Five years ago, I managed to cook a pair of 8 oz fillets on 2nd night of a backpacking trip. You can read about it here. It is a meal that still gets talked about whenever we’re sitting around a fire ring. So when I aimed to impress a new convert to this mad hobby, that was my go-to idea.
There were some adjustments to the original recipe — I took a shortcut with the gravy, didn’t have any goose fat handy, that sort of thing. But here’s how I pulled it off:
2 7-8 oz. beef fillets
2/3 of a decent sized bundle of asparagus, cut into 1.5″ pieces
1 pkg. Mckormick Mushroom Gravy Mix
1 pkg. Idahoan Baby Reds Flavored Mashed Potatoessalt, pepper, garlic powder, dried rosemary, dried tarragon
2 tbsp bacon fat
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Using my standard cook kit (explained here), with only the addition of a large plastic spoon.
1st – season the meat with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Sear it about a minute on each side and a minute on the edges using half of the butter and olive oil. Set aside.
2nd – melt the bacon grease with half the butter & olive oil in the smaller pot. Add the asparagus pieces and stir constantly on medium heat until it starts to get fragrant, bright, and just a little softer. Remove from heat.
3rd – get your bigger pot, add the gravy packet and just enough water to make a paste. Then stir in about 2.5 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, then cut the heat and set the steaks into the gravy. After 5 minutes, flip the steaks and then dump the asparagus on top of them. Sprinkle tarragon and rosemary on them. You’re going to use the heat of the gravy to bring the internal temperature up to preference. The steam from the pot will finish cooking the asparagus. I like my steaks really bloody . . but Lucky seemed a bit put-off by that level of rare. Ended up getting them just shy of medium.
4th – bring water to boil as per the potato instructions. Remove from heat, stir in the instant potatoes and add the shredded cheddar cheese.
Serve on a deep plate with the meat and taters and gravy and asparagus chunks swimming around all thick and warm and filling.
Be amazed as your hiking buddy loses the ability to speak in coherent sentences while enthralled with the glorious sustenance you just bestowed upon him.