This is a very traditional Irish Breakfast
First start with Rashers and fry for the best flavor. Buy fat bacon and remove the rind. It helps to put a few slits in the side of the rasher so that it lays flat while cooking. Have a pan quite hot and add a time dash of oil. Cook the rashers until quite crisp before turning. Lay on paper towel once crisp on second side. Reserve fat from bacon. Keep warm.
Sausages should be best quality also. Oil pan with just a few drops of oil. Cook over medium heat turning every few minutes until they are uniformly brown. Drain on paper towel and keep warm.
Mushrooms next, flat ones have most flavor. Keep them whole or slice them. Have your pan very hot, melt a little butter and toss in the sliced mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper cooking throughly, about 2-3 minutes. The most important point here is to have a very hot pan and not to cook too many at the same time. A squeeze of lemon juice will help to keep the mushroom white if that’s what you want. If you cook too many mushrooms together or if you have a cool pan the mushrooms will be soggy and wet.
Tomatoes should be dark red, ripe but firm tomatoes. Slice across in the middle and arrange cut side up on a ovenproof plate. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar and put a tiny blob of butter on each. Bake in a moderate oven at 350 F for 5-10 minutes. Alternatively you could just fry them over a low heat turning once.
Black and White Pudding like the sausages and rasher, choose good quality, preferably in natural castings, not in plastic. Cut into slices and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side in a little butter or bacon fat over a medium heat, or grill. Keep warm.
Fried Eggs, preferably with free-range and organic eggs. Prepared always the way requested or that you love. Let’s say Basted Fried Eggs…Melt quite a large knob of butter or a few tablespoons of bacon fat in a pan, turn the heat to medium, allow the egg to cook for about a minute, then baste with the hot fat or butter. Serve as soon as the yolk has filmed over. These should be prepared last!
Kidneys…yes that is kidneys. Peel off the fat and membrane from the kidneys. Cut in half and remove the centre core. Wash and dry well, dip in a little seasoned flour and cook gently in a frying pan in a little melted butter. You can use toothpicks connect the ends and this helps to keep the kidneys flat in the pan while cooking.
Ulster Fry….In Ulster, people are passionate about Fadge. It can be cooked on a griddle, in a frying pan or in the oven. First cook the potatoes in their jackets, pull off the skins and mash right away. (I remember using leftover mashed potatoes to make these) Add a beaten egg, butter and flour. Season with lots of salt and pepper. Add just a few drops of cream if your mixture is too stiff. Taste and correct season. Shape into squares or row patties. Dip into seasoned flour and fry in bacon fat or butter for about 4-5 minutes on one side or until golden brown and then turn onto the other side. Yummy!!
This in not a breakfast for every morning! Unless, you plan on going to the gym or working very hard on a farm. However, it is good to celebrate as you enjoy this very hearty breakfast. You won’t be feeling hungry mid morning and heading for the vending machines or Starbucks. So when you are in Ireland or feeling a little Irish, just visit your favorite or closest Farmers Market and pick up all of the needed ingredients (Yes all of these ingredients can be found at most farmers markets) and enjoy this Great Irish Breakfast.