Tag Archives: camp food

How To Dehydrate Lamb Shepherd's Pie for Back Country Camping

How to Dehydrate Shepherd’s Pie for Backcountry Camping

How to Dehydrate Shepherd's Pie for Backcountry Camping

How To Dehydrate Lamb Shepherd’s Pie for Backcountry Camping

One of my favourite activities to do in the summer is canoe tripping.  I love all the preparation that goes into planning the ultimate portage trip including, the food!  Way back when I wrote a post on how to dehydrate food.  The post covered the basic dehydration process as well as recipes for chili, stew, beef jerky and a holiday chicken dinner.  I’ve since posted recipes for beef brisket and pad thai.  This latest dehydrated meal is my most successful to date.  My Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping is one of my favourite recipes so I’m  so excited to share how to dehydrate Shepherd’s pie for backcountry camping!

How To Dehydrate Lamb Shepherd's Pie for Back Country Camping

How To Dehydrate Lamb Shepherd’s Pie for Backcountry Camping

Shepherd’s pie is really easy to dehydrate and rehydrates beautifully.  I use lamb in my Shepherd’s pie which is rich and fatty – an ideal candidate for dehydration as fatty meats are less tough when rehydrated.  The potato topping is easy to control, dehydrates quickly and evenly and also rehydrates well.  

The dish is deconstructed for the dehydration process and you will be dehydrating the protein and the topping separately. As per my tips in my original dehydration post, be sure to chop the onions, carrots, garlic and gherkins as finely as possible for an even dehydration. 

Prepare the recipe as per usual up to step 13 (excluding preheating the oven).  Instead of preheating your oven, wrap your dehydrator trays in plastic wrap, making sure to cut out a hole in the middle and allowing some space along the edges for air to circulate. 

How To Dehydrate Lamb Shepherd's Pie for Back Country Camping

How To Dehydrate Lamb Shepherd’s Pie for Backcountry Camping

After mixing in the gerkins to the meat mixture, spread the meat evenly onto the plastic wrap.  Then spread the sweet potato/potato mixture onto the remaining trays.  I managed to fit the whole recipe in one batch – three trays for the protein and two trays for the topping.  Close your dehydrator and set it for 8 hours or until the food is completely dry and chip-like with no wet spots.  Be sure to rotate the trays every few hours or so for an even dehydration.

How To Dehydrate Lamb Shepherd's Pie for Back Country Camping

How To Dehydrate Lamb Shepherd’s Pie for Backcountry Camping

How To Dehydrate Lamb Shepherd's Pie for Back Country Camping

How To Dehydrate Lamb Shepherd’s Pie for Backcountry Camping

Package the lamb and potatoes in separate ziplock bags and that’s it!  You now have a delicious meal ready for your next back country trip.  To rehydrate, simply soak in water, covering the food completely for at least 30 minutes.  Heat the lamb and potatoes in separate pots, adding water as necessary until fully hydrated.  Assemble your Shepherd’s pie in the great outdoors and enjoy!

How To Dehydrate Lamb Shepherd's Pie for Back Country Camping

How To Dehydrate Lamb Shepherd’s Pie for Backcountry Camping

How To Dehydrate Lamb Shepherd's Pie for Back Country Camping

How To Dehydrate Lamb Shepherd’s Pie for Backcountry Camping

What is your favourite back country meal?  What recipes have you tried to dehydrate?  I hope you enjoy my Lamb Shepherd’s Pie!

Algonquin 2015 Backcountry Menu

Day 5 – Casey Lake to Rain Lake

Our last day of our canoe trip was less than half a day as we traveled from Casey Lake back to Rain Lake with one 1330m portage.  The weather was windy but the skies were blue and Rain Lake sparkled around us as we paddled down the narrow straight back to our launch point.  5 days ago we started off on this backcountry canoeing adventure and during that time we covered over 40km, 12 lakes, 1 river and 7845m in portages.  I felt such an amazing sense of accomplishment but I was also so grateful to be surround by all this freedom and beauty, and so lucky to be able to do this with an amazing partner.  As we tied up the canoe and packed up our car, I gave thanks to spirits of Algonquin and said goodbye, until next year.

