Dehydration: Meat and Root Vegetable Stew

This came together by accident yesterday, but is a pretty fine dehydrated meal.


Meat — lean beef or lamb minced (preferably at home)
1 fresh chillie
tin of tomatoes
chicken stock
red wine vinegar (preferably sherry vinegar)
fresh herbs (to include perhaps parsley, thyme, bay and so on).

I’ve left quantities out as it really doesn’t need to be that precise.

First, make a base with chopped onion, carrot and celery. You need a lot of carrot. Saute very gently in a very little sunflower oil. Let it bubble away until the vegetable are soft but have not taken on any colour — effectively they will begin to stew in their own liquid. You could just braise in a little water but a tiny amount of sunflower oil is acceptable. I added a diced, fresh, chillie but this is a matter of taste

Second, add the meat and garlic. It’s not worth using small amounts here. I used two cartons of frying beefsteak (on special offer). Gently mingle with the vegetables and slowly simmer until the meat has taken on some colour. If you are using pre-minced meat then I suggest frying seperately so that you can poor off the excess fat.

Then, add the parsnip and the suede (and you could also add potato and turnip). Make sure these are cut into reasonably small dice — they have to cook through, dehydrate easily and, most importantly, rehydrate easily, Under-cooked root vegetables with be fibrous and unpleasant to eat as they will still be stringy when you rehydrate.

Add tinned tomatoes and chicken stock (can be bought) to just cover the stew. Add a splashing of red win vinegar (no need for wine) — sherry vinegars are always good. You could splash in some Worcestershire sauce.

Add your fresh herbs. If using dried stuff be sparing with the amount.

Cook at a simmer for at least three hours.

What you get is an old fashioned stew taste that is full of the natural sweetness of the root vegetables.

Rehydrate with some mashed potato (using the ricer method). You can pretend this is an Irish stew or even a kind of cottage pie.

All of the taste will be present when you rehydrate.

This would easily find its way onto the Great British Backpacking Menu.

You can’t really go wrong here — and it is a dish that requires little subtlety.


  1. Ta for that! Simmering away on the cooker as I type 🙂

    If it’s not lovely I’ll be coming after you, though… *g*

  2. Update to say that that was one of the most delicious dehydrated thingies I’ve ever eaten! Thank you ♥

    (The Thai thingy, however, was yukky. I think I must have bogged up the cooking of it.)

    • The root vegetable and lamb stew is superb I agree. The natural sweetness of the veggies works somehow.

      With the Green Curry you have to take time on getting the paste — taste and texture — right. Make sure there is enough sweetness to balance the fish sauce. Don’t add too much water when rehydrating!

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