Domestic camp oven to make do as families are stuck at home for winter

Cosy cooking: Borrowdale's marmalade and anise 'firepit' pork belly recipe.
Cosy cooking: Borrowdale's marmalade and anise 'firepit' pork belly recipe.

If you're stuck on a family staycation and want to create a cosy home camping experience then try out Borrowdale's marmalade and anise 'fire-pit' pork belly recipe.

Despite winter being in full swing, many people are stuck at home due to travel restrictions, but they have the opportunity to bring the campsite to their own backyard.

Fire pits have become hugely popular because they create a cosy and intimate space in regular suburban courtyards and backyards.

Families can enjoy a camp oven cooked meal that creates a family bonding experience under the stars without the fears of roughing it in the wilderness.

Though not found in every butcher shop, some local butchers like Murno Quality Meats in Wilberforce do stock pork belly.

"We source our pigs whole from out near Cowra," said owner Craig Munro. "They are all Berkshire Cross and we only use female pigs.

"We find that they are a lot leaner and have a better flavour.

The amount of pork belly required for the recipe below (1.5-2kg) will set you back around $30-40 at Munro Quality Meats.

In-house chef for Borrowdale free-range pork, Ryan McBurney, shared a few tips and tricks for cooking pork belly in your very own domestic camp oven.

To set up the camp oven you will need:

  • Pork belly
  • Domestic fire pit
  • Seasoned cast iron camp oven
  • Lump charcoal
  • A bag of heat beads
  • Firelighters
  • Heavy-duty tongs

Tips for cooking pork belly in a camp oven:

  • Place hot coals on top of the lid of the camp oven for a well-rounded cook during the first half of cooking
  • Pork belly inside the camp oven with seasoning
  • Cook pork belly in a liquid, i.e. water, orange juice, and marmalade creating a glaze once cooked
  • During the last third/quarter of cooking, place additional coal on top of the lid in order to ramp up heat and create a crackling on the surface of the pork belly

"I recommend using orange juice as a liquid bath inside the camp oven which will create a marmalade like glaze on the pork belly once cooked," said Chef Ryan.

Backyard camping: The set up for a domestic camp oven in your own backyard.

Backyard camping: The set up for a domestic camp oven in your own backyard.

Recipe for marmalade and anise 'firepit' pork belly:

Ingredients:

  • 150g orange marmalade
  • 2 oranges - cut into 2cm thick slices
  • 750ml orange juice - not concentrate
  • 1.5L water
  • 100ml premium soy sauce or tamari
  • 3-star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 20g ginger - sliced 3mm
  • Bulb of garlic - cut in half
  • 1 shallot (white part only)
  • 2 red chillies - sliced thinly
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 branches rosemary
  • 1.5-2kg piece of pork belly
  • 15g salt

Equipment:

  • 3kg natural charcoal or 6kg hardwood logs
  • 12-14 inch camp oven
  • Firepit or allocated space to light fire

Method:

  1. Light fire pit using kindling (or firelighters), once burning add hardwood logs or any combustible material that will create hot coals ideal for placing camp oven on top of. This will take approximately an hour to do so plan ahead.
  2. Cut the orange into thick slices and lay on the base of camp oven
  3. Put all ingredients together in the camp oven, they will combine as it cooks
  4. Lower pork belly into the crockpot
  5. Cover with lid and place on coals approx 2-2.5hrs.
  6. It is good practice to use a shovel and place some hot coals on the lid of the camp stove to ensure even heating around the crockpot
  7. It pays to keep an eye on the liquid content as if it cooks too quickly you may need to top up with extra water. Ideally, by the end of the cooking process, you want to be left with a syrupy glaze. Conversely, if this hasn't been achieved it will be advantageous to remove the lid for final 15-30mins while it is cooking to assist this process.
  8. Pairs nicely with noodles dressed with sesame oil or steamed rice and Asian greens. Equally a Pinot Gris or an ice-cold beer.

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