Grilled Hobo Packs are an old campfire classic. If you were a boy or girl scout, you probably tried this delicious potato dish. They were simple to prepare. Just slice a potato, put it on a piece of tin foil, season with salt and pepper, add a little chopped onion and some oil or butter, wrap the whole thing up and throw it on the coals to cook. Sometimes you opened your pack to find a perfectly cooked side dish. Sometimes you opened it to find a charred mess. Always you had a ton of fun doing it.
Hobo Packs have since evolved with the times to become full, quick-and-easy meals. You always start with potatoes or some other starchy vegetable like yams. To this you can add any other vegetable you like, then include some chicken, meat or fish, different aromatic herbs and spices, a little seasoning, and some oil or butter. I’ve seen them made with cubes of steak, little chunks of ground beef, sliced up chicken breast, and of course, fish like salmon or halibut. You don’t even have to grill them anymore. If the weather is bad or you just don’t feel like cooking outdoors, you could always bake your hobo packs in the oven. You could even fill your hobo packs a day or two ahead of time, then just keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them.
I usually make my hobo packs with sausage. Both My Old Goat and No.1 love sausages of any kind – kielbasa, bratwurst, knockwurst, chorizo, longaniza, spicy sausage, chicken sausage….. you name it, they’ll eat it! In the hobo packs pictured, I used Chorizo de Bilbao which is a Spanish dry-cured chorizo, but you can use anything you like. Be adventurous! What will you put in your hobo packs?
SPANISH CHORIZO HOBO PACKS
Each hobo pack gets:
- 1 pc. dry-cured Spanish chorizo, sliced
- 1 small potato, cut into wedges
- 1/4 of a red bell pepper, cut into squares
- 1/8 of an onion, cut into squares
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. minced parsley
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Microwave the potatoes until they’re just cooked; then cut them into wedges.
- Cut a rectangular piece of tin foil for each hobo pack you are making.
- Lay the foil sheets out on your work table.
- On each sheet of foil, place chorizo, potato wedges, bell pepper, onion, garlic and parsley; then drizzle with the olive oil.
- Fold each piece of foil in half over the filling ingredients.
- Seal the three open sides by folding the edges of the foil up and pressing them tightly closed.
- Place your hobo packs on a cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
- To serve, open hobo pack and pour contents over cooked rice or quinoa. You could also just eat it right out of the foil pack.
NOTE: When working with your hobo packs, be careful not to punch a hole in the foil. If you’re worried about leaking, you could use two sheets of foil per hobo pack. I also always use heavy-duty foil.