wrapping it Up
Hear part two of my conversation with Mark Hansen by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for May 7, 2015. (Right click to download.) Check out his blog at www.marksblackpot.com. To order any of Mark’s books, start by clicking on its title in this post. His books to date are…
- Best of the Black Pot
- Black Pot for Beginners
- Around the World in a Dutch Oven
- Dutch Oven Breads
- Stop, Drop, and Cook
Do you cook with a Dutch oven? If so, do you have a favorite recipe?
Who knows? Before long you’ll be hot for Dutch oven cooking, too.