Tag Archives: camping

Ham and Cheese Scones

Campfire and home oven instructions to follow…

I have a simple scone recipe I use when camping. None of the ingredients needs to be refrigerated. I use self-raising flour, long-life cream and long-life milk, which is super handy if you have limited fridge/esky space.

Near the end of our last camping trip, I noticed I had ham, cheese and some herbs that I needed to use up, so I decided to make ham and cheese scones. I had never cooked them in the camp oven before and was super pleased they turned out as delicious as they did.

As always, Dwayne was in charge of cooking the scones over the fire. I simply told him I would usually cook them at 200C for about 30 minutes and let him work on getting the right temperature over the fire.

Further on, you will find some instructions about cooking scones in a camp oven and some tips on what you need to consider when producing the cooking heat. I hope you enjoy this recipe and be sure to let me know how they turn out.

Our camp kitchen

We cooked these yummy scones on a recent camping trip on Kangaroo Island. We were camped at American River.

Ingredients

3 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1/2 cup chopped ham
1 cup coarsely grated cheese
A pinch of salt
300ml cream
About 75 ml milk

Method

Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl, add the chives, rosemary, ham, cheese and a pinch of salt, then mix well.

Make a well in the middle of the bowl and add the cream and most of the milk. Mix well add more milk if necessary. The dough should not be too wet and sticky. Do not over mix the dough.

Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead a little (do not over-knead). Shape the dough into a ball and then flatten to the shape of your camp oven. Place on a greased piece of baking paper and cut into wedges (you do not need to cut all the way through.

Heat your camp oven over the coals. Carefully lift the dough/scones by the baking paper and place them into the camp oven.

Cook the scones with a little heat under the camp oven and coals on top. Our theory is to cook it from both top and bottom with more heat on top. We hung our camp oven over a small fire. Using a star-drop (as a makeshift tripod), Dwayne was able to lift the camp oven higher to reduce the heat or lower it to increase the heat. We used heat beads on the top of the camp oven because we hadn’t had time to develop many coals and the heat beads hold their heat better, making this ‘brunch’ reasonably quick to make. We checked every 10 minutes until the scones were ready. Again, we adjusted the heat, if needed, when we checked it.

Use a knife to see if the scones are ready. Dig in deep with the tip of a knife; if the knife comes out clean, scones should be ready.

To cook in your home oven.

Place the scones on a greased oven tray and bake at 200C in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

For more instruction on cooking with hot coals.

If you want to cook on coals from a campfire, you need to burn a good amount of wood to create hot coals. It can take an hour or so for your campfire to make enough coals to cook on. Be sure to factor the process of producing the embers into your prep and cooking time. Alternatively, if time or good wood is in short supply, use heat-beads as they heat up quickly and hold their heat well.

The easiest way to cook in a camp oven over hot coals is to lift the coals out of the fire with a long-handled shovel. Select a safe place next to the fire and put a small amount of *coals on the ground. Place the camp oven onto the coals. Get some more coals from the fire to place on top of the oven. Getting the right amount of coals is not always easy. Be aware of cooking the scones too hot and burning them. It will take some experimentation to get the temperature right. Therefore, check the scones after 10 minutes to make sure you are not cooking them too hot or not hot enough.

*you only need a small number of coals under the camp oven or none at all. Too many, and you will burn the bottom of the scones.

Many factors determine the heat of the coals, such as ambient temperature and wind. If it is windy, the coals will cook hotter. Make allowances for wind by reducing the number of coals used.

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Fruit and Nut Damper

Traditional damper, developed by the Aussie stockmen, is made with plain flour and water and typically cooked in the ashes or coals of a campfire. Nowadays, there are hundreds of variations to the original recipe.

I usually make beer damper, just flour and beer. However, on a recent road trip from Darwin to Adelaide, I decided to try something different and threw in a heap of fruit, nuts and cinnamon for a sweet treat.

