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Ultimate Microadventure Stew

Recently I headed out for a midweek microadventure with three friends. Head chef was Nick (aka Mr Treehouse, Mr Caveman). Have a watch of the video and, if you like it, below is a recipe for the Ultimate Microadventure Stew.

Useful Tools:

  • Billy cans  (available here)
  • Swedish fireknife (available here)
  • Frying pan
  • Wooden spatula (slots in any bag quite easily)
  • Pot hanger (great video from 1st officer Ray ‘˜Ray’ Mears on how to make one here)
  • Ladle

This comforter sits somewhere between a traditional beef stew and a goulash- damn tasty stuff. Never underestimate the value of a fine meal with friends, especially on a microadventure. Boil in the bag just won’t cut the mustard.

This is an easy stew to pack for: most of the ingredients are cunningly shaped to fit in all sorts of nooks and crannies of you bag and can be found in any shop no matter how out in the sticks you may be. Alternatively, make it at home the night before and pack it for travelling, but nothing beats a bit of campfire cheffing!

Get it on early for best results- the longer the better.

Serves 4 (with seconds if you have a crusty loaf).


  • 1 crusty white loaf or bloomer.
  • 500gs of braising steak (stewing steak, beef skirt or shin)
  • The “holy trinity”: 2 celery stems, 1 large red onion, 2 carrots
  • 2 peppers (1 red & 1 green)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (cheapest are  ALWAYS the best-no added crap!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 big sprig of rosemary
  • (or a tub of mixed herbs if necessary)
  •  1 teaspoon of toasted cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 glass of red wine (take this out of the evening’s rations- it is a school night after all…)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Tabasco & Worcester sauce (optional but highly recommended)
  • Water to top up stewpot


  • Heat up some oil in the frying pan on the fire, roughly chop the holy trinity and peppers and fry them with the finely chopped garlic. Add the herbs, toasted cumin seeds and paprika. Sweat in the pan for about 5-10 minutes until cooked, transfer to the billy can.
  • Reheat the frying pan and add a touch more oil. Chop the beef into chunks and toss into the pan. Add a good pinch of salt & pepper, crushed stock cube and brown the meat all over, when looking ready throw in the red wine to remove all the juices of the pan, allow to bubble for 30 secs then add to the billy can with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Stick the billy can on the pot hanger and leave it to heat up until adding the tin of chopped tomatoes and a drizzle of water and stir well. Leave to cook away for as long as possible, although you are all good to go after an hour. Have a taste- season if needed.
  • Serve with crusty bread, a good helping of banter and the best bottle of claret you can get your hands on.

HUNTER GATHER COOK is a foraging and cookery school that specialises in adventures in wild food, outdoor living and self-sufficiency.

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  1. Given the usual rule of food tasting roughly 100x better outdoors, I reckon that would be a taste sensation!

    A microadventure favourite of mine is penne pasta with a tomato / basil sauce and some chicken – with a tea made with the starchy pasta water. Sounds disgusting but it really gives the tea some body – not unlike the barley in Robinsons =)

    The above is in a whole other league. Perhaps that makes it a “gastro-bivvy”


  2. Thomas U. Torp Posted

    Sounds lovely. Liking my stews rather thick, I’d add a tablespoon or two of flour. Mix it in with the meat, if you pre-diced it at home, or mix it into the pan or can at the fireplace.

  3. Danny Child Posted

    Great stew, made it on an open fire 2 nights ago. Worked really well. One thing missing from the ingredients is the oil for the frying, and I couldn’t find any tiny bottles, so ended up taking Coconut Oil, which worked well as it’s solid at room temperature, but does make me a bit of a jumped up ponce really… but at least it’s easy to chuck a couple of cubes into some foil for transit. To complete the meal, we had ciabatta with it too, which was tough enough to shove into a rucksack.

    My mate even had the leftovers cold for breakfast, which I didn’t fancy, but it smelled great so maybe he was right… Any chance of some more recipes from the Caveman?

  4. Bev Nichols Posted

    Great video! Even though I am veggie the stew looks good.
    We tend to cook simple meals when we are bivvying like rice or cous cous and add nuts for protein.
    Nice idea to cook a proper big soup dish. Especially for colder nights Might try and make a veggie soup one night after seeing this.
    Thanks for the videos Al and friends! Always get lots of brill ideas from them.
    Thank you



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