Chilli cooked over an open fire is very special, as you can really trap the smokey smell with clever positioning of the pan lid, as it simmers. Our cheat ingredient is chorizo – or failing that, smoked paprika, and it’s delicious with a simple guacamole-yogurt mixture. (We just mash avocado with lemon, garlic and yoghurt). Serve in a crispy tortilla, like this one, or just spooned over tortilla chips. Perfect outdoor cooking for bulk feeding!
We’ve got the full recipe for this one in our Family Camping Cookbook – click on the link!
We think lamb chops are probably one of the best meat cuts to barbecue. They’re best cooked over a fairly high heat, so that they crisp up nicely on the outside, but stay fairly pink in the middle. All sorts of marinades or rubs work with lamb chops, but for this one we simply used a little cumin, and seasoned with salt just before cooking.
For pudding we made a rhubarb crumble in the bread oven. It worked a treat!
Whilst Kumara (sweet potatoes) have traditionally been an everyday key ingredient of Maori outdoor cooking, a ‘Hangi’ is now generally reserved for special occasions. Whilst in New Zealand this winter, we were lucky enough to experience a Hangi. And a Hangi is just that – an experience as well as a meal. A hole is dug in the ground and hot coals are placed inside, on top of which is placed carefully wrapped food, which is then buried and left to slowly cook for a few hours . . . The end result is incredible! Succulent tasty meat, with the flavours overlapping and combining with the delicious smells of whatever other vegetables have been buried alongside. And okay, the preparation may take a bit of doing, but once the food’s buried and slowly cooking, you’ve got hours to enjoy yourself at your own party.
The last time I saw people having a hangi was at the Steeple Leaze Campsite in Dorset in the UK where a group of friends from Swanage regularly meet up for weekend camping get togethers. With a kiwi in their midst, they make the hangi a regular feature. It seems to me that in some ways it’s ideal for camp cooking – especially for big groups hanging out (no pun intended) together in a field just enjoying the great outdoors. I’d love to do one myself, and would welcome any suggestions!
I was lucky enough not be be indoors all winter as the relatives in New Zealand just had to be visited! So we were able to continue with our camp cooking whilst our English buddies were enjoying their turkeys . . .So , on Christmas day we had barbecued sirloin of beef with my sister-in-law, Beth’s, ‘Kumara Salad’. The Kumara (or sweet potato) salad is the perfect easy camping recipe, and is great for campfire cooking.
Recipe for Beth’s Kumara (sweet potato salad), to serve 4:
2 large sweet potatoes (the pink-skinned, white-fleshed ones are best), peeled and cubed
250g smoked bacon, diced
1 onion, chopped
20 black olives, pitted and halved
salt and pepper
Take a large piece of tin foil, and place on all the ingredients, drizzled with a generous glug of olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.
Carefully fold and seal the foil, and place in the embers of a campfire or barbecue, and cook for 45 minutes until done.
Open out onto plates and eat on its own or with grilled meat or fish.