Friday, November 1, 2013

Full Irish Breakfast

When we had our family visitor, we couldn't resist showing her something traditionally Irish.  "What would be a stereotypical fit?"  We asked.  The classic Full Irish Breakfast would be perfect.  Just so we are all clear, Sara and I have not had one of these prepared for us, nor do we know for sure if these are really regularly served in Irish households.  We wanted to give it a try for ourselves, anyway.

Two plates of Full Irish Breakfast with coffee
That's a lot of meat!

To start, we had to figure out what makes a Full Irish Breakfast.  Internet recipes included lots of different ingredients, so we had to choose which we would use.  Most of them agreed on a certain combination of ingredients, so we averaged them out to get the following list- Rashers (like bacon), sausage, white pudding (many had black pudding, also, but we left it out), fried egg, fried tomato, fried potatoes, fried mushrooms, fried onions, baked beans, cheese, and soda bread.  What a meal!  We had never cooked rashers or pudding before, so these would be new to us.  While we are on pudding, let me explain- pudding is not like the Jell-O pudding of America, this is a meat-bread mixture seasoned and packed into a tube shape much like sausage.  White pudding includes meat and organs, black pudding adds blood to give it a dark color and different flavor.  We left out the black pudding for this recipe.

Closeup of Full Irish Breakfast featuring three meats, beans, vegetables, eggs, toast, and cheese
Ready for my closeup!

Making the recipe turned out to be a multi-step process taking more than an hour.  Our limited cooking utensils led to some creative cooking on my part.  I started by cooking the rashers (bacon) on our skillet.  The bacon then went on a plate into the warm oven to keep it hot for serving almost an hour later.  Then went in the sausage for frying in the bacon fat.  Sausage in the oven and pudding in the pan for browning.  With all the meat finished, it was on to the vegetables.  I cheated a bit with the potatoes and nuked them in the microwave to give them a head start on cooking.  The potatoes, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes were fried quickly and went into the oven, piling up the plates.  The sunny-side-up eggs went into the pan last while I cut the bread, heated up the baked beans, and shredded the cheese.

All the effort was worth it.  Wow!  What a meal.  It was tasty and fun to make.  I think we will reserve it only when we have visiting company, because the long cooking makes this dish a true social and culinary occasion.

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