Sunday, July 17, 2011

Alphabet Casserole

     There is an old saying, 'Hunger is the best sauce'.  Imagine yourself riding back to camp, bone weary after sitting in the saddle for twelve hours and ravenously hungry.  If someone handed you a plate of this beef and biscuit casserole you would feel like you were dining at a five star restaurant.  This basic but tasty dish from my local PTA Community cookbook is another one of those ridiculously easy meals that you can make on the trail or in your backyard.  It's a made for camping recipe.  Saute onions with the beef, drain, stir in the soup and slap on the biscuits.  I made it exactly as written with the exception of fresh ground black pepper and a sprinkling of garlic powder.  It was very good and I was surprised by the amount of vegetables that you can find in a can of soup.  This is a great basic formula for a hamburger dutch oven casserole.  You can substitute one or both of the soups and doctor it up with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce,  A-1 sauce, barbecue sauce or whatever tangy ingredient you have on hand.  The secret to not having soggy bottomed biscuits is to make sure you bring your meat mixture to a good bubble first and having the temperature high enough to cook them all the way through.  Because I haven't had the best luck when cooking refrigerated biscuits as a topping in my 10 inch oven, I would suggest using your 12 inch oven.  After you brown the beef over a full spread of coals, move them to a circle around the bottom and bake with 22-24 coals on the lid.  After 10 minutes, or when the beef and soup is simmering, add the biscuits.  You can literally feed four people for around six dollars with this easy, Dutch Oven 101, camper's casserole.

Alphabet Casserole
1 pound ground beef
2 10 1/2 oz. cans condensed vegetable (Alphabet) soup
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can of Grands type refrigerated biscuits

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven.
     Brown beef and onions over a full compliment of coals until onions are soft and translucent.
     Add the two cans of Vegetable Soup (Do not add water).  Stir well.  Move bottom coals to outside of oven, cover and cook with coals on top until soup is bubbling, about 10-15 minutes.
     Add biscuits and bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until biscuits are brown and cooked through.
     Serves 4.

Saute beef and onions, stir in soup

When beef mixture is bubbling, add biscuits

Bake for 15 minutes more or until biscuits are brown and ready

Great for camping or beginning dutch oven cooks


  1. I had high hopes for this dish. I used Campbell's Vegetable soup and my taste testers and I found it to be too salty. Perhaps there is a less salty soup out there? I also thought maybe dicing a few potatoes and throwing those in would help diffuse the salty taste.

    Love the site BTW. I've cooked a few recipes from here.

  2. That's often the downside to using prepared foods, I rarely cook with salt, except when baking and always try to use low sodium canned foods when available. This is a recipe of convenience, good for camping, potatoes would be a good addition but you'd have to cook it a lot longer. Thanks for the feedback, Liddy