Cheese Stuffed Burger Dawgs

As with any idea from Youtube… experiment (and remember, everything’s better wrapped in bacon!).

We take this simple idea, of wrapping mince meat around a stick of cheddar cheese before barbecuing, and improve on it.

Make sure you season that mince. Chopped garlic, salt and black pepper’s essential. You also want mince with a good fat content for flavour. 85% lean is fine. If you can buy pepper jack cheese locally, we’d strongly recommend this for your cheesy filling. Can’t buy pepper jack locally? Then alongside your stick of cheddar, put finely diced fresh jalapeno. Add herbs and spices to the mince if you wish. A dash of chilli sauce. Swap mozzarella for the cheddar or why not try a bit of stilton instead. Play to your heart’s content!

 

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Weber Portable Barbecues

Weber is a high quality brand and their barbecue equipment highly rated. These are portable barbecues, but not for hikers. More the keep in the boot of the car kind and carry across a campsite. You can carry them to the beach though! Not the cheapest, but you pay for quality and in the long run, you’ll save money as they’re built to last.

We recommend two of their products in particular:

  • The Weber Smokey Joe Barbecue
  • The  Weber Jumbo Joe Barbecue

You can cook most things on a camp fire, but sometimes you need a little more control over the heat, and that ‘oven cooked’ effect. For that, simply, you need a barbecue with a lid. If you’ve read Thomas’s BBQ Pork Steak Recipe and want to give it a try on a ‘barbecue pit’, Weber barbecues are the ideal portable equipment.

smokeyjoeThe Weber Smokey Joe Premium Barbecue

Features of this little beauty include:

  • a 10 year guarantee;
  • a locable lid to make carrying easier;
  • 37cm cooking area;
  • anti rust aluminium vent;
  • weather proof handles.

These can even handle cooking a small Sunday joint. At home, use as a table top barbecue to enjoy on warm and even milder summer evenings.

The Weber Jumbo Joe Barbecue

A size yet still portable version of the Smokey Joe with a 50cm cooking area. Suitable for the larger crowd, and can handle a leg of lamb!

Pros:

  • High Quality;
  • Large cooking area;
  • Versatile cooking including roasting.

Cons:

  • Weight… it’s 9kg, but like me, it won’t blow over in a strong wind!

Ever fancied cooking pulled pork? Check out the Youtube video below which shows how it’s done on the Jumbo Joe. How better to judge if something’s right for you than to see it in action.

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Yellowstone Pac-Flat BBQ

yellowstoneHaving a barbecue with you is handy when you need a bit of extra cooking space and the campsite doesn’t allow bonfires (boooo).

We hunted around for a while for a decent portable barbecue which folds up small enough to slip in a rucksack and doesn’t fall apart after two uses. Cost was another factor. We like cheap! For the price of a couple of disposable barbecues (which we don’t like as the coals are too close to the food) you really can’t go wrong.

Now it’s not large enough to feed a family of six, but for one to two people it’ll do fine. We’ve used this as a mini-raised fire pit in the past to keep us warm at night (and to toast marshmallows on!). It’s also small enough to keep permanently in the boot of your car with a bag of charcoal.

The dimensions when opened at 22cm x 31cm x 31cm ,Size closed: 31cm x 4.5cm x 20cm and it’s made from stainless steel. The steel won’t stay shiny after use, but we call that character.

Use instant light charcoal bags for convenience. They’re a perfect size!

 

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Potless Barbecued Mussels

You may have heard mussels should only be eaten in months with an R in them. That’s a folklore, and actually applies to oysters. That said the saying has some wisdom as it stops harvesting during months when the mussels breed (which helps maintain their stocks) and removes the risk of the mussels being contaminated by algae blooms which can occur in summer months.

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Fiery Garlic Chilli King Prawns

These were a creation twenty five years ago, for a ‘grazing’ barbecue with two friends Cathy and Aisha.

Grazing is a phenomena where you eat lots of small courses over the course of an afternoon. When cooking on a campfire on a cool summer’s day (we have to be realistic as we do live in the UK, and some of use live north and high up) it’s the ideal way to eat and stay warm. Another friend, Stephen Deakin took grazing to an art form. He was general manager of the Copthorne Hotel in Newcastle, and if you were lucky, you had an invite to one of his ‘High Teas’ where there’d be up to 30 bite sized courses with a different wine with every course.

Back to the chilli prawns, and for these you need the following ingredients:prawns

  • whole king prawns (in their shells, and as many as you wish to eat – I warn you, they’re moreish);
  • tomato puree;
  • chilli oil;
  • fresh coriander;
  • fresh garlic;
  • two limes;
  • one fresh lemon.

Take a trusty freezer bag, and squirt in tomato puree. Halve the limes, and squeeze the juice into the bag. Add a teaspoon full of chilli oil. Finely chop the garlic (at least a couple of cloves) and coriander and add to the other ingredients and give the bag a good shake, also squidging the ingredients together. Last, drop in the king prawns, seal the bag and shake until the prawns are thorough covered.

shrimpLeave for half an hour in the bag and then remove and skewer the prawns. The prawns won’t take long to cook, a couple of minutes until they’ve turned pink then give them one more minute before lifting from the grill. Some of the heat of the chilli oil and flavour of the garlic will have been absorbed through the shells. Break the shells off and toss them on the fire as you eat. Add a wedge of lemon as a garnish and plenty of pinot gris to wash the prawns down.

