You Need To Try This is a running archive of all the awesome drinks and delicious dishes we’ve come across over the course of our professional and private lives.
I took some Moroccan meatballs, braised short ribs and miso/parsnip risotto from Chambar on a solo camping trip up the Nahatlatch River this past weekend. The packages were from the Belgian-Moroccan restaurant’s new Into the Wild line of prepared foods, so all I needed to do was heat and eat. The short ribs were from one of my favourite Chambar dishes, the satisfying fricassee that comes loaded with apple sticks, smoke cheddar, fried egg and cipollini onions, so I tucked into that first (with its included potatoes and onions) in a single pot. I didn’t bring any apples or appropriate cheese on the trip (rather bananas and Boursin) and was too hungry to bother about the egg, so I just attacked the simple results without fuss, forking the meat into shreds as it cooled. It was, of course, exceedingly good, but very different from the restaurant experience. That’s kind of the point. I was out in the bush off a bumpy Forest Service Road, sitting by a wood fire — just me, my patient pup, a river-chilled beer and a pot full of rib-sticking deliciousness.
The next evening – after a desultory salad of my own making – it was the turn of the meatballs and the risotto pictured at top (the former warmed in a pot and the latter reanimated with melted butter and olive oil in a pan, the contents apportioned and served in cast iron). At the restaurant, the risotto is finished with pine nuts, peas, sea asparagus, and a black trumpet mushroom tapenade, but this would do. If I were to do this again (full disclosure: I will do this again) I would definitely bring up a little parmesan cheese and peas. In the end it was way too much food for just one person, so I returned the extra meatballs and sauce to the zippable bag from whence it came and returned it to my camp cooler, which had – side bonus – been well chilled by the frozen items in the first place.
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I usually eat very simply when I camp. Weight, space and simplicity of prep are my primary considerations, making the little bags – pictured in the Instagram slideshow above – ideal anchors for camp meals. I’d probably give a little more forethought to accompaniments and garnishes if I was out with others, but that’s for next time when I bring with me some of the restaurant’s Lamb Tagine and a bottle of something sensible. If you’re interested in giving the “Into the Wild” stuff a try they are available for pick-up at the restaurant, via delivery services like FromTo, Spud and Legends Haul, and at Stong’s Markets.