Hello everyone and welcome to DUTCH OVEN WEEK . Dutch Oven Week is my hat's off to the Pioneers at Red Couch Recipes.
This Saturday, Utahn's will be celebrating Pioneer Day on July 24th, an official state holiday, which commemorates the entering of Brigham Young and other Mormon Pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847 after their 1300 mile journey. Although Pioneer Day has its roots in the Mormon faith; Pioneer Day commemorates all pioneers who entered Utah before the advent of the transcontinental railroad in 1869.
In 1997 the State of Utah approved H.B. 203 designating the Dutch Oven as the State Cooking Pot! Dutch Oven cooking is especially popular during the summer! Everything from potatoes to rolls to cobblers are cooked in dutch ovens. Lewis and Clark, mountain men, and Mormon pioneers all used dutch ovens to cook along the trail as they moved, travelled or explored westward; dutch ovens were essential for cooking. If you are not familiar with Dutch Oven Cooking, click HERE for a good review. The internet is a great source for recipes and instructions on Dutch Oven Cooking.
The dutch ovens used for camping/outdoor cooking have legs on the bottom so that coals can be placed underneath and a flanged lid so that coals can be placed on top. There are also flat-bottomed, non-flanged dutch ovens used for oven cooking. I have a sassy red one that I like to cook in.
In , June we held a "Daddy-Daughter" party at our home for girls from my church ages 8-11 and their dads. The evening was western themed, and, of course, we had to have some type of dutch oven cooking. We chose dutch oven potatoes and they were cooked by our friend LaMar and his wife. Just a few years back, LaMar was a bull rider and a clown at regional rodeos. He came decked out in Western ware for the party.
LaMar even brought his gun!
He wore his spurs for the evening!
I took a picture of his truck. He has several mules they ride. Can you tell that he and his wife love mules?
To achieve 350 degrees in a dutch oven, the rule of thumb is to times the width of your oven by 2, which helps determine how many coals to use. For example, cooking dutch oven potatoes in a 16 inch oven would require approximately 32 coals, around 16-18 on top and 14-16 on bottom. The amount of coals on top and bottom varies as to the type of cooking you are doing. Once you are into cooking with your dutch oven, you will want to acquire a lid lifter as shown below. LaMar has a fancy contraption which I love, to put the Dutch Oven in. When I use my Dutch Ovens, I use a piece of sheet metal to cook on or cook on cleared ground.
The potatoes are happily cooking and the lid has been taken off an the cheese and more pepper and salt has been added.
Recipe for Dutch Oven Potatoes
1 pound bacon -- Cook in your dutch oven and then break up into pieces.5 to 7 pounds scrubbed potatoes -- You can leave the skins on red potatoes.
1 large can (28 ounce) cream of mushroom soup
2 cups milk
1-2 medium onions chopped finely
Salt and Pepper to taste
2-3 cups cheddar cheese. I prefer sharp.
See rule of thumb above for coals. For a 16 inch dutch oven, put 14-16 coals on bottom and 16-18 coals on top. Cook bacon in Dutch Oven and then slice into small pieces. Add potatoes, cream of mushroom soup, milk, onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix ingredients together in Dutch Oven. See rule of thumb for coals for Dutch Ovens above. For a 16 inch Dutch Oven put 14-16 coals on bottom and 16 -18 coals on top to achieve a heat of 350 degrees. Cook for about 45 minutes, depending on your coals. Take off lid, making sure that the ashes DON'T get in the potatoes, then add cheese, and extra salt and pepper if needed, and cook until cheese is melted.
The potatoes are cooked and ready to be served. Yummy!