This week, I wanted to do something completely different and completely underestimated just how many ingredients I was missing for my chosen breakfast, so instead I turned to another comfort food of mine – the humble Irish Fry.
In the Republic of Ireland you have a “Full Irish Breakfast” which consists of the the following:
A fried egg, a sausage, bacon*, white or black pudding**, a fried tomato and toast. Optional extras are mushrooms and beans, as well as orange juice, tea (or coffee) and brown bread.
At a Hotel or B&B it typically looks something like this:
(*please note, that in Canada and the US “bacon” is most commonly expected to be pork belly strips and are usually cooked to be extra crispy, in Ireland and the UK “bacon” commonly refers to strips of back bacon and is thus wider and usually cooked to be more “cooked” rather than crispy. If you like your bacon crispy and you’re on vacation here, make sure to express that very clearly.)
(**white & black pudding definition for you here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_pudding )
Now, in the ancient province of Ulster (Northern Ireland including the Counties of Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan) breakfast looks almost the same, with exception of a few differences:
There are usually 2 of everything (2 eggs, 2 sausages, 2 bacon strips, 2 tomato halves, black & white pudding) and the optional mushrooms and beans are considered part of the staple. Add to this farls (or slices) or soda bread, potato bread and toast, together with coffee or tea and you have a classic (massive) “Ulster Fry”, which usually means you can skip lunch.
At a hotel or B&B it would look something like this:
Every once in a while, this monstrous breakfast is lovely even outside of holiday days, such as on a rainy Sunday in Belfast. Regrettably I did not have any white or black pudding handy and my local store didn’t stock any either (which is a shame, since I am rather fond of black pudding)… so I had to make due without. But without any further ado, here is my own version of these two classics… The Ireland Fry. hahaha
You will need:
– Two frying pans (one small, one larger)
– A small saucepan (or a microwave proof dish)
– a spatula (or fish slice, which ever you prefer to call the flippy thing)
– a spoon or spatula
– a good knife and a cutting board
– Potato Bread (recipe for homemade here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/irish-potato-farls/ )
– mushrooms (fresh or canned)
– Baked Beans (can it be anything but Heinz?)
– Butter (Kerrygold, I don’t know why, it’s just my favourite.)
The amounts you use completely depend on how many people you’re cooking for, since my hubby was at work this Sunday, I made this just for myself.
Slice up your tomatoes and mushrooms, and decide last minute to add some mixed garden herbs and garlic.
Fry in the small pan with a dollop of butter on low heat.
Next, get your bacon and your sausages into the larger pan and fry on medium heat. (You can cook them separately if you wish, I just wasn’t patient enough…)
All the while have your beans waiting in their little saucepan or microwavable dish. These are literally the last things you want to heat up though, because that is all you’re doing, very quickly heating them up. So have this ready but don’t start them just yet.
Once the bacon and sausages are done, move them to a warm plate (pre warming the plate is optional) and immediately melt more butter in the pan. Add the farls and watch them turn golden brown, flipping occasionally.
Once you’re mushrooms and tomatoes are done, add them to the warm plate and then fry your egg (I only wanted one) in a little bit of fresh butter in the little pan. (At this point you also want to start heating your beans.)
Sunny side up, over easy or well done, it doesn’t matter, it’s up to you!
Finally, serve it all onto your plate and enjoy the savoury goodness that is a breakfast that will keep you going until dinner. Perfect to get you revved up for a full day of strenuous work, but also for a lazy day when you only want to the cook once… of course it’s also ideal as a start to a day of fun and distant sightseeing, when you might not come across food for several hours.
Delicious!!! [It’s the most amazing hangover food by the way, or so I am told anyway… 😉 ]
Child friendly version (ages 3 – 7):
– Scrambled eggs instead of fried (less mess)
– skip the tomatoes and mushrooms (if your child’s a fussy eater)
– cut the sausage up into bite sized pieces (ages 3 – 4 ?)
– to avoid bacon choking (I’ve done that as a child) cut the bacon into tiny pieces and fry into the scrambled egg
– pick one of the breads, not all three, to avoid over eating
– beans are best served in a separate little bowl
Have any of you every tried a classic “Full Irish” or “Ulster Fry” before? Do you have a preference? If you make this at home, just remember, it’s a dish best shared. 😀 Enjoy!
Let me know what you think in the comments and as always, take care and thanks for reading!! xoxox