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Thread: Pit roast

  1. #1

    Pit roast

    Hi all, my mate Warren and I tried this for the first time last November. My wife and I had fourteen people for dinner, and only a very small oven, so this seemed a good sollution. We started at around ten in the morning, and did nothing else all day. I think it is important to do this now and again, it realy does slow you down, a great pause in a busy life. The guests loved it. They all wanted to see the meat comming out of the pit! Sadly I took no pictures of the finished meal, as I was too busy pouring drinks and dishing up! Everyone cleared their plates, and after dishing up second and third helpings nothing was left over. I take that as a compliment! My advice is have a go, don't shy away, it is so simple! Remember our ancestors were doing this, but couldn't read it in a book, so it must be very simple.

    First find a willing candidate to chop down an unwanted Elder. Save straight branches for use later.

    While the willing candidate is cutting the elder dig a hole deep enough to line with rock, and still have enough room for the joint. Light a fire and feed all day to gather lots of heat in the rocks and surrounding earth.

    While you spend the day cooking (drinking wine/beer and keeping the fire going, why not make some smokey biltong?)

    Don't wrap the meat in foil as we did in this picture. It will still cook nicely but, it prevents it browning on the outside. Cover the pit with the straight sticks and newspaper or large green foliage.

    Cover with earth from the pit you dug and pray and wait.

    We cooked two Fallow fillets for two hours, enough to feed fourteen mouths.

    What a relief it was to see that steam! I was dreading finding a lump of uncooked meat and having to quickly fry it in steaks!

  2. #2
    Excellent post 'Bush Tucker' Buckup! I think I'll give it a go when we have some good weather. It won't take long to dig a hole for a Muntjac.

  3. #3
    Nice to see this being done by someone other than Ray Mears. I assume Buckup you cook the meat directly on the stones? Looks like fun mate

  4. #4
    Hi Alled,
    I think being a townie I would lay the meat on a layer of tin foil, although common sense tells me a stone that is that hot can't have any bugs on it!
    Our mistake was wrapping the meat, thereby preventing any browning of the surface.
    Look after yourself mate,
    P.S. Beo and I were discussing doing one of these at the march and shoot, so a first hand demo will be available there.

  5. #5
    still can't get my head round this one mark
    been telling everyone in the pub tonight about it , and sparked off a cooking contest for later in the year and i'm using your method
    bloody great post
    i hav just got to perfect the method

  6. #6
    Stone it is relatively straight forward. I would do it slightly differently, but the principle is the same. First dig a pit about 2 to 3 foot deep and about 4 foot long and 2 foot wide. Next build a big fire next to the pit. Find some large stones, sandstone is good i believe, But any will do as long they dont contain to much moisture, flint would not be good. Make sure you have enough stones to cover bottom of the pit and some to go over the top of the meat, make sure they are large stones. Once the fire is up and going place the stones on the fire to heat up. While this is going on get enough suitably sized sticks to go across the width of the hole you dug. Also gather some large leaves or a damp cloth or sheet. All will become clear shortly. Once the stones are hot using a shovel cover the bottom of the pit with the hot rocks. Place the venison legs or haunch or both on top of the rocks. You can then get creative through in a large spuds in their skins, wrap a few large field mushrooms in foil with butter and garlic. Or if your lucky enough to own a potjieko pot you could place this in their with some goose fat and some skinned potatoís and have some roasties. Of course a good cast iron pot will do. Equally you could fill with veg and make ratatouille. Once all cooking ingredients are in the pit you place the sticks over the hole and place the leaves or damp sheet over them making sure it covers the whole pit. Place the earth that you dug out of the hole on top of the sheet so that it is air tight. Leave to cook for about 2 hours, if itís a whole deer not jointed perhaps overnight will be required. After the time slowly and carefully role the leaves or sheet back removing all the earth and then take of the sticks. The smell I am told is irresistible. Remove meat and veg and serve quickly. But for god sake take some for yourself it wont last long. Hope this clear things a little mate.

  7. #7
    I know this is a really old thread but the receipt sounds wondersfuk and definately something to try. Thanks for sharing



  8. #8
    A Maori hungi... Great way to cook, just a b*gger to find ecalyptus trees in South Bucks!!
    Sako 75 6.5x55 - Z6i 3-18x50. Sako 75 .308 Habicht 2.5-10x56. Beretta 690. Benelli M2.
    "You have enemies? Good. That means youíve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #9
    I am still working here in India while I was in Goa this weekend I saw a homemade tandoor oven being dismantled at a restaurant as the monsoon season had arrived.
    It was a 50 litre steel oil type of barrel (I hope thats the right size, I took some photos ", it was higher than my waist") ca. 750cm diameter with a seperate lid held on to the body by the over centre clip on the barrels rim. It was lined inside all around with 20cm of concrete including this lid, then the bottom (base) that has no concrete gets a round hole cut in it centrally about 35cm diameter.
    So the lid is now fixed permanantly to the drum with 20-30cm cement on top of it, upend the barrel and get your fire going in the barrel till the concrete liner is full of heat, then empty the ash out and use a round lid to cover it while cooking your tandoori etc inside - and this was being worked on a catering basis.
    Forgot to mention you need to weld two grab handles onto the outside halfway up for tipping it over to empty it.

  10. #10
    That's a great way to cook Buckup, the food retains it's moisture and flavour really well.
    Have you ever tried the battery powered spits for the campfire?
    here's a couple of pics from a hunt last month.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	29052Cooking pork at the far end, beef and lamb in the foreground.
    And the result.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	29053vegies cooked in the cast iron camp oven in the coals. (The tattoo sleeve isn't real)
    Don't hide from your mates in the bush!

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