This weekend my friends and I went on a trip to Burke’s Garden, Virginia and had a guy’s getaway which was super enjoyable! The men that went with me to the farm are the people I work with almost every day and have become a second family to me. My boss, Charlie Brown, Alex Jesse, Devin Agosto, and the owner of the farm, Joe Green, all were there. Since we were on a farm in basically the middle of nowhere, we had to rough it and eat the rustic way, making silver turtles in the campfire.
They call Burke’s Garden, VA the thumbprint of God, and looking at the picture below, you can see why! This place is so beautiful and relaxing. While we were there, there was a new moon. This means there wasn’t a moon to light up the night and since it is so far from a big city, you have a minuscule amount of light, if any.
Joe, the owner, was super hospitable in allowing us to come down and showing us his pigs and around his farm! It was a much-needed getaway from the everyday hustle of society!
When we first arrived around 3pm, we built a campfire for dinner and let the campfire burn till sundown. We let the coals roll and put a big cast iron pan overtop them to cook our steaks. We then put the silver turtles around the coals and pan to cook everything.
Silver turtles were introduced to me while I was in scouts as an easy and delicious meal for camping which is why I wanted to make them since my friends and I would be camping. I couldn’t have done it without their help and great team effort!
This simple, delicious recipe is good for a scout troop and/or family to go camping with. This is sure to make your mouth water and give you an amazing learning experience on how to cook on a campfire! So come on and let’s get started! This recipe serves 5 people.
Ingredients for Silver Turtles:
- 10 whole cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 3 large baking potatoes, sliced in half and cubed
- 2 green bell peppers, deseeded and sliced into rings
- 2 red bell peppers, deseeded and sliced into rings
- 2 large yellow onions, diced
- 2 yellow squashes, diced
- 2 cucumbers, diced
- 1/2 pound butter, sliced
- 2oz fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Once you have your coals from the fire, place 5 sheets of tin foil onto your work surface or table and place the pre-chopped ingredients onto the foil in this order.
- First, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil onto each of the foil sheets and spread it around with your hand into a pancake-sized circle.
- Second, put about 1/2 cup of the potatoes into each of the sheets.
- Add the sliced peppers, garlic, and the cucumbers into each of the foil sheets, making sure not to overfill.
- Add the butter, salt and pepper, and the thyme into each of the foil sheets, evenly distributing the ingredients.
- Fold the bottom of the foil up to the top of the foil and roll the 3 open ends shut together, making a sort of tinfoil dumpling.
- Make sure the silver turtles are tight to prevent any spillage of ingredients.
- Place on top of the coals for 20 minutes or until the potatoes have become fork tender. Make sure to use tongs and oven mitts while pulling the silver turtles out of the fire and checking them.
- Let the silver turtles cool for 5 min before enjoying straight out of the foil with your steak!
Ingredients for the steak:
- 10 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2oz fresh thyme
- 5 steaks cut to be 1 1/2 inches thick (we used ribeyes, but any choice will be good!)
- 1/2 pound butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
Photo credit Charlie Brown Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cbroava/
- Pull out your steaks and let them come up to room temperature to be able to cook an amazing steak.
- Season your steak generously with salt and pepper on each side.
- While your silver turtles are cooking on your campfire, place your large castiron skillet directly onto the coals.
- Place the butter onto the cast iron and let it begin to melt as the skillet heats up.
- Once half the butter is melted, place each of your steaks onto the pan making sure not to overcrowd the pan. (Make sure no butter goes into the fire and your cast iron is even on the coals to prevent a grease fire.)
- Place the crushed garlic and the thyme on top of the steaks and let cook.
- These steaks will cook fast due to the heat so if you would like a rare to medium rare steak, cook less than 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
- For a medium to medium well steak, cook for at least 5 minutes on each side (but who really does that?)
- Once your steaks are cooked to the proper internal temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, pull the steaks out of the cast iron and let them sit for about 2 to 5 minutes to rest and let the deliciousness come back into them. Enjoy with your silver turtles!