The humble potato has been feeding generations over the years.There are a thousand and one ways of transforming the potato into your favorite meal.From fries,mashed potatoes or in hearty stews,the potato has been around over the ages and this is how our ancestors would have done it back in time.
The potato is a staple to many parts of the world,integral to much of the world’s food supply.When I traveled back to the village during the holidays it was bound to end up on the menu one way or the other.
Christmas has never been complete without French fries back at home,growing up as a kid,mum has always made fries cooked outside, using firewood collected from the nearby forest and potatoes you guessed it,straight from our very own farm.
Everything is locally sourced and I usually am the one harvesting the potatoes from the farm.Its a tradition that has kept us going always reminding us of our roots lest we forget where we came from and the foods that have been feeding us over the years.
What I am sharing with you lovely people today is less of a recipe and more of a technique.I also get to share with you some of my childhood memories.The simple pleasures and way of life that’s the village.
This method of roasting potatoes over an open fire was handed down to me via my grandmother over stories by the fireplace,most of the time there would either have been dinner or lunch being prepared.Those were the good old days that shaped me to be the person I am today.I will forever be grateful to her and this post is a dedication of my love to her.
This will always be the best way to enjoy a potato.Be it a sweet potato to green bananas,done this way really brings out all the natural flavors of the potato and you will never have a potato as fluffy as my fire roasted potatoes.
This is be ideal if you are into camping or outdoor barbecuing.Sometimes it’s just nice to take a trip down memory lane and have a feel and taste of how our ancestors lived.
Part of the reason I enjoy going back to the village is the fact that people there are still doing food like it has been done over the ages,using fresh ingredients that are in season.This not only preserves the natural flavors of the meal while maintaining a connection with nature.
It doesn’t require much to bring together this roasted potatoes.All you need is a fire and you guessed it,potatoes!
The fire was already going as I went to the shamba to harvest us some potatoes.The fireplace back in the village kitchen never really goes out,it’s kept on all day long.
I happened to pick up more than enough potatoes from the shamba and while mum and my sisters were busy peeling and slicing them up into fries,I got busy and decided to prepare us something small and fun to eat.
That’s how the idea of these fire roasted potatoes came up.Why not do it just like grandma taught how to.
First things first,the fire was already going so what you do is sort of move the fire alongside all the hot coals to one side.
Proceed to dig a hole big enough and fill it with potatoes you want to roast up.
Cover the potatoes using ash from the fire that was going previously.However my grandma showed me this trick where you cover up the potatoes first using fresh soil that you harvested the potatoes from.
This she said will make them roast slowly almost baking as opposed to ash where they do cook quickly but you run the risk of burning or over cooking your potatoes.
After covering up your potatoes get the fire back up again and let the potatoes get roasting.
There really is no time frame as to how long your potatoes will take to cook.
I had mine cooking about an hour and 30 minutes before digging them out.Mostly the potatoes are taken off the fire once the main meal that’s being prepared using the same fire is done.
Covering them up with soil will ensure they roast slowly and you ran no risk of overcooking these roasted potatoes.
After taking them off the fire you can peel season and enjoy your perfectly roasted potatoes.Salt as a seasoning is more than enough but you know me to always be a little bit extra and I made a quick seasoning for my baked potatoes,this was just to add to the excitement of eating them and bringing out more complex flavors off the potatoes,not like they needed it.
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Chilli powder
- Source for fresh potatoes ideally straight from the farm.
- Move aside the hot coals and ashes from the fireplace making room for the potatoes.
- Dig a hole just big enough to fit the potatoes and cover with fresh soil.
- Move the hot ashes and coals back into the fireplace.Get the fire going and wait for around 1 hour 30 minutes to approximately 2 hours.
- As the potatoes are going,mix together all your seasoning ingredients.
- Take your roasted potatoes off the fire once done.Peel and season before serving.
These potatoes are best enjoyed hot straight from the fire,by the fire over stories and would make for great sides when you are hosting a barbecue.
These potatoes will forever hold a special place in my heart because of the memories they evoke,those of me as a young boy in the village hanging out with grandma either cooking or foraging for food in her little kitchen garden.