CWD Camp Edition: Mushburgers
A Pinemere classic, just in time for the Fourth!
Happy Friday ladies and gents! Hopefully you’re gearing up for a long weekend, filled with food, fun, fireworks, and maybe even a frankfurter or four. Don’t be afraid to get a little crazy!
Last weekend, the Family CWD set out to do a little camping trip in the woods near our house. We loaded up a palatial tent, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, the Pack ‘n Play, Baby CWD, Scout, and a cooler and headed into nature. After getting our campsite set up, we took a little stroll, and made it back to camp in time to start a fire and get ready for dinner. What was on the menu? Mushburgers!
As some of you know, I spent many a childhood summer at Pinemere Camp in the Poconos. Now Outward Bound this was not, but we did do one “overnight” a summer sleeping under stars. On these trips, after collecting firewood for about four hours, we would settle around the campfire and make “mushburgers” for dinner.
Essentially, a mushburger is amalgamation of ground beef, veggies, condiments, and seasonings, mushed together, flattened, wrapped in tinfoil, and cooked on the coals of a campfire. It’s surprisingly delicious1 and unsurprisingly easy. At Pinemere, food safety was an afterthought and we made these en place in the woods without any consideration for sanitation. For this trip, however, given I’m older, wiser, and more gun shy about food poisoning2, we prepped and wrapped the mushies at home and threw them in a cooler until we were ready to eat.
Baby CWD had a little meltdown at bedtime, so we ended up breaking camp and heading home without even getting to sleep under the stars, but we still had fun eating and cooking outside. In honor of the adventure, let’s get mushing!
Give everyone a medium mixing bowl, and partition out about a quarter to half pound of ground beef3 per camper. Each person can make their mushburger to their liking, but generally, you’re going to want to mix and mash in some veggies, seasonings, and condiments4. I used onions, pepperjack cheese 5, breadcrumbs, Holy Cow seasoning, ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce6.
Place your meat mix on a sheet of tinfoil, flatten, and wrap it up tight.7 If you’re not preparing this on-site, you can go ahead and put these in a cooler or the fridge until you’re ready to cook. Otherwise, label8 your mushburgers and get ready to cook.
Once at camp, make your fire as usual9. If your campsite has a cooking grate (as ours did) make the fire just offset from the cooking area and place the tinfoil over indirect heat. If you just have a firepit, wait until the fire dies down a bit, spread out some of the coals, and place your packet directly on the embers. Let this cook for about 15-20 minutes, remove from the fire, slice open and enjoy!
So there we have it. I gotta say, making and cooking these was a lot of fun. There’s something to be said about a very simple meal cooked on a real fire, outside. If you’re not a camper, don’t want to bother with a fire, or generally are lazy, you can also make these on a grill over indirect heat or even in the oven. However you do it, enjoy the simple pleasures and enjoy the weekend!
Mrs. CWD, who had some early trepidation, even said “these are really good!”
Thanks, Gma! ;D
I’m sure you could make this vegetarian by mushing up some beans and quinoa or using a meatless ground beef… but why?
At least one Pinemartin swore by apple slices in his mushburger.
Thank you to Mrs. CWD for the suggestion — this is very much not kosher, so never was an option at Pinemere, but also very much delicious.
Mrs. and Baby CWD chose just to use salt, pepper, onions, and cheese.
There has been some serious academic debate on the “right” way to wrap a mushburger, General consensus suggests two to three layers and crimping the edges to ensure the juices get sealed in.
Traditionalists use squeeze bottles of ketchup or mustard to mark their packet — we just used Sharpie.