There is an old motto that says “Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper” meaning it is wise to start the day with a large cooked breakfast. Such a motto could very much be applied to the traditional full Irish Breakfast. It is a meal that will fill you up and enable you to have the energy to make the most of a full days travel around the countryside whilst on a vacation in Ireland.
A large cooked breakfast of meat (bacon, sausages and black and white puddings), eggs, vegetables and potato all fried in creamery butter, it is served with a generous helping of homemade Irish soda or brown bread for soakage and washed down with a strong cup of breakfast tea such as Barry or Lyons tea (depending where you are) and a glass of orange juice.
It is a meal that was traditionally concocted to prepare one for a full days heavy duty work on the farm on a cold winter morning and was comprised of the best local and homemade farm produce all cooked in butter in a frying pan.
While today it is not possible to be eaten on most work mornings, the traditional full Irish serves as a staple treat for most households to indulge in on a lazy Sunday morning whilst reading the Sunday papers. And it is not just confined to mornings, it is a meal that can be eaten at any hour of the day depending on your liking.
While opinion may be divided on what constitutes an Irish breakfast from household to household the main ingredients remain the same, with the very best of Irish local ingredients comprising of meats such as good loin bacon or rashers, best of local sausages, black and white puddings (which are a type of sausage made up of pork meat, oats and spices and pork blood (in the black pudding)) eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and cold cooked potato or potato bread (optional) all being used. These ingredients are then fried in a little knob of Irish butter in a frying pan and served with a helping of homemade bread, butter and jam at the side and finished off with a cup of tea or orange juice.
For visitors enjoying a trip to Ireland, a stay wouldn’t be complete without first sampling the Irish breakfast whether it be the full version or a mini half portion.
For the adventurous types who wish to sample the local produce here is a simple recipe for the traditional Irish fry-up
Pack of Irish bacon or rashers
Pack of Irish local Sausages
Black and white Pudding
400g of baked Beans
4 medium Tomatoes halved
Potato Farl or boxty or some cold cooked potato leftovers from yesterdays dinner (traditionalists only)
Served with a side of
Thick slices of soda or traditional Irish brown bread.
Irish creamery butter
Place a frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat and melt a knob of good Irish creamery butter. Add the rashers and fry them until they are cooked to your liking (irish style cooked but not crispy). Set aside on a warmed plate in the oven to keep warm and fry the sausages in the frying pan. Once cooked add them to the rashers on the warmed plate.
Meanwhile slice the puddings, half the tomatoes and chop up the mushrooms and add to the frying pan, frying until they are browned on all sides. Again, once finished add to a warmed plate in the oven.
While you are frying the puddings, mushrooms and tomatoes, on a separate saucepan on another hob you can heat the baked beans if using.
If going the traditional route and using potato bread or indeed using cold cooked potatoes add it to the frying pan and cook as to your preference.
After finishing with the vegetables and puddings one can next fry the eggs in the same frying pan. Once finished with the eggs, one can now add all the cooked ingredients together and serve on 4 plates.
Serve with some thick slices of homemade Irish bread loaf be it soda or brown bread. For an extra touch have a little side dish of homemade jam and Irish creamery butter for a choice of a sweet topping to the bread to eat afterwards with your tea.
Wash down with a strong cup of Breakfast tea be it Barrys or Lyons tea depending on your local ties. A healthy side glass of orange juice is optional.