Camping over Easter? Tips for cooking with camp ovens
SEASON YOUR OVEN
If you want to create a non-stick surface in your shiny new camp oven and also want to avoid your camp-cooked meal tasting like cast iron, you must season it well before use.
All you need to do is coat the camp oven in cooking oil and heat it over a high temperature for at least an hour – this can be your campfire, home oven or even a hooded barbecue. This procedure should turn it nice and black and then you’ll know the job is done.
For even better results, repeat the whole process a second time, clean, and you’re ready to cook!
COOK OVER COALS, NOT IN THE FLAMES
Coals burn much hotter than flames and it’s easier to maintain a more consistent heat, which is vital when cooking any type of meal. So plan your evening accordingly, and make sure you’ve got time to burn your campfire down to embers before you need to start cooking.
If you’re in a hurry to get dinner underway, use smaller pieces of wood that burn down faster.
POSITION THE COALS CORRECTLY
Cooking with coals can be difficult, as there’s no way to keep a consistent temperature – or to even know what the temperature is! It’s best to start off slow, as you can always make the fire hotter later if you need to – but if you go too hot too early, you might end up eating bread and butter for dinner!
For roasts, you’ll need coals both underneath and on top of the camp oven to create even heat.
For baking such as damper or breads, put the majority of coals on top of the camp oven, rather than underneath, to prevent your dough from burning.
Stews should be heated primarily from the bottom, with only about a quarter of the heat coming from the top; and to fry or boil, all the heat must come from underneath, so don’t bother with coals on top.
CLEAN AND STORE YOUR CAMP OVEN CORRECTLY
Contrary to popular belief, you can wash your camp oven in soapy water – as long as the oven’s been properly seasoned first. And once you’re done, rinse thoroughly, dry properly and apply another thin layer of oil to re-season.
If you prefer the more ‘authentic’ method of camp oven care, simply wipe out your camp oven with a damp cloth once you’ve eaten, and while the oven is still warm. You’ll still need to ensure you’ve dried it properly, as rust is a camp oven’s worst enemy
Source: Laura Gray - www.withoutahitch.com.au
CAMP OVEN OR SLOW COOKER BEEF BRISKET
1 kg Beef Brisket
1 cup tomato puree
½ cup apple cider vinegar
500 ml red wine
1 cup beef stock
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp chilli powder (or to taste)
3 tbsp smokey paprika
2 cloves garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 Celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
Season the brisket with salt and pepper and seal all sides in a hot pan.
Add all other ingredients to a large slow cooker and combine.
Add sealed brisket and roll in combined liquid to cover.
Cook on low for about 8 hours, turning meat regularly.
Meat should fall apart when done.
About 7 hours in, remove about ¾ of the liquid and simmer in a small
saucepan till reduced by half. You may like to add some dissolved
cornflour to thicken and you can adjust the sweetness with sugar to taste.
Use a fork to break up the meat into small portions to serve.
Serve the meat with the reduced sauce.