Cooking with a Cannibal Cauldron

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Cooking with a Cannibal Cauldron

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu May 21, 2009 11:42 am

Here's a nice pot to throw the newbies into for a slow simmer:
Image

Seriously, we'd like to put a big cast-iron pot up on a tripod, build a fire under it and cook some stew in it.

Firstly, how minimize the burn scar?
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Postby Bob » Thu May 21, 2009 11:56 am

Couple inches of sand on a sheet metal tray, and maybe a ring cut from a steel drum to contain blowing embers. Not advisable wrt to the rulebook to have open fires in the camping areas, and you'll just have to figure that out for yourself -- ie, if you have to ask, maybe you shouldn't be doing it.
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Postby phil » Thu May 21, 2009 12:03 pm

I have no clue how big that sucker is and how big a fire you'd need. Do you know yet?

If you don't want a wood fire on a couple of inches of sand on a sheet metal tray, and the tripod is high enough, I'd think about a hibachi or small BBQ grill under the pot. I don't know how much fire you'd need, though. Maybe charcoal wouldn't be enough to bring it to a boil.

I wouldn't use a camp stove with a couple of burners - I'd expect that to take longer than the stove could stand the heat without something failing (like the rubber hoses melting).
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu May 21, 2009 12:32 pm

It's not really as big as the ones in the Charles Addams cartoons. This one's about 5 quarts. I am just hoping to get an archaic appearance.

Maybe that metal sheet (how thick? the guide says nothing) and a couple of sacks of sand (probably trucked out afterwards) surrounded by a circle of rocks.
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Postby Bob » Thu May 21, 2009 12:40 pm

Well, yeah, a tripod propane burner from a bbq supply house would be less hassle. Paint flames on it or something.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu May 21, 2009 12:59 pm

phil wrote:If you don't want a wood fire on a couple of inches of sand on a sheet metal tray, and the tripod is high enough ...

Thank you Phil, as usual, for helpful suggestions. The tripod basically holds the pot above the fire, which is still on the ground in the traditional manner.
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Postby Fire_Moose » Thu May 21, 2009 2:03 pm

make the tripod go over a burn barrel. BAM done
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu May 21, 2009 2:22 pm

Yeah, I get that when the desert winds spring up you don't want sparks flying into the neighbor's tent. The burn barrel would sort of keep that under control.
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The Yorkshire Fairy gave us pudding.

Postby Oldguy » Thu May 21, 2009 5:30 pm

From "Ensign" Sept. 1971:

From the banquet halls of the Normans has come the custom of laying a white cloth and setting individual places at table. The gift of a silver mug and spoon to a newborn baby had its origin here also. From the Normans also came the idea that a waiter should carry a napkin over his arm when serving at tables. The Norman groom made a loose bag by laying a cloth over his shoulder and under his arm; this bag was filled with bread. He then went around the long tables, laying the bread at the side of each platter. Sometimes he would take another cloth and wrap each individual serving of bread in special ways—lilies for the ladies, a mitre (hat) for a bishop, or a shoe for the traveller. These shapes are still used by hostesses for folding serviettes (napkins) at special luncheons.

We tend to think that pressure cooking is a modern discovery, but cooking with a cauldron in Medieval times was really no different. Most people think that everything was thrown into the cauldron to make one gigantic stew. Not so. Those Medieval cooks were smart; an entire dinner was cooked in the one iron pot. (The same pot also provided the hot water for a bath before dinner and the washing up afterwards!) Pieces of wooden board pierced with holes were placed across the bottom of the pot, and big earthenware jars with tight-fitting lids that made them airtight were placed on the wood. This is the same principle as the pressure cooker but on a much larger scale. In addition to the meat cooking in the jars and under the board, bags of beans, vegetables, and even puddings were hung from the handle into the pot, and there was always room for a little bit more.