I was really happy with how all my dehydrated food turned out.  I planned some old favourites but also tried some new ideas.  I’ve covered the basics of dehydrating in this post but essentially you can dehydate anything as long as the food can be blended/flattened into thin/small enough pieces and laid out on your dehydrator tray (using syran wrap for liquids).  I did discover however, that rehydrated eggs do not work out.  I tried dehydrating some scrambled eggs and they didn’t rehydrate well at all because egg structure doesn’t retain water well, so when the eggs are rehydrated you end up with a tasteless, watery mess filled with hard yellow pieces.  I brought freeze dried scrambled eggs as well just in case – and honestly it wasn’t much better as it tasted like chalky sponge, so, best to leave those eggs at home!

Here was our menu for our five day adventure:

Day 1:
Lunch – Chicken pad thai (brought the noodles separately)
Dinner: Beef mole chili with instant cornbread

Day 2:
Breakfast: chia seed pancakes w/maple syrup & vega protein shake
Lunch: minestrone soup
Dinner: pulled jerk chicken with wild rice and dumplings

Day 3:
Breakfast: instant oatmeal & vega protein shake
Lunch: quinoa enchilada casserole
Dinner: beef brisket with carrots, mashed sweet potatoes and bannock bread

Day 4:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs and ham
Lunch: beef stew
Dinner: pulled BBQ pork and grits

Day 5:
Breakfast: instant oatmeal & vega protein shake
Lunch: instant ramen noodles with beef jerky and seaweed

Drinks:
instant coffee, hot chocolate, vega protein shake packs, Vodka, Kool Aid/Tang, Nestea mini bottles, Gatorade/mini bottles, instant apple cider, apple spiced rum, limonade/margarita mix, whiskey, rum, small shots of Baileys, instant caesar mix

Snacks:
energy goo, Pringles, dried mangos, trail mix, Cliff bars, beef jerky, dried apples, fruit to go, dried chickpeas, dried plantains, hot rods, M&Ms with mixed nuts, marshmellows, rice crackers, dark chocolate almonds

Algonquin Portage: Chia Seed Pancakes

DAY 3 – BANDIT LAKE TO MISTY LAKE

Chia Seed Pancakes - Algonquin

Chia Seed Pancakes – Algonquin

We started off Day 3 with a hearty pancake breakfast. Usually when I portage I have instant oatmeal and a Boost protein shake but I wanted to try something different. The problem was there was no way to transport an egg. My boyfriend actually suggested to use chia seeds – not only are they rich in antioxidants and fiber but when soaked they expand to create a good binding agent. I used my Classic Pancake recipe and replaced the egg with one tablespoon of chia seeds. You can grind up the chia seeds ahead of time with a mortar and pestle but I kind of liked the mild crunchiness of the seeds in the pancakes. I also found a mini bottle of syrup at the Asian grocery store and so there you have it – outback pancakes complete with real maple syrup!

Chia Seed Pancakes - Algonquin

Chia Seed Pancakes – Algonquin

We had another reasonably light day traveling through Wenona and Muslim lake with only 1400m in portages, however one of them was our first long portage of the trip clocking in at 1030m. By this point we had found our rhythm for transporting all our gear. I preferred to carry the canoe and my pack, and my boyfriend carried his pack with the oars, fishing tackle, camera and bail kit. I actually preferred the canoe, I found that once I had my rhythm even though it was hard work, this position was actually much more comfortable than juggling all the other gear.

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Misty Lake – Algonquin

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Misty Lake – Algonquin

As we entered Misty Lake a light rain started to fall but we were prepared and quickly through a tarp over our packs in the canoe. Our site was just across the lake so we were able to get there before there rain became too heavy. Later that evening the skies cleared and we went for a beautiful canoe ride at dusk and attempted some fishing. As the sun began to set, we spotted a family of loons and quietly canoed up close to them to take some photos. The loons were surprisingly calm and allowed us to paddle right beside them. As they dove away, we would follow, and then to our delight they would pop up right beside us. I actually felt intimidated as I never realized what a large bird the loon was, and with their piercing red eyes, it was no wonder that they felt not fear around us. As we headed back to our site, it was at this moment that I realized my eye felt a little funny. I told my boyfriend and when he looked at my eye it was all swollen and puffy! Turns out a mosquito had bitten my eyelid, and I now looked like Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. My eye was a bit uncomfortable but for the most part I just let my boyfriend make fun of me and I laughed it off – it’s always a new adventure out in the wilderness!

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Misty Lake – Algonquin