Camping Meals: Country Ham With Red-Eye Gravy & Fried Eggs

by Jim Casey
photo by Outsider

At its core, campfire cooking should be both simple and delicious. And few meals are as simple and delicious as a slice of fried country ham with red-eye gravy. Of course, country ham, which has been salt-cured (and sometimes smoked), is a breakfast-time favorite when prepared in a cast iron skillet and accompanied by an egg or two. If you aren’t familiar with red-eye gravy, it is a coffee-based reduction gravy that is simmered in the cooked ham drippings.

This campfire meal can be prepared in a single skillet, which is a bonus in my book. And it only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. That’s a double bonus.

Let’s get cooking. And if you’re looking for more campfire recipes from Outsider, check out our Pan-Fried Rainbow Trout, Elk Stew, Steak in a Sack, Biscuits & Gravy, Skillet S’mores, or Pork Belly Ramen.

Country Ham With Red-Eye Gravy Ingredients

Three simple ingredients: country ham, eggs, and a cup of Outsider coffee.


Heat a greased cast iron skillet over your campfire for 4-5 minutes. Make sure the skillet is lightly greased with a little bit of butter or oil. We’re using a No. 12 Lodge skillet.

Add the ham to the heated skillet (image 1). Fry the ham for about 5 minutes and then flip (2). Fry for another 3 minutes, then add a cracked egg (3). Cook the ham and egg for 2 more minutes and plate (4). The egg will be sunny side up. Feel free to flip the egg and cook longer for over easy, medium, or hard, or you can scramble the egg.

Add the black coffee to the heated skillet and stir (left). Simmer for about 4 minutes, allowing the coffee to reduce and thicken before pouring the gravy over the ham (right). The longer you simmer the coffee, the thicker the gravy becomes.

Enjoy your country ham with red-eye gravy masterpiece.