Dec 13, 2008 at 7:36 am #1232598
Just got an American Harvest dehydrator and I want to take dehydrated beef stew on the trail.
I normally cook my beef stew in a pressure cooker so everything comes out nice and tender and very well blended in a broth.
I have the solid tray liners with a lip around the edge. Do I simply pour this stew onto the trays and flip the switch or is it more complicated than that?Dec 13, 2008 at 8:09 am #1464073
@clt1953Locale: northern minnesota
mike. that's about it. as long as it is not to watery. i don't have a lip on my flexable trays and mine comes out just fine…happy dehydrating..Dec 13, 2008 at 8:53 am #1464081
Thanks Victoria, glad to hear that!Dec 13, 2008 at 2:29 pm #1464146
If you need more trays to dry on, parchment paper works great :-) Just cut to fit with a tiny "lip".Dec 13, 2008 at 8:08 pm #1464213
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Make sure everything is in very small pieces, especially the meat, so it will rehydrate in a reasonable time. I've done stew and it worked fine.
But no peas. I tried dehydrating a chicken casserole with peas once. After 15 minutes' boiling, the peas were still like buckshot–hard enough to break a tooth. I had to eat around them and pack out the peas. If you want a dish with peas, dry the dish without, get some freeze-dried peas from "Just Tomatoes" and add them after the rest of the dish is dehydrated.
The real lesson I learned from that incident is to try everything out at home, first!
If you're not familiar with Sarah's "Freezer Bag Cooking" site, she has lots of info on dehydrating there. I'm an avid fan!Dec 14, 2008 at 2:19 am #1464233
I have lots of parchment paper, Sarah. I'll definitely use it.
Thanks Mary for warning about the peas. I like peas so I would have learned the hard way! I have Sarah's book, now I need to visit her website more often.Dec 14, 2008 at 4:55 pm #1464337
Oy, peas are bad :-( So are green beans and corn as well. In all those cases get freeze dried. You won't regret the extra cost!Dec 17, 2008 at 7:10 am #1464907
I have to disagree about peas and green beans. I dry them without issue and they rehydrate just fine.
With stew – may I suggest separating the meat from the veggies and drying them separately. The meat will take longer to dry than your veggies and this will prevent the veggies from becoming over-dried. This may also be the reason that I don't have problems with veggies such as peas.
I also make a chicken pot pie using home-dried peas, corn, carrots and green beans without any rehydration issues on the trail.
Edited to add: I should also mention that I rehydrate stew in a cozy for about 30 minutes then quickly reheat. I like it to be as close to the texture as it was before I dried it.Dec 17, 2008 at 7:38 am #1464913
I'll give that separation method a try and remove the veggies before they become rocks!
BTW: I'm looking at your "A Fork in the Trail" that I recently purchased as I type this post. I'm trying to expand my backcountry diet and bring healthier and tastier options beyond "Mountain House."Dec 17, 2008 at 8:44 am #1464927
As Laurie notes it WILL work if you are willing to soak the vegetables in hot water for 30 minutes to an hour, then bring to a boil.
But if what you want is fast food no, get freeze-dried vegetables. It just works easier. As well, if you don't get green beans and peas fully rehydrated they will do a number to your digestive system. Just saying….your tummy will not like them ;-)Dec 17, 2008 at 9:18 am #1464940
Thanks, I hope you like it. My style is quite a bit different than the simpler FBC method and it may not appeal to some UL Backpackers because of the need to clean a pot and/or rehydration container.
You'll find that the chicken dishes take more time to rehydrate than other meats. I always recommend that you experiment at home first so you get a feel for it. My stew recipe is in there. It is a basic stew of meat, potatoes, and other root vegetables.
One of Bryan's (that's my meatatarian spouse) is the vegetarian Spinach and Quinoa Soup. It's a nice thick soup… but not quite as thick as a stew.
If you have any questions at all just drop me an email (the website is listed in the book).
You don't need to bring them back to a boil… just a quick reheat if your cozy doesn't keep them hot enough for the 30 minutes. My cozy keeps everything hot enough and I start rehydration with boiling or close to boiling water. I don't often have to reheat but it really does depend on the season, weather and such.Dec 19, 2008 at 12:06 pm #1465431
@timhLocale: Northwest Georgia
How about soy beans?
AKA blanched and shelled edamame (not in the pod).
-Tim-Jan 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm #1467780
Tim – I haven't tried these but will be doing so in the next couple weeks. I will let you know how they turn out.Jan 6, 2009 at 4:48 pm #1468344
I knew I had seen it, but it took me a couple days to remember where!
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