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Just because you’re in the backcountry doesn’t mean you have to eat like it.

Last weekend we had the opportunity to attend the Overland Rally in Springfield,Vermont. The venue was fantastic and scenic with lush mountain views and raging rivers, an appropriate setting to prepare a meal for the group that would be equally fantastic.

The menu was centerpieced by a Filet Minon with Au jus and was complimented by sautéed broccoli, brown and wild rice, as well as squash and zucchini sauté with onion.

Prep was based on the following:

We purchased a beef tenderloin and butchered it into two finished roasts, followed by cutting the remaining pieces and setting them aside. The two roasts were then wrapped in bacon and bound in butchers twine and then placed in our Engel fridge to chill. The cut off pieces of the tenderloin that remained were then placed in a dutch oven with water and garlic and boiled at a temperature of approximately 350° F to produce a fresh beef stock. The stock was then set aside and the beef trimmings disposed of. We were then ready to cook!

Our Snow Peak kitchen with double burner stove, bbq box, and dutch oven tray was then setup to give us our platform for actually cooking this delectable meal. Coals from real wood charcoal were prepared and placed in the bbq box.

Each of the prepared roasts were seared on all sides and then placed in the dutch oven with enough coals moved from the bbq to box to set the temperature at approximately 350° F. The roast was rotated every 15 minutes and the temperature was checked with a meat thermometer until the meat was medium rare.

While the meat roasted, the rice was prepared in minimalist fashion since we were on the trail. Each of the vegetables were diced and sautéed in a garlic salt and pepper blend in olive oil and covered until ready to serve.

When the beef was at proper temperature we pulled it out of the oven and it was tented in foil to rest. Red wine (half a bottle or so) was then used to deglaze the dutch oven over high heat from the propane burner stove and the stock from the initial trimming was added and allowed to simmer, making a delicious Au jus.

The meat was then sliced and veggies were served. I would love to say it was plated and presented to our guests but the meat was gone as quickly as it was sliced.

To say the meal was “délicieux” would be an understatement. It was quick, easy to prepare, and was a fine culmination to a remarkable (albeit wet) time on the trails.

Bon appetit!

Special thanks to 7 Bar Grille correspondents Clint Terrill and John Bailey, as well as Ben Edmonson of Equipt Expedition Outfitters, for their contributions to this article.

Related – Torpedo Farms Roasted Pepper Sausage Frittata

* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

Real items for real adventure and real trail use. That’s the 4-1-1 on the Epicurean Camp Series Cutting Board and why we, as Jeep adventure enthusiasts and backcountry cuisine afficianados, dig this product!
Adventure usefulness and/or Jeep usefulness:     

This earth friendly cutting board made from dense recycled cardboard fibers proved very useful on my last trip to the mecca…for the Moab Easter Jeep Safari. I particularlly liked the dual use aspect of cutting board and strainer. In the past I had carried an extra colander that took up valuable space. This product helped solve that! Thank you Epicurean!!

Durability of the item in the field:     

The cutting board held up to multiple applications of typical Chef abuse such as the slicing, dicing, and chopping of a wide variety of produce and proteins. One of the better features in particular in this unit was the strainer aspect. Make sure to properly wash and sanitize in between cutting produce and meats and strainer use. I would recommend cutting all produce, especially ready to eat raw vegetables that might not get cooked such as salads and vegetable snacks prior to using anything else. A
quick wash in hot soapy water, rinse and wipe down with moist bleach towelette proved to do the job. It proved itself over again and again by handling the production of enough food for three dinners for at least 15 people. If that isn’t a testament to a product I don’t know what is. I will be sure to continue using it as part of my camp kitchen for sure. It proved to meet every claim that the company makes.

Value of product in relation to competitors’ product:     

The only competition I can remotely even think of or find is those little plastic roll up ones…and by far they don’t come close on several levels. The value of this product is definitely well worth every penny. I am going to additionally look into purchasing some of the larger sized ones for camping as well one or two potentially for the house from several of their other series of cutting boards.

Quality of product:     

At first I must candidly admit my initial thought was “recycled cardboard fiber…how will this hold up to knife banging even more so hot pasta water from straining a pot”! After putting the board the rigors of my trail testing my doubts were proved wrong. That’s not to say I wouldn’t recommend soaking the board in water for any extended periods of time.

Ease of use:     

Place the board on a table, place the product on the board and cut away, it really doesn’t get any easier. The only slight imperfection and this is by far only a picky little chef thing, was that it wasn’t non-slip. I only say this as I like to have either a small rubber mat or moist towel under my cutting board where it contacts the table so it doesn’t slide around when slicing at super chef speeds. My simple fix was to do what I normally do with any cutting board…place a moist towel or small rubber mat under it. Great product and overall easy to use for sure!

Specifications of product per the manufacturer:

Epicurean Cutting Surfaces® are commercial grade cutting surfaces for the outdoor gourmet. Made from recycled cardboard fiber that will last for years of use, these premium surfaces are exceedingly durable, easy to handle and store, and won’t dull expensive knives. And unlike wood cutting boards, these nonporous surfaces will not harbor bacteria and can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher.

All Epicurean® Camp Series are light and slim enough to handle comfortably, clean, and store efficiently.

Epicurean® cutting surfaces are heat resistant up to 350˚F/176˚C. You can use them as a trivet and not leave a blemish.

Epicurean® cutting surfaces are made using recycled cardboard fiber.

Epicurean® cutting surfaces are exclusively designed and manufactured in the United States of America.

Unlike wood and bamboo cutting boards, Epicurean® food preparation surfaces are dishwasher safe.

* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

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