I’m getting ready guys. I’m just waiting for the weather to ease up a bit (it was 92 here yesterday and hot as the devil’s balls), so I can head out in the woods for a week. While I’m waiting, I’m getting my food situation together.
Nothing against store bought dehydrated meals. I’m a big fan of Heather’s Choice for her delicious, nutritious meals. I love PackitGourmet – the chicken and dumplings and gumbo are seriously delicious. I’ll even throw in a Mountain House meal every now and then. But it gets old. And unless it’s Heather’s Choice, after a few days on the trail, it just feels like my belly cannot get full properly. It needs “real” stuff going in it.
So I like to mix it up and make my own to throw in every now and then.
This is one of my favorites to dehydrate and bring with me. It’s not my recipe exactly. It was inspired by MrBableFish5, and if you’ve never heard of him, check out his youtube channel. He has some great, GREAT food for backpacking.
This spaghetti doesn’t take much time, not for the flavor pay off, and it’s so good that you can serve it to your family tonight and they will cheer. Freezes like a dream, and obviously dehydrates and rehydrates perfectly as well.
Common sense here, but if you intend on making this for an outing, you’ll need a dehydrator. I wish I had the big, fancy, expensive, black one, but I don’t. I have a cheap Nesco, five tray. I either got it on Amazon or at Wal-Mart, can’t remember but it works just fine for me. I put each 5.5 ounce portion in a paper bag and vacuum seal. The paper bag is so that the hard spaghetti noodles don’t put a hole in the plastic bag. Then, if I’m not gonna use them in 2-3 weeks, just to be as safe as possible, I’ll label and toss them in the freezer until I’m ready to take them.
So let me show you how I make this…you’re gonna love it!
ALABAMA STYLE BBQ SPAGHETTI – DEHYDRATOR & NOT
2 pounds ground beef or pork
16 ounce jar, possibly extra, of Pig Stand BBQ Sauce, or your favorite BBQ sauce
1 large onion chopped
2 bell peppers chopped
2 cans of tomatoes and green chilies (Rotel)
1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 8 ounce can of tomato paste
1 cup of beef broth
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cumin
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons black pepper
12 ounces pasta, one box
In a large pot, brown your meat. While you’re meat is browning start chopping your veg. When meat is browned, dump in a colander to let the fat and liquids drain off.
In the same pot, saute your veg until soft or how you like. You like that extra crunch? Don’t saute. But you know kids…they get a crunch and it’s all over.
When the veg are done to your liking, dump in all the ingredients except the meat and the pasta. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. While that is simmering away, get some water to boil for your pasta. When water is boiling, break the pasta into thirds, if you’re using spaghetti. On the trail you don’t want long strands of noodles slapping you in the chin. Cook the pasta al dente. Drain.
Once done simmering, add the meat and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the pasta, put the lid on, and let it sit for 20 minutes. This is just to let the flavors get to know each other a bit.
If you’re not dehydrating, eat up! If you’ve noticed, it’s a potFUL of pasta! You may want to think about meal prepping or freezing, unless you have 10 kids, then it’ll be gone in one meal.
If you are dehydrating it, you’ll need your “fruit roll up trays”. Spread it out on the fruit roll up tray, not too thick but not thin either. My machine has a meat setting, so that’s what I put it on. It’s labeled 160°. Let it go for about 12 hours. I usually put this on before I go to bed, or at about 6 pm so it’s pretty much done when I get up. That being said, depending on your humidity levels, you may dry longer or not as long as me. Sometimes, I have to add another 3-4 hours of drying time. What you’re looking for is crunchy meat and flexible pasta. Once you reach that, you’re golden.
After it’s done, I let it cool completely and weigh 5.5 ounce portions. This is dried portions, 5.5 ounces. I put it in a paper bag, and vacuum seal. Make sure you label with what it is and the date. I find once foods are dry, it might be hard to tell what it is. Is it pasta? Veggie soup? Beef stew?
Tired of boring dehydrated meals? Whip up some of this delicious BBQ Spaghetti and save money. Plus it's way more delicious than any prepackaged spaghetti you can buy! https://www.thebeardedhiker.com/bbqspaghettiClick To Tweet
HOW TO REHYDRATE
Bring roughly 2 cups of water to a boil. Put the dehydrated spaghetti in your vessel. Once the water is boiling, pour it over the spaghetti until it’s just slightly over the top of the spaghetti. Give it a stir, then put the lid on and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Check it at about 5 minutes, give it a stir, and if it looks like it might need a little more water, add just a bit. After 10 minutes you should be fully hydrated.
You won’t need all 2 cups of water, but better to be safe than sorry. If you have any left over, wash your pits. They probably stink.
**NOTE: There are Amazon links in here. More than you usually see here. They’re not really to get you to buy anything, although I will receive a small fee if you do buy, it’s more for visual references. The BBQ sauce may be something you’ve never heard of. The Sriracha diced tomatoes I just found about a month ago. I think I got it at Wal-Mart. And let me tell you, it is good. Way better than Rotel, fresher tasting. By all means, if you can find anything in this recipe locally, please do buy locally.
Also, about the pasta, I love this one by Barilla. It’s the Bucatini and you can definitely get that at Wal-Mart, or wherever you shop. It’s got the perfect size, and while it looks thick, it’s hollow through the center, so there’s a really great mouth feel to it.
If you’re a vegetarian hiker, never fear! Just toss some Morning Star “meat” in there instead of the ground beef and change the beef broth to veggie broth. Easy.
And just for fun, let’s break this down money-wise. This whole pot of spaghetti, making at the low end, 6 servings, costs roughly $15.00, or $2.50 a serving. Mountain House’s Spaghetti with meat sauce at Wal-Mart is $7.05 a serving, 4.5 ounces. That’s $42.30 for 6 servings, not including tax. PackitGourmet’s spaghetti is $7.99 a pack with 6 servings $47.94 not including shipping.