Stew, Real Baked Beans, Pea And Ham Soup, Damper, Vegetable parcels, Chocolate chip bananas . . . . .

The stuff of a campfire – recipes and links to good things to cook for a campfire experience. We are lucky enough to a have a fire pit with a few logs around it so that friends and relatives can join us for an easy, relaxed night out. There is nothing so comforting as sitting around a fire and eating a one plate meal with minimal cutlery. The emphasis moves to conversation – strange things happen, childhood is relived, silly jokes are shared, ghost stories are told, and the boys can’t help but play with fire.

The downside – everything that you are wearing smells like smoke.

Good Old Fashioned Stew

This is so flexible, I use whatever ingredients I have in whatever quantities are available or simply look right. This not a gourmet’s delight, because it is eaten in the dark no-one can see how it is presented. What is important is that it can be easily eaten with one hand as the other is busy holding the piece of damper and the bowl. In the dark, beside a fire, with good company almost anything tastes good. Especially if you are hungry.

This serves a fair few people – maybe 12 to 15


  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced
  • 1 tin crushed tomato
  • about 3 kg of meat diced to bite sized pieces
  • 2 carrot, chopped 1 cm dice
  • 3 stalks celery,  sliced
  • 1 chilli – seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 stem rosemary
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cardamon seeds
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes (or real if you have it)
  • vegetta stock powder to taste (or stock)
  • 1/2 cup flour seasoned with paprika, salt, pepper, garlic salt (it was in the drawer) and whatever else is available to help season the meat
  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini, steamed lightly in the microwave (I used a bag of blanched zucchini frozen from last years crop)
  • 1 cup 1cm diced turnips, steamed lightly in the microwave (use frozen bag of blanched turnips from last year)
  • 1 kg chopped mushrooms


  1. Toast the spices and grind when cooled. Add the spices and rosemary, bay leaves, chilli flakes to the pressure cooker.
  2. Cook the onions and garlic until soft, in a little oil, in a separate pan – add water if they start to dry out – not more oil, add to pressure cooker.
  3. Toss the chopped meat in the seasoned flour then brown in batches in a hot pan adding each batch to the pressure cooker. The flour will absorb the flavour of the meat and thicken the stock.
  4. Deglaze the pan used for cooking the meat and onions with water (or wine if available) and add to the pressure cooker with the tinned tomatoes, finely chopped chilli, chopped carrots and celery.
  5. Ensure the meat in the pressure cooker is covered by adding more stock (or use Vegetta or stock powder in water), and stir ingredients.
  6. Set the pressure cooker for 20 minutes after it has reached pressure and allow it to release naturally. I use the pressure cooker because in 20 minutes I can have tender meat, otherwise slowly cook for about 2 hours until the meat is tender. Leave it for flavours to develop for a  few hours  if possible.
  7. About 1/2 hour before serving add the zucchini and turnips and any other vegetables that are available and cook for a while, then adjust the seasonings.  Add the chopped mushrooms and if eating by the fire transfer to a camp oven and move to the fire edge. Rotate the camp oven and stir carefully until it’s back to heat. Monitor it from time to time until ready to eat.
  8. Serve with damper, nothing else needed.
  9. I tend to add lots of vegetables but mostly people don’t know they are there, so this is a one pot, healthy meal.



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