View Full Version : Patrick's Wild Casserole Recipe
08-26-2006, 07:23 AM
A couple of months ago Patrick and I were perched on the shore of an alpine lake near timberline, spending our days catching fat cutthroats, talking about gear, and talking about FOOD. He pulled out a gallon ziploc filled with something dry and gave me a taste. Yum! Then he told me he eats it both dry and warm and wet. While he rattled off the ingredients I frantically scribbled them in my ever-present journal. Once I got back home from that ramble I made the mistake of leaving my journal in my shirt pocket and it made a run through the washer. The next step was to salvage the whole thing by laying the soggy sheets of paper out on the counter top to let them dry. By that time they were nearly unreadable. So here's the recipe for Patrick's Wild Casserole, taken from those tattered journal pages. Forgive me Patrick if I get something a little askew...you have no idea how bad the journal came out of the wash!
2 lb. venison or beef cut into 1/2" chunks
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green peppers
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup chopped spinach
1 can sliced carrots, drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel
8 oz. dry cous-cous
10 shakes of Datil sauce
Patrick uses a wok...I used a huge skillet.
Brown the meat in olive oil and set aside and keep warm.
Start stir-frying the vegetables in the order they appear above. It will look like alot when you first get in in the wok, but it cooks down. Keep adding ingredients (you may have to add a touch more olive oil in the process) until you have a batch of the casserole that has the consistency of thick oatmeal. Add the browned venison back into the wok. The cous-cous will help thicken it up. You can tweak the amounts of each ingredient as you wish. I didn't make my first batch too spicy because the wife and girls were eating it, but in the future I would spice it up some.
This one-pot meal is great! You can dehydrate it and it'll store for a LONG time. You can eat it fresh and hot out of the wok, or take it in your backpack, dry in a ziploc. Reconstitute it in the field or eat it dry. It's good both ways. I'm taking a healthy batch with me bowhunting this fall.
Also, this meal has great nutritional value. Patrick swears, and I'm rightly convinced, that you could live on this stuff indefinitely in the field. Thanks, Patrick, for sharing this tasty meal!
11-12-2006, 12:11 PM
11-13-2006, 09:11 AM
Sawtooth, Patrick, or anybody else, have you dehydrated any of this stuff yet? If so, about how long did some of the Veg. take to dry down, and how well is it keeping? I was just wondering if I made up a big batch of this stuff if it would keep for 3-4 months in a sack on the shelf?
Couple more questions, how bulky is it in its dried form? How much room would 5-10 days of the stuff take up if you were eating it twice a day? Also, about how long was it taking to re-hydrate and become tender, and about how much are you considering to be a filling serving? ( I know this will be variable, but ballpark)
11-13-2006, 12:06 PM
You need a "rite in the rain" notebook! Yes they are expensive, but they save so much frustation at times like that.
11-13-2006, 06:50 PM
Yes, I have dehydrated the casserole. I don't really remember, because it's been a few months, but I think the whole thing took around nine hours on 150F. The determining factor is the dryness of the meat. Properly dehydrated and packaged in heavy duty Ziploc freezer bags, and stored in the refigerator or better yet the freezer, I think you could keep it for years. Stored on the shelf I don't know, but I think at the very least a few months. This would be on a cool, dark shelf.
It is reasonably lightweight in dried form. I can't weigh any right at the moment, because all of mine is currently stashed in my pickup as survival food if I get stranded. But I would say a quart Ziploc full probably weighs around 4 oz. max. And I think a quart Ziploc would be more than plenty for two meals a day, supplemented with pilot biscuits 'n honey and some apple leather. I just eat it dry for lunch, because I usually don't want to slow down to cook anything.
I never timed the rehydration. I put the dry stuff in my pot, add enough water, and put it on the wood stove. By the time it boils for a little bit it's done. So maybe 20-25 minutes from start to finish. Just a guess. If you are using a gas stove (i.e., Pocket Rocket) you could dump some dry casserole in a plastic bowl or a heavy duty Ziploc and mix in the water and let it sit for a while before heating up. I guess I'm falling down on the job of doing research and development and taking notes on what I do, huh? Honestly, I just never took notes on this particular meal. Maybe Patrick has some more definitive answers for you!
