It’s fair to say we’d be months behind what we’ve achieved on the cabin to date without the help of a bunch of friends who’ve come out to help us time and time again! Although it’s honestly not the best invitation: drive three hours to get here, work really hard, no toilet or shower, dangerous working conditions, questionable sleeping conditions, and drive three hours home dirty, sore, tired and dehydrated. Yet, they still come, because they are awesome, and quite frankly, it can be a lot of fun.
There are usually plenty of laughs, even when you discover a snake has been living under the tent where everyone has been sleeping, and it requires guests and all to help catch and kill it. Haha, oh god, seriously Did Not Know that was living under there. Lucky everyone was wearing shoes!!
While Matt plots the next weekend’s construction during the week, I’m normally wondering what to feed everyone. We recently bought a book on camp oven cooking, which has been helpful in planning a menu for the weekend. The most success we’ve had is with the osso buco recipe. I’m completely incapable of following a recipe without changing at least one step or ingredient, and although I tried really, really hard to follow it the first time round, my good intentions lasted until the first ingredient was measured, or not measured as was the case. It worked very well though, so the changes remain in this Sables version of Cathy Savage’s Boss Cocky Osso Buco from Australian Bush Cookery:
8 x osso buco pieces (milk-fed veal if it’s available – we’re not completely uncivilised)
1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 x onions, chopped
1 x large carrot, chopped
2 x cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 x 400g tin of crushed tomatoes
¼ cup tomato paste
500ml beef stock
400ml red wine (almost fill the empty tomato tin as a rough guide)
Toss each piece of osso buco in the seasoned flour, shake off excess flour and set aside.
Heat oil in the camp oven, and when hot, place the meat in, a few pieces at a time, and cook for a minute each side until they’re nice and brown. Set aside.
Put the onions in the camp oven, cook for a few minutes then add the carrot and garlic. Cook the vegetables until turning soft. Add the tomatoes, stock and red wine and bring to the boil.
Put the meat back in, making sure each piece is covered in liquid. Put the lid of the camp oven on, and place on coals toward the outside edge of the fire. You want to cook this slowly for at least two hours, so make sure it isn’t boiling – just cooking away gently.
Make a fresh damper to go alongside, as per this recipe, it’s delicious (assuming you don’t burn it like we’ve managed to twice in a row now) and easy to start making an hour before you’re ready to eat. A serving of osso buco with a piece of fresh damper and a glass of red should see everyone go to bed with a full belly and hopefully happy enough to get up in the morning and do it all again.
*PS. Big thank you to Dean for the beautiful photo used in the new banner – taken a few weekends ago on Anzac Day morning.