Bonfire Jacket Potato with BBQ Beans and Hot Spiced Ale.

I hope you all enjoyed reading the fire blog yesterday and are now ready for a couple of easy recipes to accompany your blaze and to feed your friends and family.

I realise that a lot of you are vegetarians therefore I thought it would be good to provide you with another vegetarian recipe to balance the amount of meat recipes I usually post. I have been vegetarian on and off throughout my life, as my parents were mostly vegan when I was a child.

Firstly we have my easy Bonfire Jacket Potato with BBQ Beans. To accompany this a lovely spiced ale recipe, so you have a nice warm boozy treat to keep out the chill as you stand around your Bonfire.

Bonfire Jacket Potato with BBQ Beans (serves 6) 


500g dried black eyed beans

1 onion, finely diced

1 head of garlic

1 small can chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato purée

1 tsp hickory smoke essence or 4 tbsp smokey BBQ sauce

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 sprig of sage

2 carrots, finely diced

2 sticks celery, finely diced

2 sprigs of rosemary

2 sprigs of thyme

6 medium sized potatoes

6 pieces of tinfoil


Soak your beans in water over night and drain. Bring the beans to boil in fresh cold water, skimming the scum off as you go.

Add the head of garlic, a good pinch of salt and the bicarbonate of soda. Then when the beans are cooked through with a tiny bit of bite, drain and put to one side.

Next fry off your vegetables and herbs with the cocoa. When vegetables are soft add the rest of your ingredients, bring to the boil and reduce by one third.

Finally add your pre-cooked beans and simmer until all the flavours are married and you have a nice thick, shiny pot of beans.

Now for the potatoes. So easy.

For speed, if you have a microwave, start them in there for ten minutes on a medium heat or if not in the oven at 160o c for 1hr.

Then rub the skins with butter and salt, wrap in foil and put at the base of your bonfire, to cook through. The fire will give them a really nice smoky flavour.

Check with a fork or skewer. They are ready when they feel soft all the way through. They should take no longer than twenty minutes in the embers but you can leave them longer if you like a really crispy skin.

Serve your bonfire jackets cut across the centre with plenty of butter, your BBQ beans, a cheese of your choice (I prefer mine without) and some fresh herbs.


The Gypsy Chef’s Bonfire Night Spiced Ale (1 bottle of Ale per person)

This is a really nice winter treat that dates back to medieval times. Spiced wine or cider is popular but people don’t seem to spice their ale much these days. It may seem strange, but I can assure you that it is delicious and certain to warm your cockles.

For this recipe, I like a nice pale ale. Timothy Taylor’s Landlord is perfect!


1 very large Pot

8 bottles of your favourite ale

1 not so big bottle of dark rum

1 small bag of dark brown sugar

1 tbsp of ground cinnamon

1 tbsp of ground ginger

1 tbsp of ground cloves

1 tbsp of ground allspice


Add all ingredients to the pot and heat carefully without boiling. It is important that you pay attention as boiling your mixture will spoil the ale.


Leave a Reply