Yes, one of those fancy notebooks would be the ticket. However, me being the skinflint I am I just use the little pocket memo notebooks. I have a whole box of them with notes and drawings, going back to my high school days. I guess when I'm old and moldy and can't walk or shoulder a pack, I can sit around and read all of my journals. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif
11-14-2006, 10:20 AM
I find myself with some rare down time...the road up to the high country is closed due to blizzard conditions. I'm supposed to be heading off into the alpine zone for my second elk hunt about now. But noooooo, Momma Nature isn't cooperating on the truck leg. Reminds me of Sawtooth's misadventure with road weather earlier in the season. Thing is, on foot, one could still be moving toward one's destination.
Anyhow, I have time to peruse the Board, and note this thread has some questions that perhaps I can answer best. Sawtooth, you did well on retrieving the ingredients. I forgot to give you all of them at our lakeside chat though. So. here's a few more:
---A few splashes of lemon juice.
---A vigorous shake of Balsamic vinegar.
---A few shakes of soy sauce.
I add the cooked meat when all veggies are done and then simmer the whole mess for a bit. The "thickening" part comes when you add the cous cous. I'll scatter a whole package over the stewing mass and then add more from another package if needed till I get the stiffnes of the mixture desired. This will take some experience. I also use probably more of most of the ingredients than Paul cites as "1 cup"; I'm of the old school that just eyeballs grub quantities rather than measuring. I use generously the olive oil throughout the cooking stages too--figuring the fat is good for keeping my furnace fed in the backcountry.
I've recently resorted to elk burger for the meat, being out of cuts by this time of year. Works quite well, and rehydrates very fast.
The dried form seems to keep indefinitely, even without refrigeration, which is precisely the point. I'm not a formally trained Nutritionist but I am pretty up to speed on the subject. I see no reason this ration wouldn't sustain a person in peak health forever. Perhaps the only thing missing is milk-based calcium. Perhaps I'll throw in some dried milk next time. But spinach is a good calcium source if I'm not mistaken.
05-27-2007, 01:38 PM
This stuff looked so good at the rondy, that I decided to try a batch myself. So I dug up this topic since I couldn't remember everything Patrick told me was in it at lunch Saturday. I added a few things and left a few things out that I didn't have. Everything listed above in Sawtooths and Patricks recipe and below came out of my garden, except of coarse the Rotel, cous cous,lemon and vinegar.
Things I added:
Sugar snap peas
A little fresh Dill
a little bit of lime Basil
a sprig or two of Thyme
Venison instead of elk
quite a bit of Salt and Pepper
A 1/4 cup of water
Just a few of the following:
Fresh Cayenne peppers
Hungarian wax peppers
Things I didn't have in the garden:
Datil sauce( I don't even know what this stuff is, but remember, I'm a hick)
I used more brocoli and Spinach than the recipe called for since I had an abundance of it, and since my garlic hasn't fully matured I used just one fresh clove and some garlic powder.
After cooking all this stuff together for awhile I served up a bowl full to the rest of the group, and after watching them devour it in less than 2 minutes, I decided I had found another easy and healthy dish for the back country. If anyone out there hasn't tried it yet, I strongly recommend it.
I too tried this recipe with a few minor substitutions. Not only was I impressed by how nutritious and filling it was, what struck me most was that it didn't seem to get 'monotonous' after a few dinners. I think this is a result of the variety of beans and veggies, with the meat providing the 'filling' part.
Thanks for bringing the topic back up, it is great stuff and I didn't write it down at the rondy.
05-30-2007, 01:29 PM
I second that recommendation. I cooked up a batch the same day I discovered this thread and it was great. I ate the stuff for about three days straight. Just when I thought I could go for something different I'd develop a hankerin' for some more. The variety in this recipe makes it easy to eat repeatedly.
Got this from Patrick, and forwarding it to all.
Big wok. Low side of medium heat. Start with a puddle of
olive oil that covers the bottom maybe 3/16" deep. Dice up
a couple of bunches of green onions and dump 'em in. While
that's cooking dice up a bundle of cilantro and some
brocoli. Add to the onions. Dice about ten garlic cloves
and toss in. Let cook a bit. Splash in a few lemon juice
squirts from sqeeze bottle. Then several shakes of soy
sauce, balsamic vinegar, and then 45 shakes of Tabasco.
