Dinner in a Bag!

I’ve always been pretty fond of the cook-in-the-bag concept out in the bush. Besides doing away with the washing up, it’s another reason not to take a plate/bowl with you, reducing the bulk and weight in your backpack.

Our fabulous Kiwi cousins at Backcountry pretty much have this concept sewn up with their tasty freeze dried meals (I totally rate the Roast Lamb and Beef Curry!). In fact, I pretty much reckon that their meals are the bench mark when it comes to tasty meals in the wilderness.

The other day, I made the decision to head out bush at the last minute and not only had my own stash of dehydrated meals run out, but I didn’t have time to get to a camping store to grab a Backcountry. Sniffing around the supermarket I thought I’d experiment with something that wasn’t promoted as cook-in-bag, but as it was in a foil lined sachet, I thought I’d give it a red hot go!

Not designed for cook-in-bag

Not designed for cook-in-bag (and the wine bladder has water in it… honest!)

Voila! Ainsley Harriott’s Roasted Vegetable Cous Cous, cooked in it’s own sachet!

I knew that the ‘roasted vegetable’ component of the product would be pretty light on, probably needing a magnifying glass to find the vegies, so I took a ziploc bag with some dried vegies (dried peas and dried shallots) from the supermarket and two types of dried mushrooms from the Asian supermarket, added herbs & chilli powder and some good ol’ Biltong, which I threw in before adding the water.

Then, just like a Backcountry, I simply added boiling water, folded over the top and sat upright for about 10 mins, waiting for it all to get hot, gooey and tasty – then ate it right out of the bag. Easy!


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  1. says

    I love the Backcountry meals too. Especially the chicken tikka masala and the strawberry sunday (not together of course). The only one that I don’t like is the curried beef – it’s too salty for my palate.

    I’m going on a 2 week hike in July and will be largely relying on Back Country meals to get me through. Though I am going to check out a couple of new brands I’ve seen at my local MDs. Who knows, they might also be tasty.

  2. Ken says

    In the BackCountry the Spaghetti Bolognaise is nice. A few of the chicken are good, but I dislike the Honey Soy Chicken.

    Chefsway, available at Paddy Pallin have some nice ones, except only available in double size, and possibly designed to cook in a billy.

  3. says

    I don’t usually eat dehydrated meals, too much salt- but I certainly take advantage of the wonderful prepackaged food– ones that you can eat out of the bag at the grocery store! :) Great post!

  4. says

    Ah – I have been SO INSPIRED by you, Cora, to do DIY dried meals – and glad you made Ainsley work for you! I have a bit of time on my sleeve before heading for the Brindabella’s this weekend with the family. I have been researching dehydrators… but just cannot get myself to buy another electrical gadget for the time being. So I have made a ‘dry mince bolognaise’ (beef mince, pork sausages, dried herbs, only one tin of tomato, chicken stock, grated carrot and zucchini, tomato paste, dried herbs, OUR OWN honey and a drop of vinegar) and it is now in the OVEN on blow dry/ fan forced on 100 degrees Celsius for the evening… may have to extend the time tomorrow during the day. Will let you know how it turned out!

    • says

      Sounds delish! Let me know how it went. It would have been very chilly (but beautiful) in the Brindabella’s this weekend – I was down at Kosciuszko (on the search for the missing bushwalker) and the wind was certainly bracing!

  5. Jon Moake says

    BCC meals that are good include:

    Roast Lamb and Mash/ Spag Bolognaise/ Chicken a la King/ Creamy Carbonara (add some salami to it)/ Chicken Tikka Masala/ Muesili and yogurt.

    If you are interested in making your own DIY meals find a copy of this book:

    Freezer Bag Cooking: Trail Food Made Simple: by Sarah Svien Kirkconnell
    http://www.amazon.com/Freezer-Bag-Cooking-Trail-Simple/dp/1411660315 this is an awesome book about making your own eat from the bag hiking meals.

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