Camping Gourmet: Beer Braised Brats & German Potato Salad

Camping Gourmet

For some reason when camping I cannot bear the traditional and typically expected dining experience of fire roasted hot dogs and canned beans.  I instead feel the need to go above and beyond in planning and preparing simple yet gourmet meals to enjoy around the campfire.  This camping trip I was inspired by Aimee & Mai-Yan’s blog Dirty Gourmet, where they provide a number of gourmet recipes that can be easily accomplished while camping! Thank you ladies for sharing your recipes!

I have discovered the key to camping gourmet is to prepare and chop everything you can before heading out on your adventure.  Chop all your needed vegetables, cook anything you can ahead of time, and baggy the items up so once your out in the wilderness all that needs to be done is the cooking and combining of ingredients.

Night 1: Beer Braised Brats/Peppers & Onions & German Potato Salad

Beer-Braised Brats with Onions & Peppers & German Potato Salad

Ingredients Needed for Brats:

  • 2 Brats, freeze them so they stay cold
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 can/bottle of beer
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 rolls
  • mustard
  • Julianne peppers & onions, place in small ziplock
  • Complete Potato Salad, package for travel
  • Put olive oil in a small sealable bottle
Ingredients Needed for German Potato Salad:
  • 1/2 pound potatoes
  • 1/4 yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked and diced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp cidar vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Place potatoes in a large pot with the onion and cover with cold water. Boil until tender. Drain, discard the onion, and cut the potatoes into cubes when cool enough to handle. Place the potatoes in bowl.  In a large saute pan add the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Add the onions to the rendered bacon fat and cook until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully add the vinegar and mustard seeds and cook for 2 more minutes. Whisk in the canola oil and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add the hot dressing to the potatoes and toss gently to coat. Fold in the green onions and parsley. Season again with salt and pepper, to taste.

campfire cooking - beer & brats

Equipment Needed While Camping:
  • Pot
  • Tongs
Heat the olive oil in your pot and cook onions until softened.  Add peppers & brats to the pot and add the beer.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with a lid.  Let the brats come to boil for 20 minutes.  Throw the sausages on the grill to add the crunch for about 10 minutes over high heat.  Let the onions, peppers, and beer cook down in the meantime.  Heat your buns on the grill and then add brats and pepper/onion mixture.  Serve with mustard.

In The Kitchen: Asian Flare Turkey Burgers

Asian Flare Turkey Burger

Why not try and discover new burger ideas that spice up the typical routine of lettuce, tomato, onions and cheese .  I stumbled upon a delightful turkey burger twist that is nothing short of fabulous. A little spice, a little crunch and a whole lot of goodness in one bite.

Asian Flare Turkey Burgers

Yields: 4 burgers


Cucumber Slaw

  • ¼ cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ Seedless Cucumber, sliced ⅛-inch thick, 1 cup
  • ¼ small Red Onion, thinly sliced

Spicy Spread

  • ¼ cup Plain Low-Fat Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Chili Garlic Sauce (Siracha)

Turkey Patties

  • 12 ounces Lean Ground Turkey
  • 2-4 ounces of mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 Scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp Grated Ginger
  • 1 clove Garlic, grated
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Cilantro, plus ¼ cup whole leaves
  • 2 tsp Vegetable Oil
  • 4 whole Wheat Hamburger Rolls

In a medium bowl whisk the vinegar and sugar with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper until dissolved. Add the cucumber and onion, toss well and set aside to marinate for about 30 minutes.

In a separate small bowl combine the yogurt and chili garlic sauce. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Combine turkey, mushrooms, hoisin, scallions, ginger, garlic and chopped cilantro and mix until just combined. Form into 4 equal sized patties.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until very hot. Lightly brush both sides of each patty with oil and place in the skillet. Cook, turning once, until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Drain the pickled vegetables and toss with the whole cilantro. Spread some spicy yogurt sauce on the top and bottom of each bun and top with a burger patty and some pickles.

*  The original recipe calls for bulgur, I substituted chopped mushrooms to add some bulk to the turkey burgers.

Asian Flare Turkey Burger


Original recipe from Food Network, modified by For Love of Exploration

In The Kitchen: Tri-Tip Sandwich with Blue Cheese, Carmelized Onions & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

My favorite from our picnic at Hollywood Cemetery…


  • 1/2 pound tri tip (sliced thin, you could substitute roast beef as well)
  • 1 loaf of French Bread
  • 2 oz of blue cheese
  • Carmelized Onions (recipe below)
  • Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (recipe below)

Toast your bread and layout your ingredients to make a deliciously gourmet sandwich!  Tri-tip thinly sliced can most often be found at a local specialty deli or gourmet food store.  Roast Beef is a great substitute if you are unable to score the Tri-tip.  We buy ours at Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery.

Carmelized Onions

  • 1/4 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 small white or yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil

Heat olive oil in a small fry pan.  Cut onion into large rings and heat in oil until translucent in color.  About 15 minutes over low heat.  Once onions have changed color add butter and sugar.  Cook over low heat for at least 10 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro (no need to chop)
  • 1/2 cup of parsley
  • 1/2 olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic

Roast the bell pepper on the grill or under a broiler until skin is completely black in color.  Once the pepper has changed color place in a plastic bag to cool and steam for 15 minutes.  After the pepper has cooled enough to handle, peel all burnt skin and remove seeds.  Place red pepper and all other ingredients in a food processor and blend until completely smooth.  Add more olive oil if the sauce looks to thick.

In the Kitchen: BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich & Coleslaw

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with Coleslaw

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

  • 4-7 pound pork shoulder
  • 3-4 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 3-4 tbsp. chili powder

Combine cayenne, garlic, and chili powder and rub into the pork shoulder, making sure to cover every bit.  Cook in a slow cooker for 8 hours on low.  The 4-7 pounds of shoulder allows lots of left overs to be used in the creation of new meals and to freeze

BBQ Sauce

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3/4 a large onion
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 c. ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 4  tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 c. peach preserves
  • 1/4 c. molasses
  • 2 tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • Kosher salt & Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • Twine or string

Wrap the bacon around the middle of the thyme sprigs and tie with kitchen twine so you have a nice bundle.  Heat a 2-count of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the thyme bundle and cook slowly for 3 to 4 minutes to render the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste.   Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly, without coloring, for 5 minutes.  Add all of the rest of the sauce ingredients, give the sauce a stir, and turn the heat down to low.  Cook slowly, until thickened.

Coleslaw, the Houston’s way

  • 3 c. diced cabbage
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh flat parsley
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onions
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise (light)
  • 1/2 c. sour cream (light)
  • 1 tbsp honey mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp. white vinegar

Mix all ingredients together.

Building the Ultimate BBQ Pork Sandwich

  • Pulled Pork
  • Coleslaw
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Onions
  • Bun or Roll

Take one helping of pulled pork and combine with 1/2 c. of BBQ sauce in a small sautee pan, add 1/4 c. diced onions and cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Meanwhile toast your roll, until lightly browned.  Pile on your pulled pork BBQ mixture, top it off with a little extra sauce if you so choose.  Top that with a spoonful of coleslaw and you have just made an awesome pulled pork sandwich!  Enjoy!