How to make camp oven slow cooked lamb

When you live in the city sometimes you just have to head to the countryside.  For the Easter break Meat-and-Three-Veg and I did a road trip to our friend Beth’s farm near the Murray river.  The land there is flat and open and there is such an amazing feeling of space that was immediately relaxing.  We proved to be not very helpful at jobs around the farm but one thing I could do was lend a hand cooking camp ovens for lunch.

There’s something about cooking a meal outside over hot coals which makes it taste so much better.  Slow cooking the lamb in the camp oven gives it a smoky flavour and softens the meat almost to the point of disintegration.  Half the enjoyment comes from sitting around the campfire surrounded by the smell of the meat cooking.

Vegetable oil
3 sprigs of rosemary
1 leg of lamb
8 potatoes, peeled and halved
Half a pumpkin, deseeded and cut into wedges
Salt and pepper to season

1.  Collect some wood and start a small camp fire then dig a shallow hole nearby.

2. Meanwhile rub the leg of lamb with vegetable oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Place the potatoes and pumpkin in a cast iron camp oven and then put the meat on top of the vegetables.

3. Once the camp fire ha died down a bit, shovel some of the white coals from the fire into the shallow hole, then place the camp oven on top of these coals.

4. Cook for two hours making sure the coals are still alive. If they burn out shovel some more on from the camp fire.  Check the lamb occasionally, you want it to be cooked until it is falling apart with some blackened, crispy edges.   Different woods burn at different temperatures so the lamb may need up to three hours.

The finished lamb – serves six to eight


  1. I’ve always wanted to do this! Dig a hole and get all rustic! But I’m not sure how I would actually go with ‘camping’ in itself!

  2. The finished product looks absolutely mouth watering!

  3. Ms I Hua – I probably shouldn’t admit then we didn’t camp. We stayed in nice comfortable beds in the farm house about 100m from the camp fire. The best of both worlds I think.

    Ashley – It was! I loved how the lamb was crisp at the ends but really tender at the same time.

  4. That is the perfect balance- the rustic joy of cooking outdoors, by a fire, but still with running water and proper beds. A woman after my own heart.

  5. Tori – Yes all the joys of camping but with luxury as well!

  6. cooking boned lamb leg in camp oven tomorrow for my kids, a mate and his kids. Just in the back yard using coals from the combustion heater. Then we’ll have marshmallows on the coals after. We’re all looking forward to it

    1. Hope it goes well Matt!

  7. I believe the coals are supposed to go on top of the camp oven (not the bottom) hence the flat lid.

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