Dine like Outback royalty with simple ingredients you can take with you— or pick up anywhere.

It turns out that most of the jobs you wanted when you were a kid have serious drawbacks. To be an astronaut, you have to learn Russian (even NASA uses the Russian Mission Control Center!), train for a decade and ace all your classes. And then you come back to terra firma with wasted muscles, only to be harassed by flat earthers. And that’s not all. Race car driver? Too dangerous. Firefighter? Too smoky. Vet? Too many Chihuahuas. Jobs are hard. Careers are even harder. Unless you’re Cathy Savage and Craig Lewis.

The pair formed legendary Australian bush guide publishing house Boiling Billy in 1996—and it’s been their ticket to living a life under endless Outback skies. They’ve published books on the High Country, some of the nation’s most secluded huts and homesteads, and more 4WD regional guides than you can poke a fleet full of D-MAXs at.

Handy for campers and off-roaders, these no frills recipes are as delicious as they are uncomplicated.

If that wasn’t enviable enough, for their 2015 book Australian Bush Pubs, the pair embarked on a 30,000km Outback pub crawl—bellying up to bars across the Great Southern Land. Every beer, presumably, refreshingly tax deductible. While not indulging in Australia’s best counter meals, however, Savage and Lewis are wizards in the open-sky kitchen. Hardy for campers and off-roaders, their no frills recipes are as delicious as they are uncomplicated. This winter, whether there’s snow on your boots in the Tarkine or you’re cracking out the cold-weather flanno in Far North Queensland, they’ve got you covered. It’s your choice: a sturdy ‘Corner Country’ meat loaf or a hearty lamb and mushroom stew. Get cooking.

‘Corner Country’ Meat Loaf

Cooking time: around 1 hour

Serves 6–8

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 140g tub tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • ½ cup peas
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1½ cups breadcrumbs
  1. Combine all ingredients and place into greased loaf tin. If you don’t have a loaf tin you can shape this into a loaf and wrap well in foil.
  2. Cook in camp oven over medium coals for one hour or until cooked through.
  3. Drain off excess juices before cutting.

Tip—For a change, use different vegetables. Other variations on this basic meat loaf are to line the loaf tin with bacon slice; place a couple of hard-boiled eggs down the centre of the loaf prior to cooking; or cover the cooked meat loaf with mashed potato then brush with melted butter and return to camp oven for a further 15 minutes with coals on the lid and cook until browned.

Lamb & Mushie Stew

Cooking time: around 2 hours

Serves: 4

  • 4–6 large lamb leg chops
  • 440g tin cream of mushroom soup
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 250g button mushrooms, sliced

  1. Trim the lamb chops of any excess fat.
  2. Heat some oil in camp oven and brown chops.
  3. Drain chops on paper towels and then return them to camp oven.
  4. Mix together the soup, stock and wine. Pour over the chops.
  5. Bake in camp oven on medium coals for 90 minutes.
  6. Cook mushrooms in a frying pan in a little oil until brown, then stir through the stew.
  7. Cook for a further 30 minutes or until the meat is tender.

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