With Camp Oven Cooking Recipes, our results are mostly achieved through the use of good quality tools, as with a hammer or a saw when building a house, so it is with camp oven cooking, we need a camp oven that will prove to be durable, long-lasting, strong, easy to care for and easy to use, in other words, a useful tool.
At the end of the day, we require a delicious meal that is evenly cooked and looks and tastes great, it’s no different whether by using your favorite portable gas cooker or your best camp oven, there is planning, preparation, and development of that item.
So, if we can start out by using good equipment we can achieve outstanding results.
There are a number of different camp ovens available on the market. There are enamel types the much lighter Bedurie ovens, also one called the Potjie originating in Africa.
However, I am only going to chat about the old-style round cast iron camp oven that has been in this land probably since the first fleet bought some style of the camp oven when they arrived here.
Old style in the sense that the round cast iron camp oven with 3 short legs and a lid with a 25mm lip seems to be similar in the design of some of the oldest styles recorded here.
Although I have seen old ones on outback properties and antique collections that are oblong, rectangular and sometimes squarish, and were probably made in all sorts of different shapes and sizes.
By the way, the lip on the lid is to hold the hot coals on top of the camp oven and to stop them from falling off. Turning the lid upside down on a bed of hot coals will give you a cast iron plate that will produce a magnificent steak.
There would be an extensive list of foods that might be prepared and cooked in a camp oven, but some of my favorites are not from a glossy mag or written using words that I have never heard.
Rather a more simple, hearty and filling one-course meal with a dessert from time to time. This is the reality of spending many years camping and living in the bush both for personal pleasure and for work.
These are not restaurant meals but like some older camp cooks, I had the pleasure of eating with would say, just bung everything in and hope for the best. (some seemed to do just that, and the meal would turn out to be excellent)
A lot of times you will find the results from this style of cooking, are as good as some restaurant meals you paid good money for.
Mulligan Stew with Dumplings.
This one is a classic camp cooks favorite. A campfire stew is good any time of the year it’s easy and you can put all the ingredients in the pot and let it simmer for a few hours while sitting back, feet up.
Ingredients: 30ml oil, garlic, 500g blade or chuck steak, 50ml flour, 2 onions, 1 carrot, 2 potatoes, pumpkin. 1/4 cabbage, 500ml water, 2 beef stock cubes, salt, and pepper plus something you may like.
Method: 1. Cut steak into cubes roll in seasoned flour. 2. Heat oil, brown steak on all sides and remove from pot. 3. Add sliced onions, garlic and brown, then add potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, stock cubes, and steak then cover with water. 4. Add a splash of tomato sauce and a splash of Worcestershire sauce add a good pinch of salt let it simmer slowly for 1.5-2.0 hours. 5. Lift the lid and stir, add some sliced cabbage and cook for another 30 minutes. 6. Add a little more water if required. Then add dumplings.
Dumplings: 1 cup Sr flour, 40g margarine, 100ml water, pinch salt.
Method: Sift flour and salt into a bowl, rub in margarine with fingers, mix into a moist dough with water, divide into 8 parts, then using floured hands roll dough into balls. Place balls of dough onto the top of the stew and cook another 20 minutes.
Stuffed Roast Chicken and Veggies.
Ingredients: 25 ml oil, 1 chicken, flour, salt, and pepper Stuffing: 2 cups breadcrumbs 20m butter, 1 egg yolk, and a little milk, 10ml mixed herbs, 1 onion. Veggies 2-4 potatoes, 2-4 pieces of pumpkin, 1 tin of peas.
Method: 1. Mix together in a bowl, breadcrumbs, butter herbs, salt and pepper, and finely chopped onion, add egg yolk and milk to moisten. 2. Make sure chicken is dry then place stuffing into the cavity of the chicken then close it. 3. Place the chicken on to a trivet in the camp oven with the lid on, baste well and cook for 15-20 minutes in medium heat, 4. Turn chicken over baste well, and cook the other side for 15-20 minutes. 5. Make sure the fire or coals are not too hot. 6. Complete the cooking with the breast side up.
Peel veggies and place them in the pot in a little oil, cook for 15-20minutes turn and complete cooking on the other side. Remove from pot add a little water and flour to the browning in the pot and thicken to a nice gravy. Heat the peas and serve this delicious and simple dish to your family.
