Eggs are one of the most versatile foods known to mankind. They lend themselves to preparation by almost any method imaginable, and are valued in almost every climate and culinary tradition. Even the Inuit of the far North harvested the eggs of waterfowl in the springtime. Eggs can be boiled or poached, fried or baked, and frothed into any number of interesting preparations. Yet roasted eggs, perhaps the oldest preparation of all, are seldom seen in America except at a Passover seder.
Hard-boil an egg as you normally would, then place it in your oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until the shell has turned brown. Cool the egg under cold running water, to make it easy to peel.
Pierce eggs with a pin at each end to prevent them exploding, and place them on your hearth approximately 1 ft. from a gentle fire. Roast the eggs for an hour, turning every 10 to 15 minutes to ensure they are evenly cooked. They can be edged closer to the fire once they are too hot to hold, as there is no further risk of them bursting.
Bury the pierced eggs in about 4 in. of ashes, at the edge of a campfire or a foot from the coals in a wood stove that has died down to embers. Roast the eggs overnight in the gentle heat of the ashes, and eat them in the morning for breakfast.
Simulate the effect of a community oven cooling off by slow-roasting eggs at 212 degrees Fahrenheit for five hours. This is a variant of the North African hamine egg, which can also be boiled. The slow cooking caramelizes the egg’s sugars, turning it pale brown and giving it a sweet, nutty flavor.
If you have a kettle-style charcoal barbecue, try roasting the eggs on the dying coals as the barbecue is burning itself out. Distribute them around the coals in several places, and in the morning make note of which locations worked best. Put your eggs there every time, after the initial experiment.
It’s always a good idea to roast more eggs than you intend to eat, in case any of them are overcooked, undercooked or simply burst in the heat.
References and Resources"The Magic of Fire: Hearth Cooking : One Hundred Recipes for the Fireplace or Campfire"; William Rubel; 2002
Recipe Tips: Roasted Eggs
"The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen: Recipes for the Passionate Cook"; Paula Wolfert; 2003
History For Kids; Eggs; Dr. Karen Carr; May 2011
"On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen"; Harold S. McGee; 2004