While thats all simmering set two pounds ground elk to
cooking in a side skillet. Break everything up,
no "chunks". Cook in maybe two or three big tablespoons
olive oil. Add Montreal steak seasoning, a little cayenne
and several good shakes of cumin powder. Black pepper.
Back to wok. Add whole can of Rotel. Drain cans of sliced
carrots, spinach, and garbanzo beans. Then add to the
concoction. Add meat. Stir well. Simmer maybe thirty
Turn stove off. Stir in two packages cous-cous. Like Near
East Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil. Cover and let sit 'til
Done. If you want to dehydrate the paste-like texture
(assuming you got this right the first time) will let you
press the stuff onto plastic "fruit leather" inserts. 145*
for around 6 hours. Toward 4 1/2 hours break up the drying
mess so that the still-gummy centers catch up.
Oh, substitute black beans for garbanzo once in a while for
variety. I'm going to try limas one of these days. Point
here is that this is not set in stone at all. The idea
behind it is total ration, food value-wise, that pretty dang
tasty, even day after day. And of course keeps well
unrefrigerated, if dehydrated. It's pasty enough we eat far
the most of it at home, in the non-dehydrated state.
Excellent to have a big batch of the stuff in the fridge all
the time. Just nuke some of it and supper is served.
09-13-2007, 03:11 AM
I finally made a batch of the Patrick's Famous Casserole today of love it! I used the recipe recited by Sawtooth with Patrick's ammendments. I turned out "spot on." I don't think it will last long enough to try dehydrating.
09-15-2007, 03:00 AM
As much as I'm loving this casserole, I've already come the to conclusion that it's NOT a good meal to carry while hunting. I either need to save it for off season hiking, or carry a spray bottle of scent killer to shoot in my mouth for desert. This dish is so spice laden that it leaves an amazing scent trail even I can follow. Was even hard to wash off my fingers after patting it into my food dryer trays. I'm thinking elk could smell it from up wind. It does taste great however.
02-22-2008, 01:21 PM
Been wanting to try this and have finally gathered the ingredients (mostly) and am going to make a batch this weekend.
The Datil sauce seems to be the limiting factor -- I Googled it to figure out what I was looking for. Seems to be some kind of pepper hot sauce. But I coulnd't find it at either of the mega-mart type grocery stores where I looked. But since I live in the same city as Patrick I should be able to come up with it -- where should I be looking? Asian markets maybe?
Going to substitute Cholula hot sauce for now, until sombody can point me at the "original" ingredient per Patrick's recipe.
02-22-2008, 03:19 PM
No worries on the substitute Cleve. In fact, it is the sort of recipe where you just throw in the stuff you like, as long as it has some nurtitional potency, and go with it.
The Mrs.-To-Be and I make variations of it all the time.
Speaking of spicy, you'll have to ask Patrick about the time he tried one of my first batches - better described as Wild Inferno Casserole, at last year's NW Rondezvous. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/shocked.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/blush.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif
We've substantially refined our recipe in that it is more of a "sweet hot" than "chemical burn". We toned down the use of hot-peppers and use lots of plum sauce. Also, we discovered that adding the freshly chopped cilantro and sun-dried tomatoes and other herbs on a just-in-time basis before eating (mix them in as you warm up a batch) REALLY provides a catalyst for an explosively flavorful, enjoyable and nutritional dish.
Also, I should mention that instead of cous-cous, we've started using an amalgamation of whole-grains. You've got to cook them first and the process is more time consuming, but we think it tastes better and is ultimately better for you.
Perfect nutrition and a great dish for busy people! We eat it 2-3 days out of the week.
02-22-2008, 04:34 PM
Thanks Bushcraft --
I figured as much. I'm usually not all that "tied" to any recipe once I've made it and know the general outcome. But I usually try and make it "straight" the first time before experimenting.
Re-reading the replies above I see Herb's instructions (forwarded from Patrick) suggest Tabasco anyway. But if there's a good variation of hot sauce out there I haven't tried I'm always up for a new adventure in the world of capsicum! Will use the Cholula I have and keep looking for the Datil. If I can't find it I can check w/ Partick when he and Sarah get back from South America.
03-18-2008, 07:08 AM
I've been aching to get out with a dutch oven. I'll have to give this a try! The wife and kids are leaving next week for Grandma's house so I could use a pot of this stuff in the fridge to get me through the week.