Lamb Shank Casserole.
Ingredients: 25ml oil, 2 cloves garlic, knob ginger, flour, 4 lamb Shanks, 100g bacon pieces,1 onion, 1 carrot, 2 tomatoes, stock cubes, Tin green beans. 4 potatoes for a potato mash.
Method: 1. Heat the oven add oil dust the shanks all over with flour and place in the oven to brown, remove from pot. 2. Add garlic and onions, ginger, bacon and brown then add the shanks back to the pot. 3. Add the diced carrot, potatoes, and tomatoes. Cover with water and throw in 2 stock cubes. 4. You can put in 1 glass of red wine, instead of some of the water if you like.
Place the oven on a medium heat fire or coals and simmer for 2-3 hours. Heat the beans and serve hot on a bed of potato mash with green beans. Break some freshly baked bread and enjoy this wholesome meal with a glass of red wine.
Ingredients: 4-6-cooking apples, half cup sugar, half cup water. Crumble 3/4 cup plain flour 60ml sugar 60ml coconut, 60g butter, salt. Aluminum foil pie dishes that will fit into your camp oven.
Method: 1. Peel and core apples and cut into eights, 2. Place into an aluminum pie dish with sugar and water and simmer gently until soft. 3. Allow to cool and pour into another pie dish keeping back some of the excess juice. 4. Place flour in a bowl and rub in the butter with fingers. 5. Add sugar and coconut and mix well together. 6. Sprinkle lightly on top of apples. 7. Bake in a moderate fire until lightly browned on top, this should only take several minutes. 8. Serve hot or cold with custard.
Simple baked bread in a camp oven just Kneads a little time.
Ingredients: 2.5 cups bread flour, 10 g yeast, 5ml sugar, 5ml salt, 5ml butter, 200-250ml tepid water.
Method: 1. Sift flour and salt into a bowl. 2. Mix yeast and sugar into another bowl, and add tepid water and butter 3. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the liquid ingredients and mix into a soft dough. 4. Turn onto a lightly floured and knead well. 5. Place mixture into a well-greased loaf tin that will fit into your camp oven 6. Cover and let it stand in a warm spot until it doubles in size. 7. Prepare your fire and get the camp oven hot. 8. Place the loaf tin in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Check it after 20 minutes.
Only the ingredients come first, next is a good Fire. The one thing I would say is that you don’t require as much fuel (hot coals) as most people would imagine.
It is always a good idea to give yourself plenty of time when cooking with fire you can’t just turn a knob and have instant heat. You need good hot coals and they will take some time to develop.
When camp oven cooking, I tend to favor using a bed of coals rather than direct flames and tripod.
A good quality camp oven will heat quickly and maintain that heat much longer with a very small amount of hot coals.
1 shovel full under and a half a shovel full on top will cook most joints of meats, the trick is getting used to your camp oven so your not burning food with too much heat, or undercooking by not enough. This balance will come with a few uses, you will get the hang of it pretty quickly.
Season and Clean.
Seasoning a Brand new cast iron camp oven is a first step before using, simply scrub the camp oven clean with hot soapy water, rinse and repeat.
Place the new camp oven on hot coals and add a good splash of olive oil, rub the oil all over the inner surface including the lid and place it on the coals as well. Let the pot get very hot and smokey, coat with more oil and let it cook into the metal.
Cleaning your camp oven should be quick and easy, simply rinse any leftovers out and use no detergents, just water, and paper towel or a cloth and wipe it clean.
Lastly, give the whole inner surface a light spray of oil from a spray can. And it’s ready for your next cook up.
Last Couple of Points.
Cooking with a camp oven is quite simple, but a few things to remember, there are no cold parts to a camp oven on a bed of hot coals of hanging over an open fire.
Get used to using a thick pair of leather gloves when cooking. There are a number of utensils you should make use of, One is a lid lifter, together with your gloves this will make your cooking more enjoyable, and safe.
Another is a trivet, a round steel plate with holes that sits on the bottom of the camp oven and keeps the food off the floor of the camp oven, very useful.
I know there’s lots more we could talk about, and we will, and I’d also love to hear your Tricks and Tips
If you have any more questions or comments about Camp Oven Cooking Recipes, I’ll be more than happy to answer them in the comments section below.
Remember Leave It Cleaner Than You Found It.