Saturday, 6 October 2012

George Goes Camping: Lamb sausage & bean stew; Chorizo, chickpea and mushroom salsa with fried potatoes

Here's a little message from George:

"So chaps, I'm back from camping in Ireland. Whilst I was there I got very dirty and came back stinking of campfire, but I also got fed some yummy food. I made the bloke Sarah calls 'the other half' take a few photos, and she said she'd put them up here, but only if I had a little run in the washing machine first. Well, to be fair I was scaring off the rest of the family menagerie with my pongyness, so I reluctantly agreed..."

Cooking up a storm... in a storm. 

Lamb sausage and bean stew with curly kale

After a 6 hour drive across Ireland over 400 miles, including an incredible trip through the Connemara Mountains (seriously, I'm not one for looking at 'views', but they really do take your breath away), we ended up at Acton's Beachside Camping Park, in Clifden, County Galway. I have to admit, I have never camped in so much wind, but at the same time have never camped anywhere you can't actually see one other person, tent, animal, house, boat.... anything! Amazing site, camping between the dunes by the beach, fabulous, helpful owners, and a place I would highly recommend. Anyway, popping into Clifden we found a very friendly local butcher who sold me some delicious lamb sausages, which I stewed (in the wind, rain and dark) with onions, garlic, chili, carrots, cumin, mixed spice, paprika, chicken stock and butter beans, throwing in some local curly kale at the end. Best eaten, in our experience, piping hot in the driving rain by a spluttering campfire just before running like Usain Bolt into the tent and the warmth and safety of bed...

The white plastic plates (which, by the way, have Winnie the Pooh on them), just add to the taste experience...

Chorizo, chickpea and mushroom salsa with fried potatoes and a fried egg

I'm not sure whether to call this breakfast, brunch, or lunch, as we ate it at about 11.30am but had already had a slice of toast at 8am, and ate again at around 4pm. Ah well, it was a definite camping larder meal, using the stuff I'd brought with me or acquired throughout our trip, and eggs that the chickens of our next campsite, the brilliant Pure Camping in Querrin, Co Clare, provided in the morning. It's fairly carb-heavy and bathed in oil, but that's what you need at the beginning of October, outdoors, in Ireland!

Let's go and lay eggs for George's breakfast, and then make lots of mess in Sarah's tent.
Egg still in pan when other half took photo!
Fry some chorizo and chopped shallots in olive oil, before adding a chopped fresh chili, a chopped clove of garlic and 5 or 6 chopped chestnut mushrooms. Wait until the shallots and garlic are coloured by the chorizo paprika, add a tin of chickpeas with a mug of vegetable stock, and season. Leave to bubble down until most of the moisture has gone.

In the meantime, shallow fry last night's already-cooked potatoes, chopped up, in whatever oil you have (mine was olive oil but it would be better in vegetable oil or nut oil, especially when you haven't got state-of-the-art washing up equipment to get the stuck potato off the pan), then fry an egg at the last minute and serve on top of the salsa and potatoes so that the yolk runs out. Yummy.
The other half knew he shouldn't have moaned so much
about how packed the car was...

And finally...

Get the other half to wash up in the state-of-the-art camping kitchen sink. Don't laugh, it doesn't half help your back!


  1. And there's me thinking my egg and bacon pasta was impressive when we were camping. These meals sound amazing. (Did I tell you I have ditched the veggie life? Your blog is partly to blame ...)

    1. And well done on ditching the veggie life. Terribly boring when one can't have a bacon sarnie on a Saturday morning.

  2. I remember when you refused to eat the version of that pasta I made at about 16 years old when I insisted on putting about half a pot of dried herbs in it too. To be fair you were right, I ended up struggling to eat it just to prove I was right...