03-20-2008, 05:03 PM
Something that is quite good but hard to find is Outerbridges Bermuda Sherry Pepper sauce. Nice flavor, not too hot.
06-30-2009, 06:49 PM
It's uncanny how, of you use Patrick's suggested quantities in the recipe, you'll end up with four complete dehydrator trays full of it, with one serving left over for you to eat on the spot. After cooking it up for an hour, mouth watering all the while, that's the best cure!
07-01-2009, 03:24 PM
Speaking of Wild Casserole, I was just going to cook up my first batch this weekend. I was wondering, though, if you could substitute chicken or pork loin--I don't see those ingredients listed as much for dehydrated meals and was wondering if they don't really rehydrate as well as beef. (The "wild" option is going to have to wait till the weather cools off enough that I can thin out the deer herd that's been decimating my dad's pea patch this summer...)
07-01-2009, 07:15 PM
I imagine any meat would work just fine, so long as it is cut or ground up into small enough pieces such that it would rehydrate easily. It's really not intended to be a hard-and-fast recipe anyway...go with what you like.
One possibly important point to keep in mind regarding the addition of "heat". I've noticed that a cloud-nine perfect amount of zesty heat while whipping up a batch translates into a near toxic concoction that it better used for a defensive (or offensive) application once it has been dehydrated or even reconstituted afield. I've no idea why...could be the heat I've been using.
Anyway, just a word of caution...go easy on the heat. I about killed Patrick with my first batch. :eek:
07-01-2009, 07:32 PM
In any case, I'm glad you guys have found something you like.
07-01-2009, 07:51 PM
Bushcraft--thanks for the input and warning...tonight's chicken gumbo might not be for the faint-of-heart when I get it out of the dehydrator tomorrow, then.
07-03-2009, 04:48 PM
I don't see why ANY meat would not work in this. Go for it! My last two full batches were made with red meat, but I think chicken or pork would work fine. One thing about pork is that it contains more fat than chicken or venison, and that may mean that it may not keep as long. But, if you're like me, NONE of the stuff lasts long anyway! Put it in Ziploc freezer bags or vacuum seal, and put it in the freezer. It'll keep a long time, regardlesss of the type of meat.
I heat mine up with a combination of Ro-Tel (1 can per batch), 9 dashes (not 10 for heaven's sake!) of Tabasco, and a sprinkling of crushed red pepper. It'll make your nose run a tad, but it won't kill you. CCH made it back from our last jaunt in one piece! :D
07-03-2009, 07:43 PM
Ro-Tel seems to be an exclusively western product. For us folks back east can anyone recommend a suitable substitute? Is Ro-Tel just crushed tomatoes with some green chili peppers or is it seasoned too?
I've got a couple of small pork tenderloins that have been in the freezer way too long that will hit the pan tomorrow. I think this casserole for me is turning into more of a "clean out the pantry and freezer" casserole.
07-03-2009, 07:55 PM
Thanks for the reply--just made my first batch last night and dehydrated it today...used some top round and a couple of bunches of fresh spinach, but as Patrick pointed out earlier, I think it's the acidic lemon juice and balsamic vinegar that are really necessary for that "bright" flavor. Be interested how the rehydrated stuff tastes this fall--at the very least, it's bound to be a definite step up from the PB&tortillas I relied on in my youth!
WW-- I'm in Tennessee, and don't have any problem finding Ro-tel or the many other brands tomato/green pepper...it's always around the canned tomatoes in my local Kroger.
07-05-2009, 10:40 AM
Found the Ro-Tel at the local Wally-World but it was lumped in with the ethnic foods? Go figure.
The first batch just came out of the dehydrator this morning. It looks like granola on steroids and tastes like it too. Mine never got the "oatmeal" consistency when I was cooking it so I was a bit worried. Overall it turned out really well with the pork loin (really lean and I cut off any extra bits of fat).
Does anyone have a "formula" for portion size and the amount of water to rehydrate? I'm hoping to use this as a boil and eat meal so I don't expect to have the luxury of simmering. I'll most likely just dump the water into a freezer bag and wrap the whole thing up in a cozy while I finish other chores.
I can see that a bunch of this will be heading to the AT with me this fall. I'm sure my hiking buddy will be jealous.
