History: It has become a traditional Dutch oven meal on guided float trips, particularly on Idaho's Salmon River. The name came from a old-time river runner who said he made this stew when he "was 40 miles down the river."
with garlic salt, pepper, and Worcestershire. Add mushrooms, and brown in a moderate amount of oil in a heavy Dutch oven over a fairly hot fire. Stir regularly, until the juices simmer away and the meat browns.
Remove the Dutch oven to low heat. With a spatula scrape loose anything sticking to the bottom. This is the last time it is stirred.
Level the meat in a layer in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Add an even layer of potatoes sliced 1/3-inch thick. Sprinkle with ground sage, more than you think you should use. Add a layer of sliced fresh tomatoes, enough to cover the potatoes. Add a layer of bell pepper pieces to cover the tomatoes. Some people make the mistake of adding carrots at this time, spoiling all the work they have done.
Put a layer of thin, highly seasoned sausage paties over the peppers. Put the Dutch oven over low, even heat and simmer. Since it si not stirred, too much heat will scorch the bottom. A great deal of juice will cook out of the vegetables. This should be simmered away, leaving the stew a thick casserole consistency.
If time is short, the stew is edible when the sausage is done. You can coals on it when you replace it on the oven, but that isn't essential. Add a layer of cheese over the sausage when the stew begins to thicken and let it melt in, about long enough for a beer. A sharp Cheddar is traditional, but a smoked Danish cheese is recommended. Serve with a green salad, biscuits, and a beverage.
Because a "40-miler" is in layers, a serving should go all the way to the bottom of the Dutch oven.
Your 40-Mile Stew -- A recipe with a history. is ready. Bon appetit!
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