Beginners guide to camp oven cooking – by Kate Harris
Cooking time: 1.5-2 hours
Prep Time: 20-30 Minutes
Everyone loves a good slow cooked stew and what better way to experience it than whilst camping, slow roasted over the coals of the camp fire!
This camp oven beef stew is the perfect winter warmer! Start this stew before you set up camp, so it has a chance to simmer and be ready in time for dinner.
I’ve used basic vegetables in this recipe: potatoes, carrots and onions. You can really change up the flavours by adding other root vegetables. Try swede and parsnip, or toss in frozen peas or green beans just before serving.
Adding a little bit of flour helps to thicken the stew, making a rich sauce. If you don’t want to use flour, or don’t have any on hand, it is still delicious without it.
A Campfire with plenty of extra firewood,
a cast iron camp oven (I recommend a 6 – 9 quart), seasoned,
heat proof or welding gloves,
a large hook
long handled wooden spoon,
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1kg beef rump steak, cut into chunks
1 onion (cut into chunks)
3 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
Salt and Pepper (to season)
3 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons plain flour
2 Beef stock cubes
Water as needed
6 small potatoes (cut into chunks)
3 carrots (cut into chunks)
The secret to success: Availability of HOT COALS and lots of them! Many people make the mistake of thinking you need flames….WRONG! You are NOT cooking sausages on a BBQ or char-grilling a steak.
Build a fire at least 1 – 1.5 meter square, it needs to be big enough to continually produce coals. Ensure you have plenty of space around your fire, you will be cooking next to the fire, not on it. Slowly feed the fire with large pieces of wood until good flames form and all wood is burning.
Separate a large pile of hot coals, place around and under the camp oven.
Drizzle the oil into the camp oven and put the meat into the oven. Cook until meat is brown. Add the stock cubes and 1 litre of water. Add all other ingredients. Place the lid on top, cover evenly with Hot coals and cook for 1.5 hours.
Check and stir every 20 minutes, add water as needed. Add more hot coals as needed to keep required heat.
After 1.5 hours check potatoes are cooked through by pricking with a knife. If potatoes are cooked remove camp oven from coals using heat proof gloves and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Best served with damper cooked in a second camp oven!