Going camping in Yellowstone each summer never gets old. There’s always something new to experience, whether it’s pitching a tent in the snow in June one year or suffering with 90 degrees weather the next. I like to get away from the heat of summer, so that’s why I’m complaining about the 90 degrees. And when you’re already at an elevation of 6000 feet or more, the sun is a whole lot closer, and the air thinner. For a fair-skinned blond like myself, that only means one thing – sunburn! But I digress…..
One thing that stays pretty much the same every year, the one “touristy” activity my family and I like to do when we are in Yellowstone, is partake in the Old West cookout at the Roosevelt Lodge. This is an immensely popular activity, and reservations need to be made many months in advance. The nightly event takes visitors from the Roosevelt Stables a short distance into the “backcountry”, to an area called Pleasant Valley.
Visitors either get there on horseback or by riding in a covered wagon pulled by a team of Percherons. Upon arrival, the smells of great outdoor cooking will make anyone’s mouth water. The fare consists of steak (cooked to your liking), corn bread, vegetables, cobbler, and baked beans. (I’ll only quickly mention the cowboy coffee, which I will leave to my husband to post about. Personally, I haven’t been brave enough to try it.).
The food is great mainly because of the beautiful outdoor setting, but one of my favorite menu items is the baked beans. Years ago, they even posted the recipe for their “Roosevelt Beans” on the napkin holders. I copied it down, of course, so that I could make these at home myself. These beans can definitely become a meal all by themselves, not just a sidedish. Great for Fourth of July BBQ’s, or for camping!
1 lb ground beef
½ lb diced bacon
1 small onion, diced
4 cans assorted beans (pinto, kidney, white, butter, pork & beans, lima, etc)
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp mustard
½ cup ketchup
salt/pepper to taste
Fry the bacon until crisp. Drain the fat off. Brown ground beef, and sauté onions with the beef. Add bacon. Drain the liquid from the beans (unless you want to end up with baked bean soup), then add beans and all the other ingredients. Mix everything thoroughly and put in oven proof dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.
When camping, throw everything in a dutch oven and bake in hot coals. Enjoy!