This Cowboy Stew is one of our favourite camping recipes. Made with simple, easy to source ingredients, it tastes good cooked on a gas stove at home, but even better over a campfire. All would-be cowboys are going to love it!
This recipe has been in my blog’s archives since way back in 2013. It started off as a campfire cowboy stew recipe, but as you’ll see, we’re such big fans of it that we’ve now expanded on this to allow for three different ways it can be cooked!
The recipe has basically been reinvented for the slow cooker, hob and even the oven. It’s on regular menu rotation, and now it doesn’t even matter if we’re at home or camping!
The recipe below uses fresh butchers sausages, but it’s just as tasty when made with good vegetarian sausages. (I’m currently loving the Cauldron Cumberland Sausages. Not sponsored, just really impressed with them!).
If you’re at the end of a camping trip and don’t have access to fresh, simply substitute with a tin or jar of hotdog sausages.
I swear this cowboy stew has been reinvented time and time again!
Cowboy Stew: Campfire Recipe
Now campfire cooking is hands down my favourite way to cook a cowboy stew. There’s something about cooking over the embers of a campfire that permeates food with more than just a touch of smoke.
Cooking, and eating outdoors brings adventure to your meal and encourages jaded appetites.
As with cooking on a BBQ, be sure to let the flames of your campfire die down before starting to cook. As an alternative, you can always scrape some embers out from the bulk of your campfire and create a smaller cooking area.
When you separate out the embers this way, it ensures that you can still feed the main fire with wood. At the same time, you don’t have to worry about flaring the flames too much for cooking on.
A cast iron skillet is the absolute best pan and my top recommendation for campfire cooking. Thin metal can warp or create uneven hot spots that can cause your food to burn. In contrast, a heavy cast iron will produce an even heat, even when it’s placed directly onto the coals.
If the embers have turned grey and ashy, you can cook directly onto the embers. However, if they are still glowing bright orange, then ideally use a trivet or some rocks to elevate the skillet a couple of inches above the coals.
Next, heat the pan up before throwing in the sausages. This will create an extra flavour boost by creating a delicious caramelisation on the bottom of the pan.
Cowboy Stew: Slow Cooker Recipe
Just because camping season is over, doesn’t mean you need to retire this recipe until next spring! This is where the magic of a slow cooker comes in very handy.
By preparing and cooking this campfire stew recipe in a slow cooker you can come home from a long day at work to a piping hot meal that the entire family will love.
I highly recommend that you brown your sausages first in a skillet or heavy bottomed pan. Chop the sausages into bite sized pieces and throw them into the slow cooker. Add all the other ingredients to the pot, stir well, then leave to cook for 4 hours on high, or 6 hours on low.
Don’t panic if you’re out of the house for longer than the recommended cooking time. The beauty of a slow cooker is that it won’t dry out or burn your food.
Once you’ve made this recipe once, and threreby know your family are big fans, why not double the quantities and freeze the leftovers for another night?
Now that sounds like a zero effort win win to me! ;)
Cowboy Stew: Oven Recipe
Yep, a third method means that this recipe can even be adapted perfectly to make in the oven too! And it really couldn’t be simpler!
Firstly, brown your sausages on the hob. Then, pile everything into a casserole dish with a tight fitting lid.
Bake at 180C for 1 hour for a no-hassle dinner treat any time.
Cowboy Stew… in a Campervan?!
As I’m feeling generous, the video below shows a 4th version of this cowboy stew recipe – cooked on a gas hob in a campervan, no less!
Talk about a versatile recipe :)
What to Serve with Cowboy Stew?
The proper answer would be fire baked jacket potatoes or a simple flatbread recipe.
However, we’ve served it with everything from rice to French baguette.
Mind you, I’m more than happy with just a big bowl of cowboy stew. No need for sides.
- 8 sausages
- 1 onion
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 chilli pepper
- 1 tin baked beans
- 1 tin mixed beans drained
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- Salt & pepper
If cooking over an open fire, wait until the flames have died down. Raise the pan above the embers to avoid burning the food.
Slowly cook the sausages in a large frying pan, until caramelised and dark brown. Chop into chunks.
Add the onion and garlic and fry until the onion is soft.
Add the chilli pepper, and all the cans and stir well.
Let the dish simmer until the sauce thickens and serve.