THIS IS A MEAL EVERYONE WILL ENJOY – EXCEPT VEGETARIANS OF COURSE! IT’S SIMPLE, DELICIOUS AND QUICK TO MAKE WITH JUST A FEW INGREDIENTS AND A CAMP OVEN OR STOVETOP.
Oil 8 lamb chops (barbecue, forequarter, chump, etc), cut into large pieces 1 large brown or white onion, peeled and roughly chopped 2 carrots, thickly sliced 1-2 tsp crushed garlic (fresh or jar/tube variety) 1 x 420g can of condensed cream of mushroom soup 1 x 40g packet of French onion soup mix (I prefer salt-reduced) 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce 1 tbs tomato sauce (or use spicy red sauce) 1 handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped Salt and pepper A little water or liquid stock if stew becomes too thick
You could just combine all the ingredients in your camp oven or pot to save time, but if you want to get a better, deeper flavour, then brown the chops, onion and vegetables in a bit of hot oil first. This is my preference.
Heat about 2 tbs of oil in your camp oven or pan, then add the chops (in batches if needed – don’t crowd the pot) and brown on both sides.
Remove the chops and set aside.
Add the onions, carrots and garlic and sauté until the onion has softened.
Add the mushroom soup, French onion soup, Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce, and stir to combine, making sure you scrape up all the goodness from the bottom of the pot.
Add the mint, and season.
Return the browned chops and mix well.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about 45 minutes or until the meat is tender and falling off the bones. The length of cooking time will depend on the cut of chops you have used.
Check the sauce during cooking. If it becomes too thick, add a little water or stock.
Serve with mashed potatoes.
Add some chunky potato, sweet potato and/or pumpkin pieces to make this a one-dish meal. There’s no need to peel the potatoes if you’re using the ‘new’ or washed variety. You could also add some peas and chopped celery, and fresh mint is a worthy inclusion if you have it. If you don’t, you can use dried or jellied mint. Just add enough to suit your taste. Make sure you use condensed soup.
Choose cheaper meat cuts for casseroles and stews; they have more flavour.
Don’t cut your meat (or vegetables) into tiny pieces. The minimum recommended size is about 2-3cm chunks. Remember the meat will shrink as it cooks. The same applies to your vegies such as potatoes, pumpkin and carrots – cut them into equally sized chunks so they cook evenly. If they’re cut small, they’ll break down before the meat is cooked.
You’ll get the best flavour and colour from your meat if you brown it first. A stew or casserole is best cooked slowly. Give it enough time to simmer away gently, so the meat melts in your mouth and the sauce is the right consistency. To stop the meat and vegetables at the top of the stew from browning and drying out, place a sheet of baking paper on top of the stew while it cooks. It will keep in moisture and stop the sauce drying out.
Use a cast-iron pot – your camp oven is ideal.
If your sauce is too runny at the end of cooking, you can thicken it with a little cornflour mixed with a small amount of cold water, or you can use a ready-made powdered gravy mix.