Raccoon Hotdish, ahhhhh, the memories!!! We had been hiking all day at Gooseberry State Park, along the beautiful cool shores of Lake Superior when I decided that for supper we would need something warm and high in protein. Baked Bean Skillet Casserole was just the ticket.
I got out my camping cast iron skillet and started browning up the onions. The smell of those onions wafted through the forest air. After the meat was browned and the beans added that aroma from that skillet was perfume to the hungry hiker.
It was late and dark by the time we finished eating and it was time for showers and bed. In short order we were all tucked into our sleeping bags, bedtime stories had been told and we were being lulled to sleep by the soft chatter of the birds and small critters and rhythmic cadence of the gentle waves whispering to the rocky beach. It wasn’t long before we were all fast asleep.
Then, it woke me up, the loud sounds of a large animal rummaging through our camp. In the black, quiet night the animal sounded clumsy and gigantic! At that same moment I realized I had made the worst rookie mistake a camper could make in bear country…I left the leftovers of the bean casserole on the picnic table next to the clean dishes.
I whispered to my husband that we had company, what I had done, and that I was scared as the sound of slurp, slurp, slurp from the animal’s large tongue reverberated through the tent. My husband rolled out of his sleeping bag and very slowly and quietly raised the curtain of the tent’s window to take a peek at our intruder.
There sticking out of the skillet was a big furry butt with a long striped tail…..a raccoon. My husband turned around and said, “I guess he likes Raccoon Hotdish.” Raccoon Hotdish is what this dish has been referred to in our home ever since. From that day forward this tired mom on a camping trip, cleaned up the food before the children.
Not only is this a great meal when camping, it is very popular at barbeque and potluck picnics.
Raccoon Hotish (Baked Bean Skillet Casserole)
In a large skillet sauté 1 cup onions until browned. Add 1 pound of hamburger of extra lean hamburger and brown.
Add to browned meat mixture:
½ cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard
1 can of kidney beans, drained
2 cans of pork and beans