Bush War & Army Cuisine for the discerning palate.

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Every soldier knows what these are!

Bush War Cooking and Army Cuisine; Some a bit toungue in the cheek!

This page was promted when some border/army recipies were posted from time to time on the ArmyTalkPub mailing list and the ArmyTalk mailing list. By the way... don't try the ones marked ** at home!

Tarentaal a' la Caprivi
Chicken a' la Samil
7SAI Chicken**
Bundu Bread
Mustard Gas**
Classic Bully
Cobus's Fish Fry
Smoked Snoek a'la Tsitsikama
Classic Ovambo Burger


Robbie's Spit Roasted Stuffed Guineafowl with Butter Basting:
mmmmm My favourite was/is "Tarentaal a la Caprivi", here is the recipe;
Order driver of your section Unimog to drive at full tilt when observing a flock (or is it a swarm?) of guineafowl at roadside. (Ja! koperaal!)
Knock down as many as possible, share with bushmen who were driving the birds in our direction hoping for exactly the same result.
Clean and hang for 2 days in a cool place, under a nice big mopanie will suffice. Use ammo boxes to protect from raiding shrikes! (Jackie Hangman/Butcher Bird/Laksman)
Prepare a spit suitable for around eight birds, build a fire and wait for the coals to be "just right".
Dig up the suppy of butter (buried in plastic to keep it cool, the sand is always cool at a depth of 2 to 3 feet), allocate 500g per bird. This should be done with suitable liquid refreshment at hand... it is hard work! Said refreshment usually had the same burial treatment to keep at an acceptably palatable temperature.
Smear butter liberally inside and outside birds, stuff with potatoes and onions, pierce with spit and place over coals, basting with butter left over from "smearing" op.
Turn birds from time to time with neccesary fluid replacements for the spit attendant (a dash of beer over the birds lends flavour). It's thirsty work!
When tender and golden brown divvy up and enjoy with the rest of the cold stuff to wash it down.
Serves one platoon! Just!


Brent Hudson's Samil baked stuffed chicken:
The recipe is self explanatory, spices/herbs and stuffing according to whatever is on hand;
"We used to stuff a chicken, spice it, wrap it in foil and cook it by wiring it to a samil exhaust manifold... yummy!"


7SAI Portuguese Chicken recipe (aka Bush Microwaved Chicken or Instant Chicken) - SIMON LEWIS **
1 Chicken
1 Tomato
1 Pinch of salt
1 Thunderflash
1 Steel Helmet (Staaldak)
Catch chicken. Place under helmet with thunderflash, tomato. Stand on top of helmet and wait for a big bang. Turn helmet over and add salt.
Serve with brown bread ,peanut butter and syrup. Yup! Yummy!

This cartoon from PARATUS may illustrate the concept of army fast food as well;

Paratus Capers - Paratus Kapperjolle
Thanks to Manuel Ferreira for passing it on from an 1983 edition of PARARTUS.

Mark's Bundu Bread - Mark J. Davies
Does this bring back any memories?
1 - small bag of self raising flour
2 - one can of Beer (Lion is best cos Castle sucks)
3 - one rat pack sachet of salt
4 - pinch of pepper
5 - rat pack can of bully beef or beef and onion, all the rat pack cheezos you can get.
Take the flour and beer and mix well using salt and pepper to taste. Place in the smaller of the two dixies in your mess kit and then cover with the larger one.
Place on the engine block of nearest Caspir/buffel (if in the evening) or in the sun during the day to allow to rise.
While waiting make a small (smokeless!) fire in a hole- if you make it with smoke then the neighbors may want to visit with some 82mm projectiles. Heat stones up (if you can find any in Ovamboland!) - when main fire has died down place - place dixies in hole and cover for one hour (about).
Remove and slice - cover with Rat pack cheese, thinly slice the bully beef and serve. Serves two to four hungry troops.


SADF Ass Hair remover - Angola style, aka "Mustard Gas"- Mark J. Davies **
1- two cans of bully beef
2- one large spoon of English mustard powder (or to taste)
3- One rat pack sachet of salt and pepper
4- One packet of thick dog biscuits
5- One innocent 101 or 201 troop to check seasoning.
6- One fire buckets of water taken from local water hole and strained
through an old tea towel after being treated with water treatment tablet.
7- Good supply of espit tablets.
Open cans and mash into a Dixie adding the mustard powder. Break up rat pack biscuits and steep in the water from the local water hole (extra taste from the cow shit is to your advantage) until mushy in your other dixie. Take all ingredients and mix them together with enough water to keep the mix loose.
Add spices. Mix the mustard powder well with water before adding. Cook over espit tablets using an old rat pack can made into espit holders. Stir well and wait until the water has boiled off.
Serve one small spoon to innocent 101 or 201 troop watching his reaction carefully. If he runs towards the above mentioned water hole howling then you have added the correct amount of English mustard powder.
Nick your mates spade, grab some white gold and serve. Wait about 45 mintues.


