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Full English Breakfast

Introduction & method

The full English breakfast is really just a collection of components, and some would say they don't really belong on a plate together. But the whole is more than the sum of the parts, and it really works.

Full English Breakfast Recipe

The contents of a full English may vary, and the Scots, Irish and Welsh have their own variations that I won't go into here. But I would say that the basic full English needs to contain the following: bacon, sausage, fried egg, baked beans or tomato. 

Because there are so many components to cook, it's important to be organised so that everything arrives on the plate at the same time and hot. So you'll need to put your oven on low to keep the meaty elements warm.

Prep the Mushrooms

Wash any dirt off and cut into quarters.

Cook the Sausages

Heat a little oil (or duck fat, goose fat, pork or beef dripping if you have any) in a large frying pan on medium heat. Prick the sausages with a fork and pop them in a pan. Turn them every few minutes so that the skin is evenly browned. They will take about 10 minutes to cook through - after this time, put them onto a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil and pop it in the oven.

Cook the Hash Browns

If you are using frozen hash browns, follow the instructions on the box. You do want to fry them, though, so they soak up some of the tasty bacon and sausage fat. Put them in the warming oven when they are nicely golden and crispy on the outsides.

Cook the Mushrooms

Melt a knob of butter in a small saucepan. Add the mushrooms and a sprinkling of parsley, and stir to get them all coated in butter. Pop a lid on the pan and stir every few minutes to make sure they're not sticking. 

Cook the Black Pudding

If your black pudding is not pre-sliced, cut it into slices about 1 centimetre (just under half an inch) thick. Add the slices to the frying pan and turn them after about 3 minutes. When you have a nice crust on each side, put them in the warming oven.

Cook the Tomato

If you are using tomatoes, halve or quarter them, depending on their size, and put them in the pan. You'll need to turn them occasionally so the cut edges get browned a bit, and also try to get some browning on the curved side.

Cook the Bacon

Add the bacon to the pan and turn it every couple of minutes until you achieve the level of crispness you like.

Heat the Beans

Pour the beans into a small pan and heat gently until they are simmering. Alternatively, you can whack them in the microwave for a couple of minutes.

Make the Toast

You need to use thickly sliced rubbish white bread. Pop it into the toaster and then slather it with butter.

Fry the Eggs

This is the final job before plating up. I generally only do this breakfast for 2 people, so I do one egg after the other. Melt a knob of butter into a small frying pan on medium heat. Break the egg into the pan and wiggle it a little to get the yolk centered. Fry for 2-3 minutes until all the white has set, especially the bits around the yolk. I don't touch the eggs at all while they are cooking. (TIP: if you find that you break the yolks, it's sometimes easier to crack egg into a small bowl first, and then slide it into the pan).

Assemble your Full English Breakfast

Mankind has yet to discover a pleasing way to present all this stuff, but I generally start with the egg in the centre, sausage, bacon and black pudding on one side, mushrooms, hash browns, beans/tomato on the other.

Serve with buttered toast, a dollop of brown sauce (such as HP or Daddies) or a dollop of tomato ketchup. And a steaming mug of hot sweet tea.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Full English Breakfast on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

  bacon, smoked or not, streaky or back  pork sausages  black pudding  mushrooms  fried egg  baked beans  and / or tomato  toasted white sliced bread

US Customary/Imperial

Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 20 minutes.
Total time: 30 minutes.