Cob Oven Cooking

Cob Oven Cooking

Don’t be afraid of cob oven cooking!

Although it may seem daunting, it is actually a very relaxing and easy way of making your dinner. Just remember that the process is slow, so pour yourself a glass of wine and get stuck in.

The first thing to do is light the oven. Use small kindling sticks 2/3 of the way back in the oven. Add smaller logs from your woodpile, and create a stack about 8″ high inside. Then WAIT.

It is important that you wait for the wood to fully burn and stop smoking, this takes approx. 1 hour.

This leaves you time to prep. Here are a few ideas that we have tried….

Wood-fired Rosemary Mussels

  • 1kg Mussels, cleaned
  • 2 Shallots
  • 2 Leeks, bottom white third only
  • 1 Bulb of Garlic
  • 30g Unsalted Butter
  • 80ml Muscadet or good quality white wine
  • 75ml Double Cream
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • Big handful chopped Parsley
  • ½ a Baguette, chopped into rough 2-3 inch pieces
  • 40g Grated Parmesan
  • 2-3 Sprigs Rosemary


Have the wood fired oven at near finish burn point, with a small flame presence and some embers present.

Wrap the garlic bulb in 2 pieces of foil before placing the garlic, leeks and shallots into the embers to char and burn for around 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before peeling and roughly chopping.

In a cast iron pan or casserole (anything with a lid!) place the mussels, wine, butter and chopped veg. Season lightly and cover with the lid.

Pop the pan into the oven, close to the fire for around 4 ½ minutes.

When the time is up on the mussels, remove the lid and add the cream. Pop the lid back on and return to the oven for a final 1-2 minutes.

Finish the mussels with the lemon juice and parsley and check the seasoning of the sauce .

We got the recipe here and tweaked it to suit us

Masala Mackerel

  • Fresh Mackerel (can be whole or butterfly filleted)
  • For the masala:
  • 0.5 tsp coriander seeds
  • 0.5 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 roasted red pepper, jarred is fine or roast one till charred and soft
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion or large long shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree


Have the wood fired oven at near finish burn point, with a small flame presence and some embers present.

For the masala paste, place the seeds into a dry frying pan over a medium heat, heat for a couple of minutes until fragrant then add the remaining masala ingredients, season and blend until it becomes a chopped paste. This may need a splash of water to combine.

If you have whole mackerel slash these on both sides and wipe the masala paste on the outside pushing it into the slashes. If you have butterflied fillets, then wipe a little paste on the inside and on both skin sides. Cover and chill for an hour or longer.


Place the mackerel in a suitable tray and into the oven for 5-6 minutes. You will see that the fish will cook from both the top and the bottom in a reasonably even way. You may need to turn if the mackerel are whole and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

The skin side will take a bit of char and the edges should go crispy all adding to the taste.

Serve in flatbreads with the onions which should be sharp and sweet, some natural yoghurt, chopped corriander and a squeeze of lime.