Whiteburn's Wanderings

One man's wanderings backpacking around Scotland plus the odd digression

Dehydrator time

The dehydrator has been busy over the last couple of weeks as I started to replenish the stockpile of food for forthcoming winter outings, a good pastime while watching the early winter storms sweep through the Highlands!

Wild Rabbit Casserole

A variation of my Beef Stew using a couple of rabbits shot by my neighbour, wild rabbit is very low in fat so idea for dehydration. I divided into 6 portions, each will provide around 550 kcals

Rabbit

500g cooked Rabbit; 250ml red wine, 2 tins of Flageolet beans; 200g Pearl barley (dry); 500g Potatoes; 200g Parsnip; 200g Onion; 200g Carrots; 1 tin Tomatoes; 150g frozen Peas; 150g frozen Sweetcorn;  2 tea spoons mustard powder, mixed herbs and garlic to taste.

Method:

Joint the rabbits and brown in a no-stick pan with a tiny amount of olive oil, cover with the wine and water add the mustard, herbs and garlic; simmer until tender, ~45mins.

Remove the Rabbit pieces and when cool de-bone and shred the meat.

Wash the pearl barley and add to the pot, boil for 10mins and then simmer for 20-30mins.

Add finely chop the onions, carrots, potatoes, parsnip and tomatoes to the stock, bring to boil, simmer until cooked, 15 – 20mins.

Add the rabbit, beans, peas and sweet corn to the pot; simmer for 5mins

Add only sufficient water to stop the food sticking, it will make dehydration easier.

ADD NO SALT.

Dehydration:

If the consistency is ‘right’ the food can sit on the mesh trays OK, if too runny you can reduce on the stove or place on baking sheets (dehydration will take longer)

Dehydrate at 70C for a couple of hours and then reduce the temperature to 60C for a further 4 – 5 hours; break up the larger pieces during the process.

Rehydration:

Add ‘stew’ and 500ml water to the pot bring to the boil and sit a pot cosy for 20-25 mins.

Add salt to taste after ‘cooking’.

Banana Chips

I find home produced dried banana infinitely nicer than the store bought stuff, a more chewy texture and not overly sweet; great on its own or for adding to trail mix or your morning porridge.

It’s really simple to produce; a 6 tray batch in my Stockli (6 – 7 large bananas) cut in 3 – 4 mm slices dehydrates @ 55C in around 9 – 10 hours, yield around 440g.

The banana pieces are quite sticky so I’ll place the pieces on silicone paper for the first 4 – 5 hours before turning over onto the grills for the remainder of the time.

Warning if you think one batch will do, make two or three batches; unless the jars are padlocked the chips rapidly ‘evaporate’!

Tomato Leather

Tomato leather is simple and very easy addition to the backpacker’s larder, 30 – 40g added to a pot of pasta makes a rich sauce, infinitely better than a cup-a-soup or store bought mixes; you can also add to other meals to enhance their flavour.

There’s probably a 1000 recipes, usually along the lines of ‘make your favourite pasta sauce and dehydrate’ but here’s my recipe and method.

Ingredients:

4 cans (440g) of plum tomatoes, 2 small (140g) cans of tomato paste, 6 medium onions, garlic (to taste), 2 (or more) red pappers;1 tablespoon of paprika and dried Italian herbs, 2 table spoons of balsamic vinegar; 1 teaspoon of chilli powder, seasoning.

Method:

Rough chop the onions and peppers and steam in the microwave until well softened.

Blitz the onions, peppers, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, garlic, paprika, herbs and chilli in a food processor, empty into a sauce pan, bring to boil and simmer until quite thick.

Add the tomato paste, mixing in well, simmer until really thick (adding the paste earlier risks a bubbling lava erupting around the stove).

Dehydration:

Spread the warm sauce 3mm thick on silicone paper, dehydrate at 55C for 8 – 9 hrs, after around 4 hrs the leather can be peeled from the paper and turned direct onto the grills, yield is around 300g.

Cooking:

Just add to the pot at the beginning of cooking and stir occasioning when bringing to boil.

E.g. A simple tomato and cheese pasta:

Add 125g whole-wheat pasta, 30g of leather and 500ml of cold water to the pot.  Bring to boil over a medium heat and then place in a pot cosy for 15 mins; add cheese.

Variations: add cooked meat (mince, bacon bits, etc), chorizo or smoked sausage

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This entry was posted on December 4, 2013 by in Food, Recipes and tagged , .
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