Chocka-block full of fruit, nuts and seeds, I didn’t bother adding a sweetener. I got Dwayne, who likes things a little sweeter than me, to add his sweetener with honey or jam. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and enjoy my damper with dripping hot butter.

Our Camp Kitchen

I made this yummy fruit and nut damper when camping at Burra Creek Gorge with Dwayne, our friends Kate and Martin, and their dog Boris.

Fruit & Nut Damper – Ingredients

3 cups of self raising flour

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 cup of raisins

1/2 cup of walnuts, roughly chopped

1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup of sunflower seeds

About a cup of water

Method

Mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon or your hands and shape into a cob shape.

Line the camp oven with grease baking paper or a layer of flour to stop the damper from sticking.

Put the damper in the camp  oven, put the lid on and coat the lid with hot coals.

To cook the damper with hot coals.

If you want to cook on coals from a campfire, you need to burn large logs to create hot coals. It can take an hour or so for your campfire to make enough coals to cook upon. Be sure to factor the process of producing the embers into your prep and cooking time. Alternatively, if you have time limits or a lack of good wood, use heat-beads as they heat up quickly and hold their heat well.

The easiest way to cook in a camp oven over hot coals is to lift the coals out of the fire with a long-handled shovel. Select a safe place next to the fire and put a small amount of *coals on the ground. Place the camp oven onto the coals. Get some more coals from the fire to place on top of the oven. Getting the right amount of coals is not always easy. Be aware of cooking the damper too hot and burning it. It will take some experimentation to get the temperature right. Therefore, check the damper after 10 minutes to make sure you are not cooking it too hot or not hot enough.

*You only need a small number of coals under the camp oven or none at all. Too many, and you will burn the bottom of the damper.

Many factors determine the heat of the coals, such as ambient temperature and wind. If you have wind, the coals will cook hotter. Make allowances for wind by reducing the number of coals used.

The time it takes to cook the damper is directly related to how hot you cook it. It should take approximately 30-40 minutes. You can tell when the damper is cooked by tapping on the top. If it sounds hollow, it is ready. Alternatively, stick a knife in it, and if it comes out clean, it should be ready.

To Serve

Serve with butter, maple syrup, jam and cream, chopped fruit or any other topping you desire.

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Fruit and Nut Damper cooked on the campfire over hot coals. Full of dried fruit, nuts, seeds and cinnamon. #campfirecooking #fruitandnuts #damper #campcooking

Rustic Camp Oven Soup

This Rustic Soup has to be one of my favourites. It is so tasty and a perfect warmer for a cold, blustery night. However, cold and windy was not the case when I cooked the soup this time. In fact, we were camped at Litchfield National Park in the tropical heat of far north Australia.

Having spent much of the past few years in South East Asia, where getting such produce as smoked ham hock and chorizo is not an easy task, I was yearning for this soup and could wait no longer. Yes, if I had waited until we were further south, I would have found plenty of wintery weather that this soup would have suited perfectly. For example, once we arrived in Alice Springs, the nights were a frosty 2 degrees Celsius! However, the weather did not detract from its yumminess, and I devoured it along with some long-coveted crusty bread.

Australia ham hock bacon chorizo

Our Camp Kitchen

We cooked this delicious soup while camped at Florence Falls Camp Ground at Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory.

Waterfall Northern Territory. Australia

Rustic Camp Oven Soup

Ingredients

1 Can of mixed beans
1 Stick celery, roughly chopped
1 Carrot, roughly chopped
1 Medium onion, finely chopped
3 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 ½ Tablespoons of olive oil
300g Bacon, chopped
1 Smoked Ham hock
4 Chorizo, sliced (approx 500g)
700g Potatoes, cut into large pieces
Crusty bread to serve

Camp Oven Method

Heat oil in a 9 quart camp oven. Add celery, carrots and garlic, cook stirring for a couple of minutes, until veggies soften.

rustic soup

Add the ham hock and 2-3 litres of water. Hang the camp oven over the fire using a tripod and bring to the boil. Then, to simmer, reduce the heat of the fire – move the fire, i.e. burning wood away from the bottom of the camp oven. Simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hour. Remove hock from the pan and set aside to cool.

campfire cooking in a camp oven

Add beans, bacon, chorizo and onions and cook for another 30 minutes.

