I lived in England for 4 years and I became pretty familiar with the “English Breakfast” also known as a “fry-up”. My roommates taught me quickly that if it’s not done right, don’t do it at all! So they took me out for breakfast, knowing that I had yet to discover what a proper fry-up was all about. Their upturned lips and sly laughs gave it all away – they knew something that I didn’t. It was too late to turn back and I, their hostage, became anxious with what lay ahead of me. And then there it was before me. There was NO way I was going to finish all this, right? Where do I start? I hovered over my plate, strategizing the best way to not embarrass myself.
Do I start with the eggs first? Why are there beans on my plate? Is that a whole tomato?
And then it happened.
That breakfast disappeared before my eyes, lingering on my taste buds and down into my belly. My pants began to feel tighter and I was slightly out of breath, but it was too late to stop now. I was hooked.
This was the ULTIMATE breakfast and I couldn’t get enough.
So now, as I’m back in my home country, my craving for that English breakfast is gnawing at my stomach. Maybe it’s the cold weather that has started to seap into my bones, but no other breakfast was going to satisfy me. The greasy sausage, the perfect runny egg, blistered tomatoes, salty bacon, fried mushrooms and sweet and saucy beans would do the trick.
The back bacon and greasy sausage fills up your stomach, immediately warming up your body. The beans (Heinz obviously – don’t be ashamed!) add the perfect sauce – sweet, tomato-y with a subtle vinegar taste to cut through the salty bacon and sausage. The eggs, with a beautiful runny yolk, are my version of a perfect breakfast, but the people who love theirs scrambled are probably yelling at their computers right now. The grilled mushrooms, slightly caramelized are my weakness along with the blistered tomatoes that burst in your mouth. Sop up the bean sauce and runny yolk with some crusty bread.
And sure, you can use streaky bacon instead of back bacon, or add some potatoes in the mix. But THIS my friends is the British experience. The reason I would walk through the rain to the pub on a Sunday morning and why my stomach has been ruined for all other breakfasts.
Fry it all up, eat like a champ and spend the rest of the day with a massive food hangover. You’re welcome.
- 1 can of beans, Heinz preferably
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 2 slices of back bacon
- 4-5 mushrooms, sliced
- 4 small tomatoes
- 2 eggs
- 1 sausage link
- 1 loaf of crusty bread
- chopped parsley for garnish
- Pour the can of beans into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until it's heated through.
- Place butter in a skillet and heat over medium high until it starts to sizzle, Add the mushrooms, tomatoes and bacon. Cook for approx 10 mins or until bacon is cooked through and mushrooms have caramelized. Don't stir the mushrooms around too much, let them cook on one side for 5 mins then flip them over to cook on the other side to help caramelize them.
- In another pan, cook the sausage. When the sausages are almost done, crack 2 eggs into the pan and cook until desired done-ness.
- While it's all cooking, chop up some parsley and slice the bread. Toast the bread if desired.
- Place the eggs, sausage, bacon, tomatoes, beans and mushrooms on a plate. Sprinkle the parsley over top and serve with the crusty bread.