Denmark – Al Fresco Pot Roast Variations


Two meals from our post christmas camping trip to Denmark.

Camping dinner must meet certain requirements. It must involve fire. It must take time. It must use a camp oven. Tuna sandwich, no. A large piece of topside, yes.

My usual trick is to roast it and then finish with a few glasses of wine. Sadly, crisp dry summer undergrowth and warm toasty camp fires do not a happy pairing make. So I lacked the coals to surround the camp oven with and instead had the unidirectional heat of the gas BBQ. The solution was to make something in between a pot au feu and a pot roast (I lacked the cook books to be faithful to either and worked on guesses). It worked so well that when I returned to the Denmark Dewsons, I did the same thing again. Here are the two variations.

Variation 1


First I seared the beef (keeping the topside whole) on all sides, removing to sautee 6 cloves of garlic and two chopped onions. Back in went the roast followed by 1/3 pinot noir, 1/3 beef stock, and 1/3 water to nearly cover the beef. Next a handful of thyme and two bay leaves. Following, were the finely chopped stems of a dozen swiss brown mushroom followed by their halved caps. The broth was brought to a boil and then left to a very slow simmer with the lid on. Kipfler potatoes were added after an hour.

[two hours pass, the sun sets, the flies go to bed, beers are drunk]

Testing the meat it is clearly ready. Slice thinly, placed in bowls with the potatoes and then the broth covers it to make a soup. Topside is lean and therefore not the tenderest of cuts and doesn’t break down like stewing cuts but it was flavourful enough and the broth was tremendous.


Variation 2


[the following evening]

As above but lacking anything for larding, I thought stuff it and lard it with garlic. The stuffing was rosemary and sage with duxelles of butter, mushroom and onions. A pocket made with a knife and then closed with the stem of rosemary. Roasted it for about half an hour before adding the broth.

Similarly good and just as enjoyed. The stuffing broke up the unrelenting meatiness. I don’t know if slowly stewing a stuffed piece of meat is correct protocol but it was good.


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  1. Reid’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    How you managed to make not one, but two pot roasts while on a camping trip in Denmark is beyond me. I would have settled for a steak. Looks/sounds magnificent though.

  2. Anthony’s avatar

    Hi Reid

    Just much messing about and guessing which is no bad thing. Slow’s the go as there’s pleanty of time to just wait. The sunset seemed to take forever and segued nicley with a full moon.

  3. craftapalooza’s avatar

    Yummmmmyyyyyy. Sounds divine. Love a slow roasted/stewed piece of meat. Ragu weather’s not far away :)

  4. Anthony’s avatar

    Time is the much neglected ingredient* but don’t go wishing your seasons away even if it is 38 in the shade today.

    *Fresh air seems to do no harme either.

  5. David’s avatar

    Mmm… I love camp food, and I don’t mean food served in a gay bar! And meat, my god, how I miss Aussie beef!

  6. Anthony’s avatar

    All in one for ya – Meat Power!

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