Add potatoes to the pan and cook for 10 minutes until they are almost tender.

Remove meat from the hock and chop into bite-size pieces. Add meat to the camp oven and heat for 5 minutes.

Serve with chunks of fresh crusty bread.

rustic soup with ham hock cooking in the camp oven

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campfire cooking in a camp oven ham hock bacon chorizo

Beer Damper

Damper is a traditional Australian bread which is cooked on a campfire. Created initially by Australian stockmen and swagmen who roamed remote areas for prolonged times. These stockmen survived with only basic rations of flour, sugar, tea and whatever meat they could catch.

Why is it called damper?

I was recently told that damper is called damper because it is damper than bread. However, when I googled to see if this was indeed a fact, I found two alternative theories. According to historian James Bonwick, the name derives from the way the fire is “dampened” by covering it with ashes. And the Australian Dictionary Centre claims the name is derived from a Lancashire expression meaning “something that damps the appetite.” Whatever the truth may be, damper is delicious bushtucker that is a must when camping.

A traditional damper is made with plain flour and water and typically cooked in the ashes or coals of a campfire.

Nowadays, damper is more likely cooked in a camp oven and made with all sorts of ingredients including, sugar, milk, butter and beer to name but a few. I love the yeasty taste of beer damper and often make this simple, two-ingredient, damper in our cast iron camp oven over the campfire.

Our Camp Kitchen

We cooked this yummy beer damper while camped at Mount Bundy Station near Adelaide River in the Northern Territory.

2020 May 23 Mount Bundy Station 1.1

Ingredients

1 375ml can (or bottle) of beer
3 cups of self-raising flour (works with plain flour also)
Pinch of salt (optional)

Method

Place flour (and salt) in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour warm beer into the centre and mix using a butter knife. Add more flour or beer if needed.

Get your hands in the bowl and make sure the flour and beer are well combined but do not knead. Damper is not kneaded, just mixed and shaped.

Once the dough is shaped, line the base of the camp oven with baking paper and spray with oil, or alternatively sprinkle flour on the bottom to stop the damper sticking.

Beer Damper recipe

To cook the damper with hot coals.

If you want to cook on coals from a campfire, you need to burn large pieces of wood to create hot coals. It can take an hour or so for your campfire to make enough coals to cook on. Be sure to factor the process of producing the embers into your prep and cooking time. Alternatively, if you are limited with time or good wood, use heat-beads as they heat up quickly and hold their heat well.

The easiest way to cook in a camp oven over hot coals is to lift the coals out of the fire with a long-handled shovel. Select a safe place next to the fire and put a small amount of *coals on the ground. Place the camp oven onto the coals. Get some more coals from the fire to place on top of the oven. Getting the right amount of coals is not always easy. Be aware of cooking the damper too hot and burning it. It will take some experimentation to get the temperature right. Therefore, check the damper after 10 minutes to make sure you are not cooking it too hot or not hot enough.

*you only need a small number of coals under the camp oven or none at all. Too many and you will burn the bottom of the damper.

Many factors determine the heat of the coals, such as ambient temperature and wind. If you have wind, the coals will cook hotter. Make allowances for wind by reducing the amount of coals used.

The time it takes to cook the damper is of course, directly related to how hot you cook it. It should take approximately 30-40 minutes. You can tell when the damper is cooked by tapping on the top. If it sounds hollow, it is ready. Alternatively, stick a knife in it, and if it comes out clean, it should be ready.

