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Campfire Salmon Stew

My daddy was an avid fisherman.  He spent many, many days and nights throughout his lifetime fishing on the Pee Dee and Santee Rivers.

In his early years, he and his fishing buddies would go camping on the banks of the Santee River and when I say camping, I really mean old school camping inside pop up tents and sleeping bags. 

They cooked all their meals over an open fire or with a make-shift propane setup and much of what they cooked was either caught from the river or taken to the campsite in cans.

It was during one of his trips to the Santee River when I tasted my daddy's catfish stew for the first time.  All the wives and children of the fishermen headed to the campsite one day to see their catch.    

It was a fun time, sitting around the campfire, eating stew, listening to all the tall tales from the great fishermen's adventures....although I was terribly afraid I was going to be eaten by an alligator somewhere along the way!

Stews have long been a family tradition and favorite in my neck of the woods.  We often ate salmon stew during the cooler months.  My daddy loved to have his friends and family over to eat stew inside his barn on cool fall and winter evenings.  This salmon stew is just one of the many recipes my daddy gave me and every time I cook it, I think about his love for fishing, laughing, family and friends.

This salmon stew is very similar to my daddy's catfish stew recipe.  The difference is this uses salmon, duh, and it also calls for chicken broth and corn, neither of which are in his catfish stew.  I will share his catfish stew recipe with you all soon!  

Most of these ingredients are canned and this can be cooked in a huge cast iron pot over an open fire which makes it super easy to use for your next camping adventure or bonfire. 


Of course, if you don't want to wait until your next outdoor activity, just cook up a pot of this inside your own kitchen.  It is a down-home, southern favorite!


2 cans pink salmon, separate the liquid from the salmon, but do not discard anything

6 cups chicken broth

7 oz fat back

1 onion chopped

5 potatoes, peeled and diced

1 small can tomato paste

1 large can crushed tomatoes

1 can yellow corn, drained

salt and pepper


  1. Cook the fat back inside the pot.  When the fat has completely rendered, remove the fat back, but leave the drippings inside the pot.

  2. Add the onions and saute until they are translucent.

  3. Add the broth and potatoes.  Cook until the potatoes are tender.

  4. Add the liquid from the salmon.  Remove bones from the salmon and add the salmon to the pot.

  5. Cook for about three minutes.

  6. Add the tomato paste, corn, and tomatoes, salt and pepper.

  7. Cook on medium heat for about ten minutes.

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