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This might be something a little different from your usual slow cooker meals and believe me when I say it’s lip-smackingly good! 

This comforting Campfire Stew is always a hit with the whole family thanks to its smoky, rich flavours and tender gammon, making it a perfect midweek winner.

Slow cooker gammon joint with beans and tomato sauce.

I LOVE this Campfire Stew so much because it gives us everything we need from a convenient slow cooker meal – it’s super easy, it’s packed with veggies, has amazing flavours that work so well, and it’s also made with a ridiculously tasty and inexpensive cut of meat that teaches us that important lesson that it’s not always what you cook, but how you cook it.

Slow cooker recipes that involve popping all of the ingredients in in the morning and not having to think too much after that is ALWAYS my happy place, and this one ticks every box for a midweek meal must-have.

This really is an ideal way of cooking slow cooked gammon as a whole meal, rather than on its own (although if you’d like to try that, see this ham joint recipe here). And the smoky beans and veggies just work together.

Why you’ll love this Campfire Stew recipe

⭐️ Packed with veggies in a tasty sauce

⭐️ Hardly any prep – just throw it all in

⭐️ Delicious leftovers (cook once, eat twice!)

Campfire Stew Recipe with gammon and beans.

What is Campfire Stew?

It’s a tasty but simple meal so-called from its origins of basic ingredients being cooked over a campfire together in one pot. A little goes a long way, type of thing.

Of course, this is my adapted (very indoorsy) version of the dish, and while I’m not cooking up a feast for a crowd of hungry campers, I am attempting to feed my family in a no-fuss, easy and budget-friendly way, and this definitely ticks that box!
I love the romantic and adventurous idea of wild cooking and wild camping though – read this article to find out how to actually make Campfire Stew over a real campfire after a long hike!

How we came up with this recipe

About 20 years ago, I used to be a Slimming World follower (this is a long story for another day!) but a recipe similar to this called Campfire Stew used to circulate on all of the Facebook groups in those days.

I made it nearly every week for years and years. Over that time I’ve amended and adapted it to suit our tastes, and to make it in the slow cooker as it lends itself to this type of cooking.

I added plenty of sweet smoked paprika which gives a depth of flavour (maybe smoky like a campfire?!)

My version also includes plenty of vegetables to add fibre and nutrients.

What to serve with Campfire Stew

Campfire Stew Ingredients

  • Onion – I love to use frozen, pre-chopped for slow cooker recipes, but fresh is fine too
  • Garlic – Same goes here. Jar/paste/frozen or fresh. 1 bulb = 1 tsp
  • Tinned chopped tomatoes
  • Baked beans
  • Tomato puree
  • Cumin
  • Sweet smoked paprika – Be careful not to use hot instead! 
  • Mild chilli powder
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Gammon joint – Be sure to cut the fat layer off
  • Green peppers

How to make Campfire Stew

Uncooked ham in slow cooker with beans for the recipe Campfire Stew.

1. Put all of the ingredients (apart from the peppers) into the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 6 hours or LOW for 8.

Campfire stew recipe with potato wedges and beans.

2. Near the end of the cooking time, shred the tender gammon, microwave your chopped peppers and add to the dish. Stir and serve with your chosen side or on its own.

More slow cooker pork recipes…


Leftovers of this are SO good. I think it may get even tastier?

In the fridge You can keep this recipe in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat fully before serving.

How to freeze Campfire Stew This recipe freezes well. Just wait until it’s totally cold and then put into a freezer proof container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating.

Top tips

Smoked or unsmoked gammon

Like with any bacon, it’s up to your personal taste which type you go for. Either is fine, just decide if you want that smoky flavour or not.

Adding the peppers 

I don’t add the green peppers until towards the end of the cooking time. (There’s notes at the bottom of the recipe on this.) This is simply because I’m not keen on them when they are overcooked. You can add them at the start or during if you like though.


How can I cook Campfire Stew in the oven instead of the slow cooker?

Cook at 160C for about 2 hours or until the meat is soft and tender.

How can I make the Campfire Stew less salty?

If you’re in the UK, most gammon joints, even smoked ones, are now quite mild. I never soak mine. However, if you’re concerned about food being too salty, or if that’s not to your taste, you can soak it in fresh cold water for a couple of hours before adding it to the slow cooker.

If you’re in the USA, uncooked ham joints tend to be much stronger in flavour so follow the instructions on that joint about whether you should soak it first.

I’m in the USA and can’t find the baked beans – what should I do?

No problems, just substitute 2 cans of any other cooked bean and add 4 tbsp of extra tomato paste.

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

5 from 60 votes

Easy Campfire Stew {Slow Cooker Recipe}

This Campfire Stew recipe is a really easy way to cook gammon in the slow cooker. Packed with veggies and beans, it's makes a tasty midweek meal.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 People


  • 1 Onion (large), See notes
  • 3 Cloves garlic, See notes
  • 400 g Tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Tins baked beans, (2 x 415g tins)
  • 2 tbsp Tomato puree
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 4 tsp Sweet smoked paprika, See notes
  • 1/2 tsp Mild chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 600 g Gammon joint, Fat layer cut off. See notes
  • 2 Green peppers, See notes


  • Put all of the ingredients (apart from the peppers – see notes below) into the slow cooker.
  • Cook on HIGH for 6 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
  • When the stew is cooked, microwave the chopped green peppers for about 3-4 minutes until just softened.
  • When the meat joint is cooked and tender, shred the meat with a knife or two forks and add in the green peppers.
  • Stir everything well and serve.


Onions and garlic: I use pre prepared frozen, chopped here. An onion weighs about 150g, so replace with that pre chopped weight. Garlic is 1 clove = 1tsp
Sweet smoked paprika: Be sure to use SWEET Smoked, not HOT. The outcome will be very different if you mix them up!
Gammon Joint: Slightly bigger is fine if you can’t get the exact size. Smoked or unsmoked to your taste is also fine
Green peppers:
I hate overcooked bell peppers, but you have 3 options here for adding the peppers:
  • Add them with all of the other ingredients before cooking. If you don’t mind them very soft, no probs!
  • Add them to the slow cooker about an hour before the stew is due to be cooked, they will be just nicely soft – BUT this isn’t always possible if you’re not at home right?
  • Here’s what I do: When the stew is ready, I pop the chopped peppers into a covered bowl and microwave them for 4 minutes before adding to the stew before serving (you could also quickly fry them if you don’t have a microwave)
Your choice!


Calories: 202kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 21gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 1335mgPotassium: 696mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 383IUVitamin C: 65mgCalcium: 58mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Family Food
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Sarah Rossi founder of and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.


Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

5 from 60 votes (44 ratings without comment)

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  1. Don’t forget your delicious, ‘never fails’ bolognese. I’ve made this so many times and everyone loves it.
    I add a tin of green lentils to bulk it up a bit and add fibre.
    Friends, family and even the grandchildren love it.