I’m pretty sure I promised this recipe for “hobo stew” after I went to Yosemite LAST year…. I 100% forgot, until I was picking Yosemite pics to share for a little photo dump, and then the light bulb went off. Oops.
The sad thing is that after Yosemite last year, I didn’t forget about the existence of hobo stew. In fact, Preston and I started making it on the barbecue through the end of summer (which I expect will continue this year.)
You’re probably thinking: “Stop fucking rambling, Leslie, and tell us what the hell hobo stew is!”
And I’ll say to you: “No need to get all worked up about it.”
Hobo stew is a spectacularly simple and adjustable meal made in tin foil packets. Potatoes, protein, veggies, and sauce. That’s really the recipe. Measurements don’t matter, seasonings don’t matter, choice of protein doesn’t matter.
My sister and I made this at the summer camp we went to when we were little, and last year a stroke of genius hit one of us (seriously can’t remember who thought of it) and we remembered that this little gem of a crazy simple recipe would be spectacular to feed our big crowd that goes to Yosemite every year.
Our version: tater tots (because hello easy to pack in a cooler and quick to cook), vegan sausage, frozen mixed veggies, and a few sauces for everyone to choose from. It’s SO easy and so much fun. Give everyone a big sheet of foil, lay out the ingredients, and make everyone pack their own.
The only “rule” I gave people: use WAY more sauce than you think you want.
See that huge mason jar on the left in that picture? We used that alllll up, plus some BBQ sauce and sriracha.
Double wrap the foil, add a strip of masking tape so you can write everyone’s name on there (sharpie directly on foil doesn’t work quite so well, as we discovered this year), and throw it on the fire or barbecue.
How fun is that?!
I know some of you will LOVE the loosey-goosey “recipe” above, but for those of you who want some stricter guidelines to follow, I measured out a version that I put on my barbecue this weekend and it was spectacular.
My new FAVORITE sauce to use in these is my pineapple teriyaki sauce which is super spectacular. But you can really mix it up. That garlic sriracha barbecue sauce from Trader Joe’s? Killer. Soyaki? Spectacular. Play with it.
- 1 C frozen tater tots
- 1 C frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 vegan sausage*
- 3/4 C sauce of choice
- optional: scallions or cilantro for garnish if you're a fancy camper
- Lay a large piece of foil out and spray it thoroughly with cooking spray. Layer tater tots, then veggies, then sausage, and then sauce. Wrap foil very tightly, then flip over on a new piece of foil and double wrap until secure.
- Place on campfire grill or directly into coals for about 20 minutes, until everything is steaming hot.
- OR place directly over flames on a barbecue on medium heat for 25 minutes.
- NOTE: When you bring these traveling to a campsite, the tater tots will likely defrost a touch, which actually makes it EASIER to cook. You can choose to thaw them slightly at home for a barbecue recipe if you like, since it will cook faster that way.
- * Instead of vegan sausage: You can use any kind of meat, really. This year we brought pre-cooked chicken for the meat eaters, and that worked really well. I've also done it with a chopped up veggie burger and with a filet of fish before! Both worked really well.