I wanted to cook something down at the hut that can easily be cooked on a campfire, camp stove or indeed at home. A dinner that was reminiscent of a campfire dinner, I remember having as a child on a camping trip to North Wales. We went with our neighbour and kids. Just the Mums and kids (husbands stayed at home). We kids were all similar ages and we would arrive on site bursting out of the back of a Mini Clubman feral and ready for an adventure. There were six kids, two Mums and a heap of rainy cold weather in a farmer’s fallow field with very primitive washing facilities but we Loved it.
The only thing we didn’t like so much was when it wasn’t our Mum’s turn to cook. The other Mum was a firm believer that camp food was to open as many tins as possible, empty them all into a big pot, and cook until it was reduced to a pulp. Our Mum would say to my brother, sister and me with a low sideways whisper – just open your mouth and eat it. Otherwise, it will be dished up again for breakfast in the morning.
Luckily, after being non-stop feral for 5 hours we were starving and what it lacked in colour and texture, it also lacked in taste. However, when it was our Mum’s turn to cook, she would feed us a delicious feast. Same sort of dish as the dreaded tinned dinner the night before but made with real food and tonnes of flavour.
Cook Anywhere Campfire Dinner
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 large knob of butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 leeks, finely chopped
2 carrots cut into small cubes
6-8 new potatoes and cut into quarters
2 large parsnips cut into small cubes
600ml good quality vegetable bullion powder
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons mixed dried herbs
300g pearl barley
2 courgettes cut cubes
Fresh herbs (parsley, chives and marjoram)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion and leeks until soft and transparent, Turn up the heat to medium, add the carrots, potatoes and parsnips and fry for 10-15 minutes until they start of soften.
Add the stock and mustard to the pan and give everything a good stir. Bring to the boil, add the herbs, and pearl barely. Cook for a further 15 minutes. Add the courgettes and after 5 minutes test to see if all fully cooked. If not continue cooking checking every 5 minutes or so.
Serve with a scattering of fresh herbs over.
Variations: add bacon pieces after frying the onions and leeks.
Use chicken stock instead of vegetable.
Add grated cheese on serving.