Serve with butter, maple syrup, jam and cream or any other topping you desire.

campfire cooking in a camp oven

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Beer Damper recipe

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks

I don’t know about you, but we definitely have a favourite meal that we like to cook when we are camping, and it is this recipe. I have prepared this meal while camping in the Flinders Ranges, in the sand dunes at Canunda Nation Park, on the beach in Thailand and now at Litchfield in the Northern Territory. The rich red wine gravy and the fall-apart tenderness of the shank meat are to die for. If you make this recipe, let me know in comments what you thought!

Lamb shanks slow cooked in red wine with baked potato

Our Camp Kitchen

We cooked these delicious lamb shanks in the Florence Falls Camp Ground at Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory.

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks in Red Wine Gravy

Ingredients

4 – 6 lamb shanks (depending on the size of shanks)
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
250g bacon, diced
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 cups red wine
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cups of lamb or beef stock
2 sprigs rosemary
Coarsely cracked black pepper

Method

Lightly dust the shanks with the flour. Heat oil in a large frying pan and cook shanks for 4 minutes, turning, until browned. Remove shanks and then fry bacon for a few minutes. Add onion, garlic and celery, and sauté until soft, do not over brown.

Transfer shanks, bacon, onion and garlic to the camp oven. Add the red wine, tomatoes, beef stock, rosemary and black pepper.

Cook slowly with hot coals underneath the camp oven as well as on top of the lid for two and a half to three hours, until meat is tender.

To home cook in the oven

If cooking in your home oven, preheat the oven to 160c. Transfer shanks, onion and garlic to a casserole dish. Add celery, red wine, tomatoes, beef stock, black pepper and rosemary. Cook covered in the slow oven for 2 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Keep covered to ensure the shanks do not dry out.

To serve

Serve with baked potatoes and your favourite vegetables. Or mashed potato or parsnip. Also good with polenta!

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Lamb Shanks

Lamb Shanks in the camp oven

Camp Oven Eggs in Purgatory

I’m not sure where the term ‘Eggs in Purgatory’ originated. Does it refer to the bubbling red tomato sauce? I’m not sure. However, this recipe is perfect for cooking in the camp oven over a campfire. Perfect for an Aussie bush brunch, this dish is high in protein and super tasty. 

Tomato beans eggs pepper

Camp Oven Eggs in Purgatory

Our Camp Kitchen

We cooked our Eggs in Purgatory while camping at Mount Bundy Station at Adelaide River in the Northern Territory.

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon oil
1 Red onion, finely chopped
3 Cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 Can of tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon of dried Italian herbs
1/2 – 1 Teaspoon dried, crushed chilli
1/2 Teaspoon beef/veg stock powder
1 Can of mixed beans
4 Eggs
Grated cheese
Cracked black pepper

Method

Heat the camp oven in the campfire* and heat oil. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until onion is translucent.

Add the tomatoes, herbs, chilli and stock powder, and cook for a few minutes until tomatoes start to thicken.

Add the beans and cook for a few more minutes.

Crack eggs into the tomato bean mix, and sprinkle with grated cheese and black pepper.

Put the lid on the camp oven. Top the camp oven with hot coals and cook at moderate temperature until eggs are cooked to your liking.

tomato eggs and beans

*Sautéing over the fire in a camp oven can be uncomfortably hot. There are several ways I cook with an open pot, depending on what sort of fireplace we have (e.g. iron fire pit or open fire). One way is to hang your camp oven over the fire with a tripod or, in our case, a star-dropper. Another way is to take a shovel load of coals from the firepit and, in a safe place near the fire, place them on the ground, put your camp oven on top and cook over the coals.

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Camp oven cooking on the campfire

Camel ‘Aussie’ Burger

This is the good ole Aussie burger with a twist. Instead of the standard beef mince, that the Aussie burger is known for, I have used camel mince.

Why? Are camels even Australian?

Well, they are as Australian as cows. But no, camels are not native to Australia, but we do have our own particular camel… The Feral Camel.

