Campfire Beef Roast

As I posted yesterday, we liked to go up into the Rocky Mountains west of Colorado Springs with Laura’s Mom and Dad and our two dogs. This time her Uncle Max, Grandmother Elsie, and Great Aunt Frieda were along and we were camping along the Crystal River near the ghost town of Tincup.

Laura and I had heard of this method of cooking beef roast in the coals of a campfire and we wanted to try it out. Laura’s Mom was very vocally skeptical, in her defense she did pay for the roast, but we went ahead with it anyway. What could go wrong, if we messed up seven people would go without dinner, that’s all.

Here’s what we did. We started with a large 5 pound beef roast. Don’t know which cut, but if I were going to do it again, I would go for a chuck roast or a top round, a cut with a fair amount of marbling.

We laid down at least two layers of heavy aluminum foil. Placed the roast in the center then took a whole jar of yellow mustard and painted it on as thick as we could all over the meat. Then we took kosher salt and just poured it on all over until we had this layer of salt crusted mustard all over the meat. We then enclosed the meat in the foil and sealed it tight.

We placed the bundle in the coals of the campfire not in the flame but to the side. Then we banked it as much as possible with more coals. I think we left it there at least 3 to 4 hours. Into the coals we also placed foil-wrapped baking potatoes. And foil-wrapped onions that had been quartered, sprinkled with lemon pepper, and a dollop of Worcestershire sauce. The potatoes went in for about 1 1/2 hours and the onions for about 45 minutes.

When we retrieved the roast and opened up the foil we saw that the outer layer of salt and mustard had formed this hard, almost ceramic crust, which we had to break into to get to the meat. Inside the crust the mustard and meat juices had combined to form this delicious sauce perfectly seasoned. The meat was perfectly cooked and extremely flavorful. I will always fondly remember that entire trip, especially that meal.

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