Here's the pitch: Bill Granger's campfire recipes
If your idea of campfire cooking extends no further than toasted marshmallows, let Bill Granger show you how to become an expert in the field.
Up until last year, my only experience of camping was 20 or so years ago, with art-school friends in a field beside a rave. One of us had the bright idea of bringing a watermelon. I was the one given the task of carrying it. Needless to say, it didn't get eaten, and became a soggy mess! It became a symbol of my incompatibility with camping.
That was until I was lucky enough to go glamping – glam camping – last year, where we got a pitched tent, a hard floor and a bathroom, just perfect for focusing on the food! We still had to make our own fire and cook on an open flame. What a difference! Toasting marshmallows over the campfire after a delicious meal, Happy Mondays on the iPod, I got the Summer of Love spirit with the creature comforts of 2012, and a flood of affection for summer camping.
Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, grangerandco.com
Barbecued leg of lamb with shredded cabbage
For best effect, get this marinating before you go, in a zipper storage bag; it will make last-minute cooking a breeze. All you need to do is concentrate on building your fire. Belazu Rose Harissa is my condiment of this summer – you really must try it!
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1½kg/3lb butterflied leg lamb (get your butcher to do this)
500g/1lb thick Greek yoghurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
For the cabbage salad
½ sweetheart cabbage, shredded
Handful mint, roughly torn
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, sliced
Olive oil, to drizzle
4 tbsp harissa, to serve
Toast the cumin seeds until fragrant in a frying pan over a medium heat. Remove from the pan and grind to a powder with a pestle and mortar. Put the lamb into a high-sided baking tray and rub with the cumin, yoghurt, garlic and lots of seasoning, massaging it all over and into the lamb. Cover and allow to marinate for at least an hour.
When your barbecue is hot, lift the meat from the marinade and cook for about 15 minutes on the skin side and 10 minutes on the flesh side. When it has a lovely dark crust, remove from the heat and rest for at least 20 minutes.
To make the cabbage salad, mix all the ingredients together, and season with the olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
Carve the lamb and serve on the flatbreads (recipe below) with the cabbage salad. Drizzle with harissa, more olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
In Australia, damper, a classic campfire bread, is the stuff of folklore, but these days, we are more likely to have pizza or souvlaki. This is my ode to all of them. This recipe can be easily doubled.
300g/10oz wholemeal flour
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
Put the flour in a large bowl and add the yeast, brown sugar, olive oil and coriander seeds. Stir to combine, make a well in the centre then add 180ml/ 6fl oz of tepid water or enough to form a soft dough. Tip out on to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and allow to prove for about an hour or until doubled in size.
Punch the air out of the bread, then grab small handfuls and flatten into circles about 10cm in diameter. Heat a frying pan on top of your barbecue, brush the pan with a drop of oil then fry the first flatbread for 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked. Wrap in a tea towel to keep warm while you cook the rest.
Cucumber, potato and dill salad
The unusual addition to this potato salad is crème fraîche, which coats the potatoes without the sometimes cloying richness of mayonnaise-only dressings. For camping, make your dressing in advance and store in a jar.
750g/1½lb baby new potatoes
3 Lebanese cucumbers, chopped (or use ½ a large cucumber)
½ red onion, sliced
1 bulb fennel, fronds reserved, bulb thinly sliced
For the dressing
1 small bunch dill, chopped
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
100ml/3½fl oz crème fraîche
4 tbsp mayonnaise
Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water for about 10 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and allow to steam-dry then cool to room temperature.
Mix the potatoes, cucumber, onion and fennel in a large bowl. To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in another small bowl and combine, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Fold the dressing through the potato mix, then pile on to a platter and serve with the fennel tops scattered over.
Life & Style blogs
Plus lateral thinking and living on London's waterways
Other popular areas include Didsbury, Clifton in Bristol, central Cambridge and West Bridgford
Doctors are allowed to have personal beliefs, just as long as these beliefs do not interfere with th...
Mothers' diets may harm IQs in two-thirds of babies
Living with Google Glass: what are they actually like to wear?
Microsoft's Xbox One: Have the price (£399) and release date (30 November) been leaked by online retailer Zavvi?
The 10 Best road-trip gadgets
Splint made by 3D printer used to save baby’s life
- 1 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Bloody attack brings terror to capital’s streets
- 2 Mothers' diets may harm IQs in two-thirds of babies
- 3 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
- 4 Eyewitness gives extraordinary account of her confrontation with Woolwich attackers
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL might have a sinister plan as a soldier is murdered in suspected Islamic terrorist attack
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.