We are still fond of stews or casseroles in the winter, and we feel we need this kind of food to combat the damp atmosphere, but our most famous specialty is roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Folklore has it that a Yorkshire shepherd once found a fairy half-frozen to death on the moors. He gently carried her home, warmed her, and brought her back to life. In gratitude she went over to some batter that the shepherd’s wife was mixing, beat it to a fairy lightness, and placed it in the oven, and the first Yorkshire pudding was created. Now don’t be misled by the word pudding, because we actually eat this with our roast beef and pour gravy over it. If you would like to try it, here is my recipe.

Yorkshire Pudding

4 ounces (about 3/4 cup) flour
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1/2 pint (1 cup) milk


Mix flour and salt into a bowl, make a hollow in the center, and break in the egg. Stir with a wooden spoon and add the milk gradually until all the flour is worked in. Beat well and leave to stand for half an hour. Melt two tablespoons of drippings from the beef into a roasting tin, or divide it between small individual tins. Pour in the batter and bake in a hot oven (425–450°F.) about 10 to 15 minutes for small puddings or 20 to 30 minutes for one large pudding. They should rise to about three times their size and be light, crisp, and golden-brown. Serve immediately.

Our mealtimes are unique, inasmuch as we have a light meal called teatime between four and five in the afternoons, as well as lunch at midday and dinner or supper in the evenings. Usually teatime consists of some kind of sandwich, fruit and cream or trifle, and cakes.
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The English used the large cauldron as a type of steamer for cooking, and a boiler for washing. You can scald hogs or Longpig prior to skinning.
My grandma used a medium iron pot to scald chickens prior to plucking feathers. She'd pluck off the down before boiling for use in pillows and mattresses.
I have a small cauldron for camp cooking/ baking, the kind with prong legs and flat lid to hold coals. The lid can be flipped over and used as a grill for bacon and hoecakes.
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Postby phil » Thu May 21, 2009 5:33 pm

My grandmother used the cauldron for washing clothes, then she made soap in it from the ashes.
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Thu May 21, 2009 6:25 pm

I have been thinking of building a wood pellet fueled burn barrel. I haven't done any trials yet but maybe a coal bed of wood pellets would be easier to control moop wise. I have no idea how much a relatively non contained wood pellet fire would shed sparks in the wind. I think the idea of using the bottom 1/3 of a metal 55 gallon drum mounted on top of a ring of the same drum would protect the playa if there was allowances for plenty of ventilation under the fire pit part.
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Re: Cooking with a Cannibal Cauldron

Postby mdmf007 » Thu May 21, 2009 7:12 pm

Ugly Dougly wrote:Here's a nice pot to throw the newbies into for a slow simmer:
Image

Seriously, we'd like to put a big cast-iron pot up on a tripod, build a fire under it and cook some stew in it.

Firstly, how minimize the burn scar?


Christ - how much stew you cooking?
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Postby **burn** » Thu May 21, 2009 9:16 pm

It looks like it works similar to a dutch oven.

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Postby Toolmaker » Thu May 21, 2009 10:50 pm

**burn** wrote:It looks like it works similar to a dutch oven.

Risky


Isn't a dutch oven the one where you pull the sheets up and over someone right before you fart in bed?
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Postby chiefdanfox » Thu May 21, 2009 10:54 pm

Whalers used cauldrons that could easily boil three full grown men or five or six children. I'm just sayin'.

There has to be a few of those things laying around in New England. We got 'em out here in CA, where they hunted Blues and Humpbacks.
The oil on the top could be skimmed and donated to the lamplighters.

Minimize the burn scar with a liberal use of a large ring burner and propane. No ashes either. Make sure you stir it with a wooden oar.
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Postby Playa Tom » Fri May 22, 2009 1:50 am

A dozen or so charcoal brickettes under the pot and another half dozen on the lid will provide enough heat to cook most anything. There are several guides to cast iron, dutch oven cooking available. Be sure to season it well before using it.
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Postby Elorrum » Sat May 23, 2009 9:20 pm

potjie... south african cast iron cooking pot. I saw photos of these over a propane burner, over a fire directly, or hanging on a tripod. so on a tripod over a propane burner doesn't seem too far fetched, if you want the visual. more barbie doll sized though for the cannibal visual effect.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Sun May 24, 2009 9:39 am

Playa Tom wrote:A dozen or so charcoal brickettes under the pot and another half dozen on the lid will provide enough heat to cook most anything. There are several guides to cast iron, dutch oven cooking available. Be sure to season it well before using it.


