Full English Breakfast

2016-04-16 09.39.58.jpgRECIPE #227, DAY #295


ORIGINAL RECIPE: From Leon 2, but it’s really an old standard*

TIMING: 20 minutes, if you can really move in the kitchen


TOOLS: A baking sheet (/jelly roll pan), a small sauce pan, and a toaster (oven)

COOK TYPE: Oven (broiling), toaster, and stovetop (poaching)

HEALTH: If you’ve had it as up-to-here as I have when it comes to sickly sweet and processed breakfasts, then this will seem like protein heaven. If you had this every day, we’d have to have a real discussion about cholesterol, fats, and white grains. But for a weekend morning when you’ll be headed outside for a hike or some yard work, this will really hit the spot.

Plus, I absolutely get happy when breakfast includes veggies.

2016-04-16 09.39.51EXPERIENCE: I would love to make a farm breakfast for my family, even multiple times a week. Maybe every day. But I also love to sleep, so our mornings are a very fast trajectory from the bed to carpool. I usually end up relying on smoothies and oatmeal, as well as cereal. (I don’t condone it. It’s just true.)

I was happy to find a simplified recipe for Full English Breakfast in a cookbook from the library, which relied heavily on a short trip under the broiler and which included multiple proteins, vegetables, and absolutely no added sugar. In around 20 minutes, I could have a farm breakfast on the table.

Which is especially amazing, because as much as Breakfast-for-Dinner and Tacos are staples around here, I dread them both for their multi-layered preparation. Especially Breakfast. It’s hard to single-highhandedly manage all the components, get them all on the table hot and correct, and not completely trash the kitchen. I never manage it, at least not gracefully.

This is the solution: the pan under the broiler. It reminded me tremendously of breakfasts we had in Germany or elsewhere on the continent. And with the addition of a can of sweet-tangy baked beans and a pot of hot tea, it could totally be guest food, as well.

NOTES: A true Full English–also called Fry-Up–would included baked beans, tart with vinegar and sweet with sugar (cold is fine). Also, you would fry your bread, not toast it, and fry your egg, not poach it. And you may optionally include blood sausage, kippers (a type or fish), fried lamb kidneys, and/or just about any type of potato (like mash or roasted and fried). Condiments would include ketchup, HP sauce, and possibly Marmite or marmalade.

Serve with a pot of properly brewed, hot tea.

And you could easily substitute some button mushrooms for the portobellos.


  1. Preheat your broiler to high and make sure your top rack is close by.
  2. On a baking sheet, make neat rows of 4 sausages, 4-8 slices bacon, 2 large portobello caps (gills up), and 2 halved tomatoes (seeds up). Drizzle the tomatoes and mushrooms with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set under the broiler and check, frequently, turning the sausages over once. (Remove anything which finishes too fast to a platter.)
  3. Meanwhile, toast 4 slices bread. Butter and remove to serving plates.
  4. Meanwhile, bring water to a gentle simmer. Crack 4 eggs into a small cup, 1 at a time. Gently slip the egg into the poaching water and cook egg until desired done-ness. (They should really have set whites and a runny yolk, but some people prefer a yolk cooked to various degrees.) Remove to serving plates.
  5. Add a sausage, bacon, tomato, and 1/2 mushroom to each plate. Serve right away.


Serve with hot tea and ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Also, beans and potatoes would be most welcome.

*Recipe has been changed from the original.


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