This past summer we took a wonderful two-week trip out west, where we visited Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. There was a total of five people on our trip (4 adults and 1 child), and deciding what meals to make took some planning and effort. This year, we decided to bring along our cast iron for cooking, since we frequently use our pans at home and they do not require a lot of clean-up. We packed 10" and 12" pans, a griddle, and a flat griddle for pancakes (Yum!). We found the cast iron to be sturdy, and the 10" pan was the perfect size for many of the meals we prepared.
One of the meals we made on our trip was One Pan Taco Chili. This meal was super easy and quick to make, and it fed the entire crew – some helped themselves to seconds! The best part about it was the one pan, no-fuss clean up.
To clean your cast iron pan, remove all food residue from the pan and add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Simmer over medium heat for a minute or two. Soak up all of the liquid from the pan using paper towels, and wipe the pan dry. Once dried, reheat the pan on medium heat to prevent pan from rusting, and coat with a small amount of vegetable oil, using a paper towel, making sure to oil all sides of the pan. When the cast iron has cooled, store the pan in your camp kitchen.
Below, we've shared the recipe and a foolproof method for cleaning your cast iron pans, as well as links to our favorite brands
One Pan Taco Chili Recipe
Yield: 6-8 servings
1.5 lbs ground beef
2 packets taco seasoning
2 cans black beans or kidney beans (or a combination of both)
2 small cans tomato sauce
Hot sauce, to taste
2-3 small packets of sugar or Splenda (helps cut acidity of the tomato sauce)
Garlic seasoning, to taste
Shredded cheddar cheese, optional
Sour cream, optional
Brown the ground beef on medium heat until cooked.
Drain the meat and add taco seasoning. Add small amounts of water, if needed.
Add the beans, tomato sauce, hot sauce, Splenda/sugar and garlic seasoning.
Simmer for a couple of mins and serve with tortilla chips.
For an even bigger kick top with shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream before serving.