Pete’s Dutch Oven Breakfast
Beloved breakfast at campouts and reunions. A breakfast casserole with everything needed for a hungry family or group and easy to fix.
1-2 LB Jimmy Dean Premium Pork Sausage Regular
2-3 LB Ore-Ida Hash Browns Country Style Shredded Potatoes (Frozen)
Or Ore-Ida Tater Tots (Frozen)
18 Large Grade AA Eggs
1 LB Bar-S Sliced Bacon
8-16 OZ Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese
1-2 Fresh Onions [Optional] 1-2 Bell Peppers [Optional] 4-5 Mushrooms [Optional]
Heat a Lodge 8 Quart Camp Dutch Oven (12″ Deep or 14” Regular) using 18-21 Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes under the oven until hot. Cut bacon into 1-2 inch slices and separate pieces. Add to Dutch oven and fry until brown. Move bacon to one side and add sausage. Fry until brown mixing with bacon. [Cooking the bacon takes a considerable amount of time. It is difficult to get enough heat from briquettes to cook the bacon. To speed up the process, place the oven on a Camp Chef Propane Stove for this portion of the cooking. This portion can take from 20-30 minutes if you start with the oven cold. The propane stove can shorten that time to 10-15 minutes. The good news is that the stove is plenty hot for the remaining steps.]
When bacon and sausage are brown, spread out to make a layer on the bottom of the oven. Optionally; add onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Sauté until onions are translucent. Mix all ingredients together. Add frozen potatoes on top of meat. Cover and bake using 10-12 briquettes below and 18-21 briquettes above. Cook for 5 minutes and then mix the meat with the potatoes. The potatoes should show signs of thawing and break apart. Cook for 15 additional minutes stirring every 5 minutes. When frozen potatoes fall apart completely it will be time to add the eggs. When mixing, make sure to scrape the bottom of the oven and sides.
Mix the contents of the oven leaving an indentation (bowl shape) on the top. Mix eggs and pour on top. Cover and bake for 10 minutes. Mix eggs in thoroughly and bake for 10 more minutes stirring once. Eggs should appear white and cooked to indicate the breakfast is finished cooking. When eggs are done, remove all briquettes from oven. Cover top with cheese, cover, and let stand until cheese is melted. The oven should still be hot enough that the cheese should melt quickly.
Feeds about 8-10 Hungry Adults
I am very particular about the brands I use for this recipe. I am not as particular with the quantities and cook times. I find the brands listed provide the right amount of liquid and salt for my liking. Other brands of sausage and bacon seem to add too much grease requiring some removal before adding potatoes. Other brands of potatoes seem to be too dry or don’t fall apart to indicate when they are cooked completely. I am very particular about the brand of charcoal as the heat for this recipe is critical. Other brands either don’t burn as evenly or won’t last long enough to complete the cooking time for this meal. It can be said the brand of oven is similar, the fit of the lid and even cooking are hindered without a top quality oven.
I always cook more than what I need so that I have leftovers for many days. This breakfast is just as good for many days after by warming it up in a frying pan. It can be prepared in advance and frozen for future meals as well.
Alternative Cooking Methods:
The Dutch oven can be placed in an oven or a large BBQ grill if needed. Heat must be applied around the oven evenly to cook this meal. After the meat is cooked, the most vital heat is from the top. Cooking on a propane stove can work but you must still use briquettes on top to provide enough heat from the top of the oven and you must have a propane stove that can reduce the heat to the bottom to a low enough level as to not burn the bottom of the ingredients. Stacking ovens when cooking can work but you must rotate to get equal heat without burning the bottom ingredients.
Some in our family will eat this breakfast with only Tabasco Sauce and Salt and Pepper to taste. Many add large quantities of Heinz Ketchup. With proper cooking the breakfast should not be overly dry, so adding Ketchup is a personal choice and not required. We generally need some breakfast cooked with cheese and some without for dietary reasons and personal preference of some in the family. Our family doesn’t use it but many prefer Pace Picante Sauce served on top. The choices of serving this meal are endless based on personal preference. No matter what option, the meal seems to disappear very quickly.