backpacking recipe: Mac & Cheese with Pulled Pork
Pulled Pork takes a standard like mac & cheese up a couple of notches on the flavor spectrum. This is one of my favorite meals for backpacking!
You could buy a box of mac & cheese from the store and cook it on the trail, but this version will not only taste better, you’ll be in full control of the quality of the ingredients. And this version tastes waaaay better than commercially made backpacking mac & cheese.
To use less fuel when cooking, I pre-cook the macaroni at home and dehydrate. This cuts down significantly on the amount of time it takes to rehydrate. However, if you don’t have a dehydrator, just keep in mind that the macaroni will take longer to cook.
- 3 oz dehydrated macaroni
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream powder (whole milk powder also works for this recipe, but I don’t recommend using nonfat milk powder)
- 1 teaspoon butter powder
- 3 tablespoons cheddar cheese powder
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon potato starch or corn starch
- 1 package Meat Shredz: Black Pepper Pulled Pork (see my review of this product)
Note that I didn’t add any salt since the cheese powder already has a good amount of sodium.
Pre-cook the macaroni until just done, drain and spread out on dehydrator trays to dry it. The time to dry varies based on the type of dehydrator used, the room temperature and humidity level, and the temperature used to dry it. I find that it takes 4-6 hours, making sure that it is completely dry before storing and using.
Place the macaroni, heavy cream powder, butter powder, cheese powder, pepper and potato starch into a plastic bag (I like to use rezip plastic bags since they are reusable, lightweight, and easy to clean). Leave the pulled pork in the packaging it came in. Note that if you are using macaroni that has not been pre-cooked and dehydrated, I recommend packaging the macaroni separately from the sauce ingredients since it will take more time to cook at camp.
Place the macaroni and dry ingredients into a cook pot. Add enough water to barely cover (about 1 cup). Stir well to dissolve dry ingredients. Turn on the stove and cover the pot with a lid. When it comes to a boil, stir frequently to prevent sticking on the bottom. Lower the flame and let simmer for 3-5 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally. Turn off the flame and add the pulled pork. Stir well, then put the lid on and let it sit for 10 minutes. If you have a pot cozy, place the pot in it to keep the food hot while it rehydrates. After 10 minutes, check to see if the pasta is finished cooking. If not, add a small amount of water and bring to a boil again, then let sit for a few minutes until the pasta is done.
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