And The Men Were Men: Backwoods Cheese Steak Sandwiches
The rendezvous was classic trout camp, sans the trout. One by one we came from various corners of the state and all conspired at the river’s soft edge for a bit of camping, fellowship, and good food under the crescent moon. We had come to trout country not to fish, however, because trout fishing annually closes it’s doors in Minnesota in November. Poachers we are not. Instead we came here just to be, in a place that we really liked being, which in itself was sweetly enough, because, as Robert Traver once wrote in his esteem book, Trout Magic, “I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful“. And they are.
So we made our camps here on the shores of trout waters, deep in south eastern Minnesota, and did what we do best – eat! Now I don’t want to suggest that we come to the woods like this just to stuff our pie holes with endless calories, but in truth, it is a part of it. When your camp mate is also your fellow patron and long time pit cohort, well, with two cooks in the outdoor kitchen, lets just say pants are going to get tight! Like our first night there when we made cheese steak sandwiches on the Mojoe Griddle. A better backwoods sammich I do not rightly recall right now. Let me tell you about it, and how it went and came to be.
Enter The Mojoe
Established readers to this blog have seen this sexy beast before. The Mojoe Griddle. I’m telling you, if you have the space in your truck and can lift 35 pounds, this is one of the finest camp cooking rigs you can get. And marry it with a humble, two burner, Camp Chef Explorer stove, shoot, the world is yours! One-quarter inch hot rolled steel, people, restaurant grade, nearly non stick, complete with aluminum griddle strap to keep your spoils from toppling into the dirt! And better yet, large enough to fry a pancake to match a man hole cover!
This is high living, people.
With the sun setting over the valley rim, tree lines waxing to silhouettes, we got to work in the doable illumination of the porch light outside of the camper. Red onions and bell peppers sauteed in olive oil. And steak, I don’t remember what kind, but steak, seared to perfection over the hot steel. Ah yes, camp cooking at it’s finest, right here.
Through the pungent woods of shag bark hickory you can hear the gentle tumble of trout stream, the quiet banter of our camp mates in tarry around a crackling pine fire, and the comforting sizzle of vittles cooking on the Mojoe. The smell of onions and meat waft in the damp, November air. The rhythmic clank and slide of a steel spatula on a hot griddle. Tummies rumbling. You getting hungry yet! I could do this all day!
Near the end of the cook, we toasted up our hoagie rolls for that added texture to the perfect backwoods sandwich. I don’t know about you, but I have never regret toasting my buns. Ever.
The Finishing Touch
After a fashion, all was done and we went inside the camper and assembled our spoils. My fellow patron brought along a jar of this stuff to put on our sandwiches. Boy did that add a lovely dimension of flavor and camping class. Really good! He thinks of these kinds of things, when I never would. I found it on amazon if you’re interested. Mt. Olive Simply Relish Deli Style Dill 16 fl (Pack of 2)
The cold rain began tapping over the plastic roof of the camper as we settled into the dinette by soft candle light. The heater kicked on, softly murmuring in the background, and mood music played on the radio. Yeah, okay, this wasn’t exactly the sort of rough and tumble camping as is often associated with the past time, but hey, it was November in Minnesota. Our last fling of 2017. We had come to smooth it! And besides, we get it rough enough in town! Anyways, we ate a lot of food on that trip. Good food. But this sandwich in particular hangs with an asterisks in the panniers of our mind. There was something about how it came together: in the woods, the joys of that big griddle, the way the deli relish set off the flavors, the char on the green peppers. I dunno, it was just good! And made better yet doing what we love, with people we really like, in a place we really enjoyed being. A place where the trout leapt. And the men were men. Amen.
Stuff We Used
Check out the Mojoe Outfitters at their site, here
Camp Chef Stoves are also available off amazon. Here’s a link to that. Happy Camping!
Camp Chef EX60LW Explorer 2 Burner Outdoor Camping Modular Cooking Stove
Patrons of the Pit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
Pingback: And The Men Were Men: Backwoods Cheese Steak Sandwiches — Patrons of the Pit | My Meals are on Wheels
HA 😀 !!! I love Dill Pickle Relish, so I’ll give you guys a pass on putting it on your CheeseSteaks… they do look very yummy, but of course anything cooked outside and savored in a camper in the woods is okey-dokey by me.
March 8, 2018 at 1:47 pm
Yeah it’s the good life for sure. Dill pickle relish admittedly is something I have acquired a taste for over the years. Never used to care for such things, but I guess as the human palate ages, we get to enjoy more flavors in life. I’ll take it!
March 8, 2018 at 2:33 pm
There’s camp cooking and then there’s camp COOKING. Have you ever tried your hand at fresh caught trout? In season of course.