If you’re squeamish, you don’t have to buy prawns with heads, but do buy them in their shells and fresh. For those who are adventurous, if you do have prawns with heads on, suck out the insides. It tastes great!

For my American friend, what we call king prawns, you call shrimp. Shrimp for us are small prawns (but remember it’s our language!). Tiger prawns are ideal for this recipe.

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Meat without a fridge

Wild camping and camping on a site where you’re not using the owner’s fridge or don’t have electronic hookup (and a portable fridge) requires a little creativity when it comes to ensuring meat and fish doesn’t spoil. You can shop each day, but there are alternatives! A little planning gives you more swinging time!

Fresh meat: If you’re camping for a couple of days, take a cool bag stuffed with ice packs and frozen meat to help avoid salmonella. The meat should defrost in the first day, but still remain sufficiently chilled for the second. Keep the bag in shade and don’t leave it open. Also, make sure your food containers aren’t left on the ground. Hand the bag from a tree and make sure food containers are air tight and the bag sealed to prevent insects or larger critters having a banquet at your expense.

If there’s a stream near you, you can use this as an impromptu chiller. Ensure the meat is in a waterproof container – either an air (and water) tight tupperware container or sealable freezer bags. If using freezer bags, tripple bag the meat. Remember the water may contain parasites and bacteria like giardia or be contaminated by agricultural chemicals. Weigh down the container or bags with a smooth stone to stop them floating away. Nature’s natural refrigeration, and good to keep soft drinks, milk, wine and beer chilled too!

There’s no reason why you can’t take home prepared beer can burgers for the first night. These and potato grenades will leave you stuffed!

Something about sausages: You may be a traditional Brit who believes the great British banger is the bees-knees. Bear in mind many of those household favourites may say they contain meat, but gristle and skin is a closer description. Many years ago, I took a call from a factory wanting mincers that could manage “5 tonnes of trotters and snouts a day”. Their sausages are packed with salt and fat for flavour, but don’t provide much in the way of nutrition.

kangarooOur favourite shop bought British bangers to cook on the barbecue are Sainsbury’s pork and sweet chilli sausages. Sharpen a stick, pop the stick straight up the middle, and everyone can cook their own (also a good way to barbecue on a campfire if you forgot the grill). Pre-soaking the sticks in water before using them as skewers helps prevent them from going up in flames. Take long bamboo skewers as an alternative (metal ones can leave you with hot fingers).

The Sainsbury’s sausages have got a little competition now though. We recently discovered kangaroo sausages sold by Iceland. My daughter said they’re the best sausages she’s ever had, and I’d almost agree, but do love a Polish sausage (see the next section). Well worth a try though and fun for the kids to tell their friends they’ve eaten kangaroo. Nice one Skippy!

Cured, pre-cooked or dried sausage: salamis, chorizo, hot dogs, and smoked sausage (for a UK version, think Mattessons). These can be barbecued, added to pasta dishes or stews.

sausagePolish sausage: The increase of available Polish cuisine in supermarkets should be seized upon, as our Polish friends know a thing or two about sausages! Make sure you visit that section in your Tescos or Asda!

I was introduced to Polish sausages in the 1990s while driving from Warsaw to southern Poland to stay with a lovely lady called Agni (met in a forest in Germany) and her circus performer friends. Motor way service stations were somewhat basic in the Soviet era, but they had these wonderful, grilled sausages which were heaven. My first introduction to kielbasa czosnkowa. Wonderful people, wonderful food, and many happy memories.

When you camp, take kabanosy  (a thin, dried sausage) or kiełbaski myśliwska (hunter’s sausage) to snack on, and frankfurters (try serdelki which are giant frankfurters) to barbecue or pan fry. Kielbasa jalowcowa (juniper sausage) is a semi-dried pork sausage made with crushed juniper berries which doesn’t need refrigeration. Kielbasa czosnkowa (a garlic sausage) is lovely with scrambled egg, as a cold cut, used in stews or grilled on your campfire (and is pretty good chopped up in a thai curry). Kielbasa krajana is ideal for grilling on a barbecue or campfire (a double smoked sausage made with chunks of pork rather than ground mince)… thick, juicy and packed with flavour! Kielbasa grillowa is another ideal for cooking on a grill.

Tinned meat: Take your pick, from corned beef (for a wonderful US style corned beef hash) to tinned tuna, salmon, spam… there are plenty of choices. That said, I prefer to eat something a little more tasty, and the line “You can eat it, but it takes like…” springs to mind (courtesy of Crocodile Dundee).

Hunting, foraging and fishing: Coming soon!

We may be adding a section from the Roadkill Chef, if we can convince him to write one! He’s famous for his smoked squirrel.

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Wing Yip Belly of Pork

wingyipNestled on the North Circular Road in London is a Chinese food superstore called Wing Yip. On the rare occasions I’m ‘doon sooth’, I meet up with a hedonistic old friend and we head there. This store supplies many oriental restaurants in the UK so you know when you eat there the food’s going to be good. Jerry and I tend to be the only ‘Westerners’ in there.

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