Chestnuts Roasting on an open fire.

This is less a recipe, more a seasonal trip down memory lane for me. I love roast chestnuts, they bring warm memories of family time together when I was growing up. My dad used to prick the chestnuts with a knife tip and then place them in the middle of a gas hob on low, so they gently crisp up, I remember the smell like warm nutty toast as they heated up and the best bits were where they burnt/caramelised a little on the edges. Then quickly while they were still hot trying to peel the outer shell and inner furry layer off, usually juggling the nut because it was so hot, and the taste, pure essence of winter night.

Now I am a grown man, and have a family of my own, I want them to experience these simple pleasures, I am fortunate enough to have a lovely woodstove that I can cook chestnuts on, one of the first things I treated myself to was a cast iron chestnut roaster, a long handled spoon with holes in that you pop the chestnuts on and then into the embers of a fire. Wait until the outer shell starts to blacken and keep tossing the chestnuts for 6 to 8 minutes until they are cooked through. Peel off the shell and furry layer, juggling if too hot, and pop into your mouth. As I said earlier, pure essence of winter night. And now I am a grown up I can enjoy with a nice glass of autumnal pinot noir, or a toasty port.

12 responses to this post.

  1. You snap a nice picture, Marcus. In point of fact, as I tarry here by the fireside now, rummaging through your archives, I note many a lovely photo. Nice work. And a wonderful post here, paying homage to some of the simpler pleasures.

    Reply

  2. We adore chestnuts too, and roasted them for our kids in our fireplace when they were young. The first time we did this we didn’t know about needing to pierce the shell. Fireworks! Even the simplest things need a little know-how to cook them correctly 🙂

    Reply

  3. Ooh so cosy and festive! Looks lovely – jealous!

    Reply

  4. I don’t think I’ve ever had roasted chestnuts, but I do love the idea of sitting in front of your woodstove roasting them. Perhaps I will have to give it a go x

    p.s. do you have any tricks to taking such nice photos inside in the evening? mine never look as beautiful as yours!

    Reply

    • Hi Charlie, thank you. You should definately try roasted chesnuts and please let me know what you think.
      Have emailed you some ideas, but I think you have some really beautiful photos on your blog.
      Cheers
      Marcus

      Reply

  5. I’m going to have to look into the chestnut roaster. Your photo definitely makes me want to start roasting chestnuts…beautifuly shot.

    Reply

    • Thank you Karen, I think they are quite easy to get hold of, and they make it a doddle to roast on a wood fire.
      Please let me know if you get one and how you get on.
      Cheers
      Marcus

      Reply

  6. what a gorgeous photo.. and a very christmassy post.. lovely.. c

    Reply

    • Thanks cecilia, I am really starting to get into the festive mood now I know i’m going to be at home with my family and not working away. What are your plans for the festive period?
      Cheers
      Marcus

      Reply

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