Campground Bean Stew Recipe

My husband and I have embarked on a 3-month vacation traveling throughout the western United States. I’m going to share with you how we made this a fun and delicious adventure.

My first recipe share is a tabletop version of my dad’s Quebecois Beans which were beans cooked in a Dutch oven in a hole in the ground with coals from a fire. He called them “Shanty” beans and he used salt pork. Everything else is the same. If you camp in the middle of nowhere and you have a shovel with which to dig a hole you can cook them like he did. I’ll tell you how to do that in another blog.

Campground Bean Stew 

2 Servings (if you want more servings increase the ingredients proportionately)


  • 8 oz small white beans such as navy beans
  • 24 oz water
  • Clove of garlic smashed
  • 1/2 small onion chopped OR  1 tbsp dried onion
  • 8 oz pancetta chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I don’t use any. I think the pancetta is salty enough)
  • Optional: chopped tomatoes, chopped cooked sausage (Maybe left over from breakfast)


Put the beans in a small slow cooker or pot. Cover with the water. (Don’t worry about having too much or too little water. This recipe makes the most scrumptious pot liquor. Add more water if it starts to go dry.)  Saute the pancetta in a frying pan to render out some of the fat. Pour the pancetta in with the beans. If you like the fat pour in the rendered fat, too. Put the garlic in there, too, and if you’re using, the tomatoes and sausage. Turn on high and let cook for 8 hours or until the beans are soft. Enjoy with buttered sourdough bread. Bon appetit!

Photo courtesy of Pigsels

Mother Earth Living
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