Outdoor cooking needn’t be something that you only do during the summer months. In fact when it’s cold outside there is nothing better than warming up with some tasty hot treats from the campfire, especially if they are washed down with some mulled wine or a flask of coffee (Scottish version optional!).
And you don’t need any elaborate equipment either. Some of these recipes can even be knocked up quite easily over a fire pit in your back garden, or even over a log fire if the prospect of standing outside in the cold is a bit too much!
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to cook a proper meal outside, we swear by beer can chicken (or turkey or any kind of bird which you can fit a can inside!). We cooked our Christmas lunch outside last year using our own cockerels basted in some jerk seasoning and hot smoked and cooked in our Green Egg. We’re not claiming the recipe as our own, but it can be replicated in a Dutch Oven over the campfire (and just as easily in a regular oven). It only takes about an hour to cook – don’t forget to rest the meat before serving!
If you are looking for something more traditional, we swear by a good stew, slow-cooked in the Dutch Oven. Our favourite is venison, given Jamie’s involvement in sustainable deer management, but beef and lamb work just as well. We don’t really have as set recipe but are willing to share our secret to a good stew. Make sure you sweat the onions and garlic in butter very, very slowly in a separate pan over a low heat until they caramelise. This will make your stew taste amazing. You can then brown the meat, add in your veg and preferably your own homemade stock. Our other secret ingredients are a whole star anise, a cinnamon stick and some pared orange rind to bring out the flavour of the meat and give the whole stew a taste of Christmas. You can thank us later 😊.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a good helping of sweet treats and we’ve got loads of hints and tips in this regard. If you are looking for some healthy (ish) snacks to go with your Christmas film, why not make your own popcorn over the campfire. Super simple and brilliant fun to make, all you need to do is throw some butter, sugar, salt and any other flavourings you fancy (we like a bit of mixed spice, maple syrup and lemon rind) into a Dutch Oven, get it over a fairly high heat until melted, then throw in about 75g of popping corn. Replace the lid and get your heatproof gloves on so you can keep moving the corn around in the oven until it is all popped. Et voila – go and enjoy your film guilt-free after all your outside cooking.
Oranges are tasting fantastic at this time of year and we can’t get enough of our little chocolate orange-bomb cakes. Carefully cut the top of your oranges, scoop out the insides and add this to a basic chocolate sponge recipe. For a truly festive flavour, add a teaspoon or two of mincemeat. Then spoon the mixture back inside the orange, replace the lids and wrap tightly in tin foil. Throw into the embers of the fire for about 15-20 mins until cooked. These will be nuclear hot when you first take them out of the fire so wait for a few minutes (if you can!) before devouring!
And finally, we couldn’t provide a list of campfire recipes without the all-important marshmallows. Here’s our yuletide on classic ‘smores - but be warned, these are highly addictive! Find yourself the perfect toasting stick, toast your marshmallow to perfection and then squeeze between two spiced biscuits – if you can get your hands on some Dutch Speculaas or German Lebkuchen so much the better, but any gingery or cinnamony-type biccies work well. For a true taste sensation, whack your toasted marshmallow between two Christmas Florentines and lie back as you float away to the clouds!
My girlfriend and I spent an incredible night here for her birthday. I had been looking for something a little different, rather than going out for a meal and drinks. I emailed Jamie at very short notice asking if there was anything a bit special he could do for us. He proposed an overnight stay in one of the glamping tents, with a meal cooked by himself for us. We were both blown away everything from start to finish. The tent and the facilities are without doubt the best I've ever seen. Perfectly clean, lovely comfortable bed and all the necessary kitchen utensils and equipment you could need plus tea, coffee, hot chocolate, milk and fresh eggs. The real highlight of the stay was the meal: Hare, black pudding, bacon and caramelised beetroot starter; Venison steaks, new potatoes with wild garlic, red wine sauce, redcurrant jelly and season veg main. All cooked to perfection by Jamie, who explained where all the ingredients came from which is always a nice touch. In short, a fantastic experience, in an incredible location with a wonderful host. I would highly recommend a visit and we will certainly be returning.