07-05-2009, 10:56 AM
Does anyone have a "formula" for portion size and the amount of water to rehydrate?
Single serving= 1 1/4 c. dehydrated casserole
Rehydrate with an equal amount of boiling water. This meal does fine in a quart freezer bag.
I usually supplement the casserole with crackers, pilot bread, tortillas, biscuits, FISH, etc. If it's your only food item for the meal, you might want to bump it up to 1 1/2 cups of dehydrated casserole.
You need to let it rehydrate for about 20 minutes to make sure the meat softens up enough. A lot of freezer bag meals only take 15 minutes, but not this one.
07-05-2009, 05:33 PM
WW-- One thing that occurred to me is that we Southerners might have to adjust the dehydrating time substantially because of our high humidity. (These parts, 60% is considered "low" this time of year.) On the upside, at least our air holds a little O2 as well--I get hypoxic just looking at some of the pictures on the board...
07-09-2009, 01:20 PM
As far as RoTel out east. Just saw it at Costco. Might have to try the recipe out now.
07-09-2009, 06:07 PM
You'll love it. I have a meal-for-three packed and ready for dining at 12K feet in a day or so. Kleenex required.
07-12-2009, 05:36 AM
I just made a batch this weekend an found it very tasty.
Gave a sample to my hunting buddy he can't stand to much much heat but he likes this.
Taking this on my Mule deer hunt this fall.
Thanks for sharing the recipe
12-14-2009, 12:09 PM
I just made a batch of this last night and it was excellent. I didn't have any game meat available so I just ended up using some ground beef for it, I can see how it would be even better with some cubed game meat. About half-way through the meal I decided to through some shredded Parmesan/Romano/Asiago cheese blend onto it I have to say that adding that cheese really brought out the other flavors within the meal. It made the flavor go from good to great. Both of my roommates commented that the added cheese made a difference.
12-12-2010, 02:53 PM
This is an old thread but I made this recipe last night for the family. Simply fantastic. You can taste the nutrition in every bite. I used elk burger and the directions from Sawtooth and Patrick. Great stuff. I'll be dehydrating and trying on the trail when I get a chance. Thanks for sharing!
01-04-2011, 10:28 PM
Finally made this recipe. Great stuff! Not to change the healthiness of this stuff, but has anyone made this with a different oil (say bacon drippings or butter) to brown the meat and stir fry the veggies?
01-13-2011, 03:49 PM
Does anyone else snack on this dehydrated casserole dry?
I drink a lot of water with it but it sure is a nice break from the usual sweet trail mix.
01-17-2011, 11:31 AM
I made some with the intention of re-hydrating it but ate it all dry before I got the chance. :)
It's definitely good dry.
03-28-2012, 03:55 PM
An old thread but a heads up. The Co. Spgs Gazette has asked for recipies for it's outside section tomorrow (29 March) and I passed this on to them. There might be some other goodies in there as well, I also passed on Jason's Logan Bread recipie. We'll see
03-29-2012, 06:23 PM
They'll never be the same!
12-02-2012, 07:36 PM
I have made and dehydrated three batches of this, each batch a little different. I cut the meat small to aid in re-hydration. Rather than cous-cous I use quinoa which is more nutritious. I have learned to pre-cook the quinoa. I use fresh carrots and I cook up dry garbanzos. The garbanzos need about 35 minutes in a pressure cooker. I put in a cut up jalapeno and next time I will put in two. In my cheap (no fan) dehydrator it take maybe 24 hours to dry. In camp I mix the dried casserole with water first thing to start re-hydration. When it is time to cook I bring it to a boil, simmer for a few minutes and let it sit where it will stay warm for 5 to 10 minutes. It is a good meal. A few years ago I escaped from store bought freeze dried meals and this is a great addition. Where I could use some advice is in the dehydration. My unit has trays that would allow much of the casserole to fall through. I line the trays with foil which holds the casserole but slows the drying time. I know that there are plastic fruit roll up trays that are put in a dehydrator that would hold the casserole but it would be costly to buy four of those and they would still slow the process done. Does anyone have an inexpensive idea like some sort of screen that could go into a dehydrator tray to allow drying of casserole but still allow the air to move through the trays and food?
12-02-2012, 09:27 PM
ekno, i use an excalibur which comes with good screens. maybe you can buy some of their screens and cut them to size
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