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I want to combine two off the shelf products with existing recipes into a single off the shelf heat and eat ready to go meal.

Dinty Moore Beef Stew & Dumplings

Pillsbury Slow-Cooked Chicken and Dumplings

Both recipes call for the addition of water, but if I am combining the canned stew with the refrigerated dumplings do I need to add water? How should the combination be prepared?

This recipe will be used to create a meal for several people while camping.

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1  
Can I recommend scrapping the idea of prepared dumplings and using Bisquick instead? That works great on a campfire in a cast-iron dutch oven. You can even use powdered milk, or UHT. –  Jolenealaska Jul 22 at 18:05
    
I'm not sure I follow you, does the beef stew call for water, or the dumplings? –  GdD Jul 22 at 19:07
    
@Jolenealaska I don't have a dutch oven, we are planning on cooking on gas stove. –  James Jenkins Jul 22 at 19:39
    
@GdD I included links to the product recipes, both include part from scratch and part from product, with water added. I want to use both products, without from scratch. –  James Jenkins Jul 22 at 19:42
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The dinty moore recipe isn't really "from scratch". Bisquick is not much harder than opening a package of Pillsbury dough. If you were doing any hiking in or hauling of supplies I would second Jolene's suggestion- just take the dry, non-refrigerated foods, and mix them with water at the site. –  Sobachatina Jul 22 at 21:17

2 Answers 2

The Dinty Moore recipe adds water to thin the stew so the dumplings will boil properly. Otherwise it will be difficult to get your dumplings to cook evenly as they won't sink into the thick stew and the stew won't have enough convection around them.

I would follow the Dinty Moore recipe including the dilution.

Pillsbury calls for 25-30 minutes but that is in a slow cooker and your stew will be hotter than that. Check the dumplings after 10 minutes just to make sure they are done. Under cooked dumplings are not good memories.

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Are you truly wedded to those particular ingredients?

If you're not, I'd consider replacing the dumplings with a shelf-stable gnocchi:

  • Boil a bit more water than you'd need for thinning out the stew (maybe 2x as much, depending on how many dumplings you're cooking).
  • Cook the gnocchi in the water
  • Add the beef stew
  • Heat through

If the stew's a little too thick, add more water. If too thin, smash up some potatoes that are in the stew, and stir it in.

Personally, though ... I'd probably follow the first recipe that you linked to, but modify it to make it easier to prepare when camping:

  • pre-measure the bisquick that you'll need into a sturdy, sealable plastic bag.
  • add sufficient powdered milk as needed for the recipe into the bag
  • (optional) add some spices or dried herbs to the bag.

when time to cook:

  • bring the stew (with the extra water) to a boil
  • add water to the bag.
  • seal the bag
  • knead to mix
  • cut a small corner off of the bag
  • hold a knife in your dominant hand, and the bag in your other one, then squeeze the bag slowly, then use the knife to knock off a dumpling.
  • wait for the dumplings to cook
  • serve
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