Tag Archives: dehydrated 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 Portage: Dehydrated Beef Brisket

DAY 4: MISTY LAKE TO CASEY LAKE

Misty Lake - Algonquin

Misty Lake – Algonquin

Day 4 was our big, long travel day. We had to basically travel back west, all the distance we had covered in the past three days. We headed back through Little Misty Lake, along the Petawawa River, through Daisy Lake with our final destination being Casey Lake. Not only was it our longest travel day but it was also the most challenging – starting off with a 935m portage and ending with an evil 1235m portage with a few small ones in between totaling 2755m. The day started off windy, but with a clear blue sky.

Petawawa River - Algonquin

Petawawa River – Algonquin

By the time we hit the exit from Misty Lake however, dark clouds loomed in the distance. The rain hit by the time we had reached our first portage, and there was no end to the grey clouds. We put on all our rain gear, tarped our canoe and powered on. The Petawawa river was winding like a labyrinth and we took many wrong turns and had to back track a few times. The highlight being when we had to portage up through a beaver dam! The rain eased up a bit in the afternoon and we relished the break, drying off in the brief rays of sunshine. But when we hit Daisy Lake the rain returned in full force. The wind picked up and blew cold rain in our faces. Daisy Lake seemed to go on forever, and we knew the worst was still to come.

By the last portage my boyfriend and I were soaked to the bone, tired and hungry. We were both delirious by this point, cursing at our packs and laughing in pain. We were supposed to split up the portage, but once I got going, I knew I had to finish it off. Switching over halfway would be more miserable in the rain and the bugs would eat us alive. I yelled all kinds of nonsense to myself to keep me going as I portaged along the hardest trail I had ever done. With the weight of the canoe crushing down on my shoulders, I portaged over roots and fallen trees, uphill through mud and even along a single plank across a stream! “Take that Tough Mudder” I yelled! “Whisky, whisky, whisky!” I chanted. My boyfriend at least found my motivational cursing entertaining. The portage felt like it would never end. When at last I saw the lake, I threw down the canoe and fell into my boyfriend’s arms. He felt so light in comparison! I’ll always remember what he said to me then “you’re my hero” he told me. That portage was one of the hardest things I had ever done, and when we finally reached our campsite, I was exhausted but felt such a wonderful sense of accomplishment.

Dehydrated Beef Brisket & Sweet Potatoes - Algonquin

Dehydrated Beef Brisket & Sweet Potatoes – Algonquin

The rain finally ceased just long enough for us to set up camp. We quickly started up a fire, striped off our clothes and went for a swim in the warm lake water. My poor, aching body was finally rewarded. That night for dinner we had beef brisket, sweet potatoes and bannock bread and it tasted glorious. Beef brisket is perfect for dehydrating because it’s nice and fatty, so it rehydrates beautifully. I slow cooked the brisket with some carrots and onions then shredded the meat before dehydrating. I pureed the sweet potatoes so that I could dehydrate them in a nice thin layer. I also brought a bannock mixture along with some little packets of butter. After a long, day portaging in the rain, food had never tasted so good. While I spent most of the afternoon cursing Algonquin, I thanked the Algonquin gods by the end of the evening.  Once again it gave me an amazing adventure, challenged me in new ways, but as always rewarded me with its peace and beauty.

Algonquin Portage: Dehydrated Pad Thai

DAY 1 – RAIN LAKE

I love portaging.  As much as I love the comforts of car camping, I also love the challenge of canoe tripping.  The beauty and peace that surrounds you out on a lake is worth all the hard work. Every time I visit Algonquin I feel so thankful to live in Canada. As much as my heart loves the city, I crave the connection with nature and being out in the wilderness feels like home to me as well.

This was the first time my boyfriend and I were going portaging together.  My ex-boyfriend preferred car camping, so this was also the first time I was embarking on a canoe trip with my better half. Portaging can make or break a relationship – it tests your ability to work as a team, to listen to each other, to be patient, and you have to take care of each other, all while testing your own limitations. But I wasn’t nervous at all, we had traveled and camped together before and I knew we would make a solid team. After two weeks of dehydrating all our meals and buying a brand spanking new two-man tent, we were set to go! I was super excited to leave civilization behind and set out on our adventure.

Day 1 was a light travel day. We set out nice and early from Huntsville, picked up supplies and our permit in Kearney and headed out from Access Point #4 – Rain Lake. The weather was warm and sunny, but pretty windy and as soon as we paddled out of the narrow straight the wind picked up and carried us across the vast, sparkling lake. After about an hour of paddling we arrived at camp – a site hidden away at the edge of the far island.

Dehydrating pad thai

Dehydrating pad thai

For lunch I experimented with a new dehydrated meal: pad thai. I used a standard pad thai recipe and made everything except for the rice noodles that are compact and light to carry. I replaced the egg and shrimp with chicken and tofu, as egg and shrimp do NOT rehydrate well.  Once I tried re-dehydrating scrambled eggs and they disintegrated into something inedible while rehydrated shrimp was very rubbery. So instead I slow cooked two chicken breasts and a block of tofu. Make sure you diced the tofu as small as possible and finely shred the slow cooked chicken. The chicken and tofu should be as small and as thin as small as possible so that they dehydrate evenly. My post on dehydrating has detailed instructions for the rest of the process.

Dehydrating pad thai

Dehydrating pad thai

To rehydrate simply fill your ziplock bag with water until the food is covered and soak for 30 minutes. Soak your rice noodles separately and then mix everything together over medium heat. I had a couple of small packs of peanuts from McDonalds that I sprinkled on top – and voila! Outback Pad Thai! I’m pretty happy with how it turned out even though the shrimp was a bit rubbery. The sweet and spicy pad thai flavour really came through and all the carbs and protein were particularly comforting after our busy morning.

Dehydrated Pad Thai - Algonquin

Dehydrated Pad Thai – Algonquin

20150803_AlgonquinRainLake-1731

Rain Lake – Algonquin

DAY 2 – RAIN LAKE TO BANDIT LAKE

20150803_AlgonquinRainLake-1737

Moccasin Lake to Bandit Lake – Algonquin

The next day we headed north towards Bandit Lake. We had 1835 meters of portages as we headed through Sawyer, Jubilee and Moccasin Lake but the distance was actually quite short and after four hours of travel we arrived at camp. 

20150803_AlgonquinRainLake-1738

Bandit Lake – Algonquin

We had another fun island site, and we spent the rest of the afternoon swimming around the island and lounging in our portable hammocks. That evening we sat by the campfire drinking 40 Creek whisky and watching the full moon rise over the calm, dark lake.

20150803_AlgonquinRainLake-1742

Bandit Lake – Algonquin

What food have you successfully dehydrated?  Let me know what you think of my pad thai!  Have you ever backcountry camped to Bottle Lake?