Every year we go beach camping up and down the California coast with 10-12 other families, and every year our meal assignment has been the Dutch Oven Mountain Man Breakfast. Like Coke and Mentos, and the midnight grunion runs, the Mountain Man Breakfast has become a demanded tradition of us and ours. It’s got all the favorite breakfast foods in one dish: sausage, eggs, cheese, hash browns. Not only is it the most delicious, wonderful mess you’ll ever shovel in your mug, it sends torturous wafts of incredible aroma throughout the campground, causing many a family to look down miserably at their breakfast bars and weep.
So, without further ado, here’s our recipe for the quintessential Dutch Oven Mountain Man breakfast (makes 6-12 servings):
- 1 pound ground pork sausage (mild, medium or hot, it’s up to you)
- 1 pound bacon (honey cured is sometimes preferred)
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 (2-pound) bag of shredded hash browns
- 12 extra large eggs, beaten
- 1 16-oz. bag shredded mild cheddar cheese
- Add any other spices you might like: salt pepper, butt rub…
- You’ll want to get a campfire going about 90 minutes before you’re ready to eat. Let it burn until it’s accumulated a nice layer of coals.
- Add and stir the sausage, bacon, onion and garlic into a 12-Inch Cast Iron Dutch Oven with a lid, with the oven beside–but not directly in– the coals, so you have a nice medium-high heat. Cook and stir until the sausage and bacon are no longer raw and the onion is tender.
- Stir in the red and green bell peppers and hash browns until nicely blended. Keep stirring for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are hot and the peppers are now tender.
- Add the beaten eggs evenly over the top of the potatoes, allowing them to sink into the mix, then cover the Dutch oven.
- Carefully place 8-10 hot coals under the Dutch oven and 13-15 on top. Allow your concoction to bake around 35-40 minutes, until the eggs are firm.
- Carefully remove the lid, keeping the coals on, and sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over the eggs. Cover and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes. The cheese should be melted at this point.
Adjust this recipe according to your crowd, of course. There’s nothing wring with having leftovers, though, this chow makes for GREAT leftovers!!
As any Dutch Oven enthusiast can tell you, there are some “Do NOTs” when is comes to cleaning a Dutch Oven:
- Do NOT use dish soap or detergent (it can leave a soapy taste in the oven that may transfer to the food).
- Do NOT use a metal scrapper or scouring pad (it can remove the “hard-earned” seasoning).
- Do NOT put cold water on a hot Dutch Oven (it can cause the oven to crack).
- Do NOT “burn out” your Dutch Oven over the fire. (It can warp or crack the oven).
If it’s not convenient to clean the Dutch oven right away, you can pour some hot water in it and let it soak. For BEST RESULTS, though, follow these steps:
- With a plastic scraper, scrape out the excess food.
- With a little hot water and a dish cloth, wipe up the residual gunk and finish cleaning it out. Then dump out the dirty water and rinse the pan with warm water.
- Dry the dutch oven thoroughly with a paper towel, or leave it in close enough proximity to the campfire to dry itself.
- When dry, take a clean paper towel and wipe a thin coat of oil all over the Dutch oven, careful to remove any excess so it doesn’t leave a rancid puddle.
- Finally, fold another clean paper towel and put it under the lid and hanging slightly out the side to absorb any excess oil and moisture and to allow some air into the oven.
Before you even go camping, though, the best thing you could do is season your 12-Inch Cast Iron Dutch Oven to get long-lasting, top notch performance out of it. You can read about how to season this and your other cast iron pans HERE. Also, you can pick up a Dutch oven at Harbor Freight Tools for a great, low price!
Be sure to check out other recipes you can make in your Dutch oven, like stews, chili, desserts and so much other delicious grub. It may not be pretty sometimes, but it always eats good.