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Black Rock Camping Day 2… banana cake and lamb in the camp oven (not at the same time though)

camp oven lamb
Black Rock Camping Day 2

It was a bit of a broken sleep last night as I was awoken numerous times by the pitter patter of a good hit of rain dropping to us from somewhere above. *Fun camping fact #1 – although the sound of rain dropping on a tin roof is nice, and somewhat therapeutic, the sound of rain dropping on the family tent is not.

I got up, mildly freaking out as to whether we had stowed our camera and other water resistant items. All good… we are getting a little wiser with age apparently.

Camp breakfast was one of many pans of bacon, eggs and sausages and pots of coffee and tea, all consumed to a background rendition of “let’s yell and scream heaps even though it’s only 6:30am” as recited by the Unruly Monkey-like Special Needs Children Choir. Beautiful. Welcome to the bush, fellow campers.

The kids were more than happy to clean the bowl… no washing up for us

The kids were more than happy to clean the bowl… no washing up for us

The cake in it's new home amongst the coals

The cake in it’s new home amongst the coals

That is some good looking shit right there

That is some good looking shit right there

And yes, it did taste as good as it looks

And yes, it did taste as good as it looks

Banana cake in the camp oven was next on the agenda, as we had never attempted cooking a cake in the coals before and let’s face it, if you need to subdue a group of unruly monkies what better way to do it than with bananas or a product that is a derivative of said bananas. We were prepared for this uprising of small monkey-like children and feeding time at the zoo went down a treat! This cake was kick-ass.

Chalk one point up to the clearly smarter adults. That’s one-nil suckers!

The unruly crew

The unruly crew

The men folk drank away the afternoon while the ladies made the tents look pretty and started to prepare our next meal… well, maybe it didn’t go down exactly like that… or even remotely like that, but I did get my ass into the kitchen (camp table near the fire) because I give not a fuck about the location, I just know that being in the kitchen is my time to shine. The cooking begun, we did manage to encourage a sneaky beer or two past our bearded lips just for the sake of it. We may have been glanced that “what the fuck are you doing” glare from a wifey or two but there was five of us men folk so that really didn’t mean a thing to us right now – power in numbers, strength of the brotherhood, dib dib dib and all that shit. We would face our respective lectures on our drive home I was sure but for now, another beer please my good man.

And then the wind and rain came suddenly and mercilessly as if I had just deemed their prize winning turnip nothing but a fraudulent, fiberglass butt-plug. They worked in unison swiftly to dampen our spirits and our spare underwear, but we battened down the hatches in a fashion worthy of a “sea farers hatch battening badge”, and then the rain left us and I finished cooking my camp oven roast lamb. But it wasn’t just camp oven roast lamb; it was camp oven roast lamb, adorned with camp mint sauce and root vegetables, worthy of a “damn tasty assed camp lamb roast award”. But I’m sure you don’t really give a shit about my crappy awards now, do you?

A few herbs make all the difference

A few herbs make all the difference

Oh dear good lord

Oh dear good lord

Ready to go

Ready to go

The mint sauce really lifted this meal way out of the realm of sausages, white bread and tomato sauce

The mint sauce really lifted this meal way out of the realm of sausages, white bread and tomato sauce


1 small lamb shoulder (about 1.5kg), bone in for the flavour and to give the kids something to gnaw on
2 sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaf
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 bulb garlic, sliced through the middle horizontally
A couple of handfuls of root vegetables, all cut similar size
Mint sauce, to serve

• Rub the lamb down with the herbs, spices and seasoning
• Put it in the camp oven with ½ cup of water and cover with lid
• Move a few coals out of the fire and nestle the camp oven into these, shovel a few more coals on top. Leave it for 2 hours, occasionally turning camp oven and replacing coals
• While the lamb is getting sexy, make some mint sauce just so everyone knows how much of a bawsss you are
• After 2 hours add vegetables and garlic to the bottom of the camp oven and return to the coals for another hour or until everything is tender and delicious
• Carve it up and eat it with mint sauce, washed down with the finest booze your esky has to offer

CAMP OVEN BANANA CAKE (with dubious measurements)

4 eggs
250g unsalted butter, softened by the morning sun
4 cups self raising flour
4 super ripe bananas, chopped or mashed
1 cup sugar
Milk to make it into a thick cake batter consistency – probably about 1-2 cups

• Get the kids to mix this one up so as to keep them occupied for a few minutes
• Cream sugar and butter
• Add eggs
• Add bananas
• Add flour
• Add milk
• Bake on low coals in a lined camp oven for 45 or so minutes or until cooked. I’m sure a cake tin and domestic oven will do the job just fine, too


I’ll be back tomorrow with some more camp goodness.

*If you like the idea of camp oven cooking and you want to know more, there are some fine folks who have created a facey page that is all about the answers you seek. You can find it here

17 comments on “Black Rock Camping Day 2… banana cake and lamb in the camp oven (not at the same time though)

  1. cheergerm says:

    Menfolk, bearded or un-bearded, always find strength in avoiding stern ‘wifey’ type glances when there is a gathering of more than one. There is a name for that. Anyhoo, this food looks great, even if the weather does not. The cake is amazeballs. 🙂

    1. Thank you, my friend. Us men folk gotta stick together! And what was the name for the avoiding of wifey type glances? 🙂

      1. cheergerm says:

        Well, I did kind of make that bit up (I know, hard to believe) but it probably has the two words ‘Dutch courage’ somewhere in it…. 🙂

      2. Haha. Fair call from the cheergerm! 🙂

  2. Mr Fitz says:

    Like that.. Still think you should put the coals in a pit.. And put a a whole or at least as side of lamb in it.. Looks like you got lots to feed there !

    1. Yeah, I’m with ya. Have done that a few times and it comes out effing awesome. Those in the know crowd the carving process for the “lamb lollipop” (the cutlet with full length rib and crispy belly fat) 🙂

      1. Mr Fitz says:

        ooh oooh… I want to be crowding the carving… full cutlet?.. yeah

      2. Oh yes, my friend. Full cutlet 🙂

      3. Mr Fitz says:

        Five to go please

      4. Mr Fitz says:

        Oh .. And at least six cold ones please

  3. Looks like amazing memories are being made. And food attached to memories always make the best ones. I’m not a lamb fan (other than petting at the fair, ha) but you made it look quite tasty. And the banana cake, that photo with the color against the ash, amazing. 🙂

    1. Thank you, my friend. Great memories indeed.
      I’m pretty sure lamb in the coals could turn the staunchest of lamb dislikers! 🙂

  4. I’m blown away by your outdoor cooking…it’s such an Aussie thing…I’m fucking hopeless at cooking once I step out of the kitchen door:)

    1. Yeah. We sure do love that shit out here. If you’re ever in the neighbourhood we’ll get that fire going…

  5. laurasmess says:

    Your camping food is ridiculous. I think you put the rest of Australia’s campers to shame (all I’ve really heard about camp food is canned beans and sausages reheated in transportable pans). Banana cake, yum, but THAT LAMB. Oh my gosh. I’m missing lamb over here. Apparently most of the British lamb gets sent to the rest of Europe whilst England imports Australian lamb (WTF?!) so therefore it’s ridiculously expensive. We’re mostly eating varied forms of pork. But as that includes bacon, I’m momentarily happy…
    Glad that you guys had an amazing time, despite the inconvenient rain!

    1. Once again, cheers my friend.
      A pork smorgasbord is not such a bad alternative to lamb though eh?
      You Brits are a smart bunch for getting your lamb from Oz, though 🙂

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