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Fire up your camp oven…

Derek Bullock the Australian Camp Oven King attended the NRMA Motoring and Services 4WD, Caravan, Camping & Marine Show at the Lismore showgrounds from July 10- 12.

Derek ran the camp oven cooking competition – the Country Energy Great East Coast Camp Oven Cook Off – with Rachel and Kim, of 4 Ingredients Cook Book fame, who conducted the judging. Here are Derek’s thoughts on the event:

“The cook off was a rousing success. There were four categories where contestants had the opportunity over the three days to cook and present a selection of dampers, pastries, a meal and a dessert.

Major prizes for the event were provided by the Heat Beads® company and Southern Metal Spinners.

The dessert section was well contested with steamed puddings, damper and butter puddings, pavlova and apple crumble. The winning entry was a steamed date pudding that simply melted in your mouth. In these photos you can see the prize winning steamed pudding, a damper bread and butter pudding and a Pavlova”.

Judges for the event were Kim and Rachael from The 4 Ingredients with Lorraine Leyland of TV’s Leyland Australia.  All of the judges were well qualified having all written recipe books.  Kim and Rachael certainly enjoyed sampling these roast dinners!

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Throughout the weekend competition was fierce although there was great camaraderie amongst all the contestants. Recipes were kept secret and it was impossible to obtain photos during preparation.  It was interesting to see several old camp ovens that perhaps should have been in museums. Good camp oven cooks prefer these old ovens.

The rules were simple – everything had to be prepared on site and cooked in camp ovens using Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes or campfire coals. The weather was not in the contestant’s favour with rain and wind blowing a gale.

Photo 2_2Photo 1_2Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes being used on several different camp ovens.

The damper category was split into three sub-categories of Plain, Savoury and Sweet.  The three dampers in the photo below won the contestant a Heat Beads® BBQ Accessory Pack.

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These pastries that consisted of a meat pie, apricot pie and chicken sausage rolls won for these contestants a Bedourie Oven, Aussie Camp Oven and a Camp Oven Mate from Southern Metal Spinners.

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The main meal had to consist of meat, poultry or fish together with a minimum two cooked vegetables and a gravy or sauce. Contestants prepared, lamb roasts, pork roasts, cottage pies and lamb shanks. The winning entry was a dish of curried lamb shanks served in curry sauce with potato, zucchini and corn on the cob.

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You can also find Derek Bullock at the Neurum Creek Country Rock & Camp Oven Cooking event this weekend!