This is one of those recipes that comes ‘from mom’ so that means this is just one variation. This is a very useful recipe because it’s more like a template. You pick the pieces you prefer. Since this is so versatile it’s also great for ‘working around’ limitations like food allergies.
Step 1: lay down 3-4 pieces of celery as a foundation on a good sized sheet of foil
Allergic to celery? Use another vegetable with similar density. This stage is important because it gives the meat something to rest on as it cooks. You probably won’t want to eat the celery. (Super thick asparagus would work too, but then you don’t want to eat it. Onion)
Step 2: place 6-8oz beef/bison patty on top of celery. Obviously you can use any meat you want.
(If you’re a vegetarian, try a large portabella mushroom top. But you might need to adjust cooking time.)
Step 3: season meat to taste (I use kosher salt, garlic granules, and fresh ground black pepper) Obviously, you’ll want to pick the spices you prefer.
Step 4: optional: layer fresh jalapeño slices on the seasoned patty. Or, if you don’t like jalapeño pepper, try bell pepper.
Step 5: place a slice of onion on top of the meat. The onion comes out very delicious. DO NOT place the onion on the bottom, it caramelizes and doesn’t hold up to the heat.
Step 6: stack potatoes on top of the onion. Obviously, another easy place for variation. Use a root vegetable if you can’t or don’t eat potatoes.
Step 7: bring ends of foil together and fold down then fold up sides
Step 8: place on a baking sheet and bake at 400º F for an hour and a half. Make sure the wrapped foil packages are centered in the oven. These do end up a little tall so you might need to lower a rack.
You’ll probably want to add additional flavors/seasoning to the potatoes. Pick your favorite: butter, cheese, chives, etc. You’ll note that no butter or oil was included inside the foil.
When feeding 2 people, make 4 to 6 at a time for leftovers. This makes a nice meal to freeze. You can freeze a single cooked meal all together in a container. Thaw in the fridge, and then re-heat. Other vegetable alternates include carrots, turnips, and mushrooms. I imagine you could use squash too.
When we eat this the only additional food added is another vegetable – usually something easy from the freezer like peas and carrots.