Best camp oven stew


The cooking process allows the flavours to develop.  This will improve with time.



  • At the commencement of the cook I have all of the heat source under and around the camp oven. Once the stew comes to the simmer, I remove all of the heat from under the oven to form a circle around the perimeter of the oven. To increase or decrease the heat of the oven I either increase or decrease the size of the circle.
  • In most circumstance the 25 to 30 Hot Shots beads will last the duration of the cook.
  • You can add more of the Bourbon and sauces if you wish. The present mix is, I believe, a mild flavour.
  • 1kg chuck steak – trimmed of fat and cubed – bight size – not too big
  • 3 brown onions – sliced
  • 100 to 150 grams shortcut bacon – small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic – crushed through press or 1 tbsp prepared bottled crushed garlic.
  • 3 potatoes – diced
  • 3 carrots – sliced
  • 1 x 400g tin Ardmona cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup Stubb’s Hickory Bourbon sauce
  • ¼ cup Bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons Stubb’s Hickory liquid smoke
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 – 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup plain flour for dusting meat
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • Rice Bran oil




  • Light a fire for coals or count out your heat beads. I light 25 to 30 Hot Shots. If you’re using heat beads you can commence to activate them. Usually takes 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat a 12” camp oven. The oven needs to be hot to sear off the beef in 3 or 4 batches.
  • TO MAKE:
  • Prepare and measure out all the ingredients.
  • Pre-heat the camp oven.


    • Add a tablespoon of rice bran oil to a hot camp oven and dust the meat with seasoned (your call on how much salt/pepper to add) flour and cook in batches to sear the meat. Set aside the seared meat and add brown sugar (maximum 2 tbsps) to each batch as you remove it from the camp oven. You may have to add more rice bran oil between each batch. Allow enough time for the oven to get back to hot – 1 to 2 minutes. You need to make sure you have a sizzle like a wok when searing the meat.
    • Cook the onion until it softens and gets a bit of colour. If the oven is too hot remove it from the heat and continue to stir and cook – stirring prevents burning.
    • Add the garlic – stir and cook for no longer than 1 minute.
    • Add back the meat and mix through the onion and garlic. You can add a bit of the stock here to help deglaze the oven and make a sauce/gravy.
    • Add the potatoes and carrots.
    • Add the cherry tomatoes/rinse tin out with some of the stock.
    • Add the Stubb’s sauces and Bourbon.
    • Add the chicken stock – just enough to cover the stew.
    • Add bay leaves.
    • Bring to steady simmer and cook for 3 hours.

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