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Dutchoven 101's Step by steps with pictures

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Fried Cabbage

When I go out with the cook camp, I like to do dishes that were popular in the 19th century; often some of these are not well known today.

This is a good way to get a veggie dish ready in a hurry, takes about a half hour from start to finish.

I used 4 heads of cabbage for this 12' deep oven. (Holds 8 quarts) 

I chopped up the cabbage after I removed the less desirable outer leaves.

I then chopped up about 5-6 oz's of bacon and browned it up.  I was in a hurry so I placed the oven right on the fire, this got it hot enough that I could remove it in a short time and the heat was enough to finish it as it cooled. 

When I removed it from the fire I added a couple chopped onions and browned them a bit as I finished the bacon.

The oven was still fairly hot and I just put it on top of the 14 inch deep I was cooking my meat loaf in.

I added salt and pepper and just stirred it till the cabbage was softened and browned.

Most had never eaten it before, but they all tried it and everyone liked it, in fact they cleaned the oven up, no leftovers.

Pork Loin With a rub

This was a new experiment for me at Hollenberg Kansas in 2006.  A fella in Texas sent me some dry rub to try out; if he goes on the market with it I will let you know.  It is a wonderful rub and it is made proper with out salt.  That way the cook can control the amount of salt used. 

The Pork loins were rubbed with salt to my taste and then after allowing the salt to draw out some of the moisture for maybe 10 minutes the rub was put on.  The loins were then put in a 14 inch deep oven and allowed to rest for about 3 hours.  The salt and the spices will keep spoilage away for this short time.

About 3 hours before supper I got a couple good shovelfuls of very hot coals and piled about 2-2 1/2 inches of them up and took my hat and fanned them up to very hot.  The oven was placed on top and as much coals as I could pile on the lid were added and then fanned up very hot also.  One could hear the pork searing inside the oven.

I left the lid closed for a good hour, before I check on it, by this time a lot of the hot heat was gone and the oven was down to maybe 250-275 in temp.  The roast just slow cooked and a few coals from time to time kept it warm and slow cooking.  By the time the rest of supper was ready the meat was fork tender.

And yes it was wonderful.

This one as the name says works good with either chicken or upland game.  Pheasants are not Period Correct in most of the US, but that don't keep me from cooking them in the fall.

Most of the time a traveler who shot a couple Prairie Chickens or other such for supper would cook the breast halves for supper and either throw away the tougher parts or simmer them by the fire for some soup for breakfast.  Legs and thighs on these ground birds can be very tough at times. 

This was made with just some boneless chicken breast that I robbed out of our freezer. 

This took about an hour once I had a fire going, one could make a dish faster, but this will come out fork tender.

I used a 12 inch shallow for this, I got it hot and smoking with maybe a 1/2 teaspoon of lard in the bottom.  I tossed the chicken in and browned it well with salt and pepper. This browning as in the beef, makes it taste so much better and I think is an important step often neglected in modern cooking.

I then added about a cup to a cup and a half of water.  Nope, never measured.

I had some onions with me so I cut one up on the browned chicken.  Wild onions were often used on this dish out on the prairie. 

One could also cover either the chicken or wild birds with a strip or two of bacon or salt pork.  One might want to use a little less salt if one does, the bacon will keep it moister. 

Just like the beef, I set in on some coals, but went heavier, because chicken responses to fast cooking better than beef.  I put a large amount on top also and steamed it for maybe 45 minutes, with out letting it run dry.  Check often till you get a feel for it.

After this the chicken is well cooked and tender, I just put down a few fresh coals and remove the lid to evaporate the remaining water, I then rebrown the chicken and brown the onions.  Then it's ready to eat. 

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Czech style Pork and Kraut with Tater Dumplings

Amounts are not critical so we'll go basic and you make it to fit your crowd and dutch oven.

Take some pork, roast, steak, chops or such is fine. The roast will just take a bit longer to cook.

Sear the pork in a heavy skillet or DU, add a bit of lard if the meat is real lean. When it is well seared remove and brown 1 or more onions in the drippings.

Replace the meat and add about an inch of water to the pan. Simmer for aprox. 1 hour for steaks and chops, 2 for roast.

Add some caraway seed, salt and black pepper to taste and enough kraut to cover the meat, simmer 1 more hour or so till meat is tender.

Mix 1-3 teaspoons brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon flour for each 12 oz or so of kraut, mix in enough water to make a thin paste and stir it into the kraut. Return to simmer.

Now while doing this with the meat, boil several peeled potatoes. Let cool and mash or rice. (A potatoe ricer looks like a large garlic press.) Ricing is best. Mix 1/2 and 1/2 mashed potatoes and flour , before mixing add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to each cup of flour or use self-rising flour. Mix 1 beaten egg in for every 2 cups of mix. If needed add a bit of water and roll out by hand, make dumplings 1/2-3/4 around and 3-4 inches long.

Remove the pot from the fire and add the dumplings to the top. Bring to a boil and cover for 15-20 minutes.



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