If you want an authentic Australian stockman’s tradition, then enjoying Billy Tea and damper with beef stew is the way to go.
When we visited Herberton’s Historical Village, it was set up so visitors could experience a stockman’s tucker cooked over an open camp fire. The campfire cook was chopping firewood, boiling water with tea leaves in billy cans, pulling a fresh damper (like bread) from the camp oven. Then he was re-stoking the coals ready to cook another damper.
The smell of the wood fire wafted through the wooden hut, as we stood at the timber servery. The stockman’s wife dished out a good helping of beef stew into our bowls. We felt as if we were drovers, returning to camp, after mustering and riding all day.
After our feed, we enjoyed a Cocky’s Joy (golden syrup) on damper with a pannikin of billy tea. Pannikin is a tin mug that bushmen carry with them for a hot cup of tea.
They made damper as we watched. Then the camp cook ‘threw’ the damper into the camp oven. Hot coals were placed underneath and on top of the lid. The damper was ready after about 45 minutes. If you’re after an authentic Australian bushman’s tradition, the Herberton Historical Village is awesome.