Classic Bully
Some classic bullybeef recipes as recollected.
John Carpenter
Now that is what I call luvverly grub, funny how the multitude of uses and ways of cooking bully stays with us, one of my favourites is beef, mash, pepper, salt, egg and flour made into a cake and fried or eaten with bread and a hot sweet tea or between two slices of fresh buttered bread, needless to say I do not eat it that often.
Robbie Crouch
Mmmm can of bully, one onion, 3 tomatoes, 2 eggs and some maggi instant mash and a liberal dose of black pepper and a bit of salt. Start up in above order in a dixie over a fire/esbit/gaz stove and you have a slap up meal for 2. Wash down with a cold one you buried 2 feet in the sand overnight to chill Gotta go get me some tonight!
Eugene L Griesel
Bully has become a rather expensive treat these days. I like it fried with onions, potatoes and either baked beans or tomatoes. Another way is sliced, dipped in batter and fried.


Cobus's Fish Fry - Cobus Venter
Have to agree, eaten straight from the tin (he is talking about tinned potatoes, ed.), I had some okes with me that hated these like this, but quickly taught them a way to prepare them, so much that they became a sought after item, I used to collect that hard yellow fat one found in tins of cold bully beef from everybody, fried in this tinned spuds was a feast fit for a king. If you were lucky enough to be near a river, fishing with a hand line with a piece of offal from the Angolan cows we used to shoot for "spying" on us during Savannah, would normally net you a Baarber (barbel or catfish, ed.) or two, Fish fry ! At worst all you would catch was crabs, their pincers boiled or cooked in the coals were quite tasty.


Smoked snoek.... errrrr... Snake a'la Tsitsikama
Take one hungry 1SAI infantry section on coastal survival course, cross their path with with one unfortunate fat puffadder. Take a huge stick, bash snake until it's head is pulp, decapitate, gut and skin.
Rub snake flesh with salt collected from seaside rocks and spit over a fire seasoned with green wood for the smoke effect. Cut into bite size bits and savour the teeny bit of meat on all the ribs. (Snakes may look fat but they have a lot of innards, once gutted there is not much meat left.) Promptly set of in a fruitless search for more of aforementioned reptiles. (By this time all snakes have got the message and gone into hiding big time!)


Classic Ovambo Burgers - Collin Badenhorst, Thanks Collin
1. Eat contents of your ratpack porridge packet in the standard way. Do NOT wash out the packet afterwards. The cinnamon & apple porridge was the best to use as it added an interesting flavour.
2. Place a thick slice of bully beef topped with squeezy-cheese between two thick dog biscuits, and insert into packet. A nice spicy variation on this is adding some chile con carne to the bully beef.
3. Add about a quarter inch of water into the packet, and then seal tightly by folding the open end of the packet several times.
4. Place packet over gentle S-bit fire, turning it over a few times until packet expands and steam starts escaping.
5. Open packet and eat with pikstel spoon, adding salt and pepper to taste.
What is original about this is that all the ingredients come from the standard ratpack - no added preservatives!


Hor'douworm - Anecdote from Cobus Venter
"Toredo worms taste somewhat like an insipid oyster raw,but a firebucket or two full of them fried with some tobasco sauce and plenty of salt, they're not too bad."

Now comes the real recipe as dished up to him and his troops, that is if one may call it a recipe:

"During one manoeuvre we were fed a mixed fish, tomatoe and potato stew by some campers of Regiment Piet Retief after it had ended,it really was excellent, loads of onions, tomatoes and spuds, freshly baked there was no problem with seconds, thirds or fourths, I myself had 3 helpings, as we walked away from the donkeys after washing our dixies, we passed the rubbish pit, guess what we saw, a moerofa lot of empty yellow cartons with a picture of 2 black kittens on it, below the picture the legend,
http://www.ij.co.za/ The best for your cat, 100% Hake.
There were some okies who were somewhat narked, but the most of us could really not be bothered, after being chased around Northern Zululand by Campers who have been tipped off where your RV's are for 3 weeks, and living on whatever flew and moved along the earth except trains cars and aeroplanes, eating catfood that had been really well prepared seemed to be a somewhat minor irritation."



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