March 9, 2018 at 10:02 am
Mr Dodd, there is nothing finer perhaps than a fresh trout shore lunch, cooked over an open blaze whilst reclined stream side from whence it came. Yes, I have done that, and those times have been highlights of my camp cooking career. Had occasion even to do so out way of Colorado and Wyoming, in some of the loveliest places on earth, I think. Yeah, that’s high living for sure. I long for it now…
March 9, 2018 at 10:27 am
That made me smile. Happy cooking.
March 9, 2018 at 10:31 am
“hangs with an asterisk in the panniers of our minds”…such wonderful turns of phrase. You do set a lovely scene. It’s good to read your words again. Cheers!
March 11, 2018 at 10:35 am
Thanks Todd. And such compliments are like gold from word masters such as yourself.
Cheers mate. Hope all is well!
March 11, 2018 at 1:22 pm
Another post done to the high standards you set for yourselves. Keep up the finest of works.
March 23, 2018 at 11:53 am
Thank you kindly, Conor. Likewise to you!
March 23, 2018 at 3:00 pm
Amen and though there were no women on your quest, I’m guessing women could be women at trout camp, yes? Love that yo’re still here and funny stuff that your picture of November is snowless and here I type on April 2nd with snow flying out of the sky. Honestly.
As always, your blog is lovely to read – you have a way with words and food. That is definitely an amazing camp stove. If we were more serious about it (not so much right now with two teenage girls) I would sign on for one immediately. Have made too many makeshift stoves over a campfire and found sausages rolling into the flames. Pancake the size of a manhole cover indeed.
You would be proud of your Twin Cities neighbor (that’s me unless you have moved) in that my husband smoked our ham in our backyard on Saturday. Never got to full temp what with the chill in the air, but still imparted some great flavor.
Glad to have you at my boulevardier post. Thank you for finding me again.
An aside: one of you had a baby, yes? How is he/she? Are there more little ones for you to train in the art of pit cooking?
April 2, 2018 at 2:44 pm
Howdy Liz, long time it’s been! Very cool to see you around these cyber parts again. Like old times. Well a tip of the tongs and the bbq hat to your husband for stepping up the Easter ham to the next level. Nothing finer than a double smoked ham right off the pit.
Yeah, the women are allowed to trout camp if they wanted to come, but they never do. Not yet anyhow. Once they figure out November is more comfortable than April these days, maybe they’ll show up more. Yeah isn’t this a crazy winter in Minnesota? What the heck…
And yes, yours truly recently popped out a little girl. Well my better half did all the work really. First one, and I haven’t a clue what I’m doing really. All I know is that I’ve fallen in love with the pooper, and we’re having the time of our life. Good times. My fellow patron had a little girl too, about 4 years ago. It’s all about the girls over here I guess. It’s wonderful.
Good to heat from you Liz! You’re always welcome in these parts. You were one of the original founding subscribers to PotP. A hallowed place is always reserved for you.
April 5, 2018 at 11:38 am
Had no idea I was one of the first to amble by. You guys have excellent staying power! Which is a good thing now that you are both proud papas of the female sort. Mine are 11 and 15 and I can offer that you may possibly never have a clue what you are doing. The difficulty lies in the child’s ability to move forward (both figuratively and literally). Your pit patron, for instance, may now know what to do with his baby girl, but she is now four so his baby knowledge won’t work with her anymore. He could offer you parenting advice for a baby girl, but it would also do no good as each child is different. So it’s pretty much all flying blind, at least that has been my experience. An infinite supply of love and forgiveness helps I imagine. But what do I know. Next week I will write up a cocktail (to go smoked ham hock soup) and I will raise my glass to you, Patrons. To parenting!
April 5, 2018 at 1:33 pm
Greetings Smokey Brother … sweet read, as usual *insert mouth watering here*
May 1, 2018 at 1:17 pm
Howdy doody! Long time no see, old friend. Good to see were both still kickin’! Time to break out that motorcycle! I think….
May 8, 2018 at 1:03 pm
Sadly, that won’t be happening for me this season … I’m recovering from yet another nasty surgery … yep, I managed to tear my left biceps tendon almost completely off the bone back in January … just had it reattached two weeks ago. *sigh* … this aging thing sucks HARD!!
I wrote this last week … https://carnivoreconfidential.com/2018/05/03/sous-vide-surgery-and-a-bunch-of-time-on-my-hands-again/
I understand you’ve added a little pit-master to the brood … CONGRATS 🙂 !!
Stay hungry old friend 🙂 🙂
May 8, 2018 at 4:33 pm
Well that grieves me! Sorry to hear that, old chap. Yes, we are all heir to aging flesh, that is if we’re lucky to get old, I suppose. Happy healing to you then. Guess you’re duty is to eat more protein to help rebuild what ails you!
Thanks for the congrats. Good times indeed.
May 11, 2018 at 3:43 pm
Pingback: What Kings Eat: Superior No Name Steak Sandwiches | Patrons of the Pit