Australia campfire cooking

There are reportedly over a million feral camels roaming Australia. First introduced to Australia in the 1840s, camels, imported from India and Afghanistan, were used as ‘beasts of burden’ during the exploration and settlement of Australia, especially in arid areas.

Camels were released into the wild after motorised transport replaced the use of camels in the early 20th century. The releases, as well as escaped or stolen camels, resulted in a fast-growing feral population.

Our Camp Kitchen

We cooked our camel burgers in the East MacDonnell Ranges at the Ross River Camping Ground in the Northern Territory.

Ingredients

For the patties

500g minced camel
1/2 small brown onion, very finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped or crushed
2 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely cracked
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup of fine bread crumbs

For the burger

4 hamburger buns
4 eggs
4 rashers of bacon
4 – 8 slices of tinned beetroot
Sliced tomato
Sliced onion
Pickles
Lettuce
Cheese
Tomato sauce
Dijon mustard
Mayonnaise

Australia campfire cooking

Method

Mix all the “patty” ingredients well, using your hands, until very well blended. Shape into four patties.

Heat your hot-plate (or the lid of your camp oven) until hot and spray with oil. Cook the patties over a small fire or coals until cooked through and browned. Remove the patties and keep warm. Cook the bacon and fry the eggs.

Camel Burger 4

To create the perfect Aussie burger halve the hamburger bun and spread the bottom half with mustard and tomato sauce and spread mayonnaise on the top half. 

Then start to stack you burger ingredients on the bottom half of the hamburger bun. First the meat patty, then the cheese, bacon, onion, tomato, beetroot, pickles and lettuce. Slap the top half of the bun on top and bon appétit or as the Aussie’s say “dig in!”

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Aussie Burger recipe camp fire cooking

Campfire cooking Aussie burger recipe

Beef Cheeks in Red Wine

These delicious beef cheeks are the first recipe of our camp cooking series. Dwayne and I have hit the road with a camper trailer, travelling from Darwin to Adelaide, camping and cooking on the way.

How did this come about?

As you may know, we have lived on our boat for the last six years. Earlier this year we sailed from Phuket on SY Nomad, a yacht that we agreed to deliver to Sydney for friends of ours.

However, two months later, COVID-19 messed up our plans, and now our current home is a camper trailer until we can get back to our boat SV Thorfinn (after delivering SY Nomad). It is great to be camping again, and we love cooking on the campfire.

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting camp cooking recipes including lamb shanks, quiche in the camp oven (dutch oven) and chicken pot pie. I hope you enjoy this series. To see more about the places we visit, have a look at www.trippinturpins.com

Our Camp Kitchen

We cooked these delicious braised beef cheeks in the Florence Falls Camp Ground at Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory.

4 beef cheeks (also ok for 2 cheeks)
1 Tbs flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked pepper
2 Tbs canola oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1-2 celery, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups red wine
1 cup beef stock
4 bay leaves,
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Method

Mix flour, salt and pepper. Dust the beef cheeks with flour mix. Heat oil and brown the cheeks on both sides.

Remove the cheeks and add, onions, garlic, carrot and celery to the pan. Sauté over medium until onion becomes transparent. Add the two cups wine and cook to reduce wine a little.

Put beef cheeks into the camp oven, add red wine veggie mix, beef stock, bay leaves, thyme.

Cook slowly with the heat at top and bottom of the camp oven for three to four hours. The cheeks are cooked when you stick a pair of tongs into one, and the meat falls apart.

I served my beef cheeks with mashed parsnip and blanched capsicum and beans.

Cooking in a camp oven on an open fire takes a lot of practice. Start off adding a few coals or heat beads beneath your camp oven and twice as much on top. Have a look in 15 minutes to see if it is cooking the way you want it to and add more heat, or remove heat, as needed. With practice, you will soon learn how to control the temperature. Remember that several factors will vary your heat, e.g. ambient air temperature, the type of wood/fuel you are using.

Cooking in your oven – 160C/320F for 3 1/2 – 4 hours .

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