Posts tagged #cookery

Adventures In Smoking

Assembling the pieces

Assembling the pieces

After a recent fishing trip I found myself furnished with a rather fine rainbow trout; it didn't feel like a whole-cooked fish kind of night so I thought it was the perfect time to have a crack at smoking. I managed to cobble together a smoker from things I had lying around and made a recipe inspired by the Whole Larder Love book and various episodes of River Cottage. It was surprisingly easy and I'm very happy to report that the results were spectacular.

Building Your Smoker

  • For the main chamber of the smoker I used the tin from some Royal Dansk Danish Butter Cookies, the kind you always find yourself with but can never quite remember where they came from. I pierced holes in the lid to let the smoke out.
  • For the smoking rack I used a baker's cooling rack and cut it into a circle the same diameter as the tin. I left a couple of centimeters on a few of the horizontal bars and bent them over so that the rack sat away from the bottom of the tin.
  • I put a couple of handfuls of shavings into the bottom of the tin. There seems to be a lot of discussion about the best wood to use for this, but I had a pile  left over from carving spoons which I used, it was mainly birch.
  • For a heat source I had the burner from my Trangia. You can use a gas hob or stove top but I didn't want to stink the house out with smoke so a portable option was preferable.


Cooking Method

  • Firstly I descaled, cleaned and filleted the trout.
  • I made a rub that was 2 parts salt and 1 part brown sugar and gave the fish an all over coating. This was left in a sealed Tupperware container overnight in the fridge.
  • The next evening I washed the fish, removing the excess rub and patted it dry.
  • I placed the fillet inside the tin skin side down, closed the lid and lit the burner.
  • After a couple of minutes smoke was billowing out of the holes in the lid. I gave each fillet about 10-12 minutes which seemed perfect.
The finished piece.

The finished piece.

The fish was moist and tender, and it crumbled perfectly. It had a deep-infused smokiness and that salty smoked-fish tang. It was so morish I wolfed the first fillet down immediately. I saved the second for breakfast and had it on an English muffin with a poached egg. Perfect.

Posted on March 6, 2017 and filed under Recipe.

Campfire Beef Bourguignon

Campfire Gastronomy

Campfire Gastronomy

I'm often asked about campfire meals I make, I consider myself quite a freestylecook,as such I don't really write things down. I'm not qualified by any means, but I worked in kitchens throughout school and college and consider myself pretty confident in the kitchen. This is the first time I have ever consciously made notes and honed a recipe to share.

Camp Fire Beef Bourguignon

Camp Fire Beef Bourguignon

Beef bourguignon is one of my favorite slow cooked meals, I think its pretty perfect for permanent camp or cabin cookery. Simple and delicious. Something you can throw on a fire and leave. This recipe is loosely based on Larousse Gastronomique's traditional dish.


  • 2lbs (just under 1kg) braising beef (rump)
  • 6 Rashers of thick-cut fatty bacon
  • 3  large onions
  • 3 cups (750ml) red wine (nothing too expensive but something you would drink)
  • 2 cups (500ml) beef stock
  • 2 Garlic cloves crushed
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Flour (for dusting and thickening)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning


To start you will need some decent coals so make sure you build your fire big with suitable wood and let it burn down to cooking coals. This meal is slow cooked over a few hours so be sure to have a large stock of wood so coals can be replenished.

  1. Roughly cut the beef into large chunks and dust with seasoned flour and put you dutch oven on the coals to pre-heat.
  2. Cut the bacon into large strips and fry in your dutch oven
  3. Add the beef, two of the onions sliced roughly and the garlic and brown them all
  4. Add the wine and stock , the herbs and season well
  5. Cover and gently simmer for at least two hours; until the beef is meltingly tender and the sauce has thickened. Give it a try and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
  6. Once you think it is ready slice and fry the remaining onion and add it to the pot, continue cooking for another 20 minutes
  7. Serve with camp bread (either bannock, damper or flatbread.)

The dish came out very well. Tender meat with a thick delicious sauce. It was also incredibly easy. I hope, this inspires some of you to try something new on the campfire.

Posted on September 13, 2012 and filed under Recipe.