Introduction: Campfire Cookout
Whenever I go home to visit my Dad, we have a campfire cookout. It is a great family occasion with good simple hearty food followed up with the inevitable marshmallow toasting and laughing around the camp fire. the process is almost as enjoyable as the actually eating. Setting the fire, digging the hole, sitting around chatting while the smells waft from the camp oven.. mmmmmM!!! A cookout is a fun easy way to feed many mouths easily and requires virtually no prep!
A good sized camp oven
Tinned beans/Peas - we used cannellini beans, kidney beans, garbanzon/chickpeas and'or a Four bean mix.
Jar of Tikka Masala paste (or similar)
Step 1: Start Your Fire and Prepare Your 'oven'
Use good clean wood that is going to make good coals. Denser wood will make better coals than softer woods - I can't really tell you exactly what to use as wood differs around the world! For the record we used manuka, gorse and a bit of gum.
Dig a hole that will fit your camp oven comfortably - lid just above the ground level with a bit of space around the edges. Now you can either light a second fire in the bottom of the hole, or rely on having enough coals in your first fire. We were making a batch to feed about 12 people, so we made two fires - enough to make a good coal bed in the bootom of the hole, and coals from the second fire to cover the lid later.
Step 2: Cooking
Take the lid off your camp oven and pour in enough oil to cover the bottom. Heat this for a couple of mins over the coals then add your chicken. Brown them, stirring regularly to avoid them sticking too bad. We normally do this over the main fire because it is easier to get at!
Once the chicken is brown, stir over the coals in your pit fire and pop the pot in. Empty all your cans and tikka paste in. We use about five cans of tomatoes and five cans of beans to feed about 12. You can drain off the liquid if you want, but you will need to add salt and water if you do, otherwise it will dry out and stick. Give the mix a stir, then put the lid back on.
Cover the lid with coals.
Sit back and relax! Have a glass of wine and enjoy the company of your family and friends :)
If your coals are not great, you might need to change the top ones out , but we have not ever needed to.
After a good half an hour/45 mins it should start to smell really good. Brush the coals off and lift the lid to uncover your dinner in all its glory!
Step 3: Eating :)
We usually eat this one of three ways - by itself out of bowls, with bread, or with potatos. You can cook the potatos in a billy on the main fire while the cookout simmers. Whichever way you do it it is totally delicious, and there is never any left at the end of the night.
Restoke your fire and sit back for a good delicious hearty meal. Follow with marshmallows if anyone is still hungry :) Get out there and make some memories!
Note: The last photo in this section is a fabulous tool we bought at Cabelas for lifting the camp oven and for removing its lid - a worthy investment!
Participated in the
Outdoor Cooking Speed Challenge