That's for a Dutch ove n with the flat top. Another good idea.

Just brainstorming here, folks, thanks for your ideas.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed May 27, 2009 11:46 am

Real cannibals don't cook over flames, they cook over coals. I asked around.

So I forsee a small Weber on the ground with charcoal bricquets, with the cauldron on a tripod suspended above the coals, and a circle of medium-sized rocks around the Weber to disguise it. That would actually work.

Now I need some cowboy chili recipes, in case a cowboy wanders into camp.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed May 27, 2009 11:48 am

Modern real cannibals use microwaves.





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Postby Toolmaker » Wed May 27, 2009 12:21 pm

Ugly Dougly wrote:Real cannibals don't cook over flames, they cook over coals. I asked around.

So I forsee a small Weber on the ground with charcoal bricquets, with the cauldron on a tripod suspended above the coals, and a circle of medium-sized rocks around the Weber to disguise it. That would actually work.

Now I need some cowboy chili recipes, in case a cowboy wanders into camp.


I have a medium Weber.. 18 inches or so round. Want me to bring it?

I found a decent chili "kit" that we like.. it can be made from 2-4 alarm and even hotter with some liquid stoopid hot sauce. I could pick up a bottle of liquid stoopid as well, or any other super hot sauce for that matter.
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Postby Oldguy » Wed May 27, 2009 3:36 pm

I googled " Cowboy Chili Recipes". This one has mostly non-perishable ingrediants:

Nevada Annie`s Cowboy Chili
1/2 cup lard
3 medium onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno
8 pounds beef chuck (coarse)
2 (15 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
8 tablespoons ground hot chili
4 tablespoons ground mild chili
2 teaspoons cumin
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon liquid pepper
Garlic and onion salt to taste
WaterHeat the lard in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, celery and jalapenos. Cook, stirring until onions are translucent.Add the meat to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is evenly browned. Stir in the remaining ingredients with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours. Stir often.Taste and adjust seasonings.Serves 16.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed May 27, 2009 5:03 pm

I don't know anyone named Chuck. Is he a real Texan? ;)

Mmmm... seriously, good Chili is my #1 comfort food. :)
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Re: Cooking with a Cannibal Cauldron

Postby illy dilly » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:37 am

Wow, this thread was really brought back form the dead!
I wish I could have suggested this sooner, because I'm sure Dougly figured out a way to do it (especially in over 2 years).

But I would have suggested the propane burner and stand from a "deep fried Turkey" set up. Then get some sort of black metal to put around it, that would be just tall enough to hid the propane stand/burner thing, but the flame would stick out the top a little.
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Re:

Postby jkisha » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:52 am

What does it mean to WaterHeat the lard?

Oldguy wrote:I googled " Cowboy Chili Recipes". This one has mostly non-perishable ingrediants:

Nevada Annie`s Cowboy Chili
1/2 cup lard
3 medium onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno
8 pounds beef chuck (coarse)
2 (15 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
8 tablespoons ground hot chili
4 tablespoons ground mild chili
2 teaspoons cumin
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon liquid pepper
Garlic and onion salt to taste
WaterHeat the lard in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, celery and jalapenos. Cook, stirring until onions are translucent.Add the meat to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is evenly browned. Stir in the remaining ingredients with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours. Stir often.Taste and adjust seasonings.Serves 16.
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Re: Cooking with a Cannibal Cauldron

Postby phil » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:00 pm

> What does it mean to WaterHeat the lard?

The line return fell out somewhere along the line. Water is the last in the list of contents. "Heat the lard" is the beginning of another paragraph containing the directions.
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