Have you ever tried a “Full Irish” Breakfast?
The “Full Irish” Breakfast is an iconic part of the culture of Ireland. It is known for being a warm, hearty, and filling meal, perfect for preparing an Irish farmer for a full day of working in the fields on a cold winter morning. However, this meal is fit to be enjoyed by anyone, as it is also a perfect start to the day for tourists heading out for a day full of exploration.
What is a “Full Irish” Breakfast?
While exact recipes and preparation may vary between Irish homes, the main ingredients remain the same. This breakfast includes meats, eggs, beans, vegetables, potatoes, and hearty Irish soda bread, all served with a delightful Irish breakfast tea.
How is it prepared?
You can absolutely make this at home! Below we will walk you step-by-step through the process of making the perfect “Full Irish” by explaining the ingredients and how they are traditionally prepared.
Meats: Rashers, Bangers, and White & Black Pudding
You probably are wondering what to write down on your grocery list for these. Let’s explain the basics of these traditional Irish ingredients.
Rashers: Rashers are a thick, round pork product. This meat most closely resembles traditional Canadian bacon, however, rashers contain a higher fat content. In contrast to American bacon, cut from pork belly, rashers are cut from the pork back meat.
Bangers: Bangers are traditional Irish sausages. They are larger than American sausages and contain a mixture of pork, beef, and rusk, which is a bread product.
Black & White Pudding: Black pudding is soft and sausage-like. The main ingredient that makes the pudding famous is the blood of pigs and cattle, causing the black coloration. The blood is mixed with pork, beef, fat, oatmeal, bread, potato, or barley fillers. White pudding contains much of the same fillers, the difference being that there is no blood. These puddings are in integral part of the “Full Irish”.
Irish beans are a simple ingredient available in most grocery stores. They have many of the same attributes as American baked beans, except that they contain less sugar. While you could make your own at home, it is absolutely acceptable to store buy them in the can and just reheat before serving. If you do plan to make them at home, we recommend making them the day before, as they take time to prepare.
The potatoes are optional, usually added in by Irish traditionalists. The potato potion can be prepared a few different ways. These recipes include “potato farl” (a potato bread), “potato boxty” (potato pancakes), or left-over boiled white potatoes.
The traditional veggies served with a “Full Irish” are tomatoes and mushrooms. These are usually added to the pan for a quick sauté before serving.
Irish Brown Soda Bread
The traditional bread served with the “Full Irish” is an earthy, whole wheat bread, leavened with baking soda. A good, freshly baked version may be difficult to find in the grocery store, however it is fast to throw together and doesn’t take long to bake!
Last, but not least, the “Full Irish” also comes with eggs! The eggs are usually served sunny-side up, as the yolk will ooze out, coating the other ingredients. However, the eggs can also be scrambled.
So, how do we put this all together?
- Start by heating the skillet with some fresh Irish butter. Add in the rashers, bangers, and sliced puddings. Cook until golden brown and cooked through. The skin of the bangers will burst when finished, giving them their iconic name.
- While the meats are browning in the pan, heat up the Irish beans in a saucepan or the microwave, whether they are from the can or pre-cooked.
- Once the meat is done, remove from the pan and place into a oven safe dish. Place this in a warm oven to keep at temperature for serving.
- If you plan to have potatoes, add them into the pan with the bacon fat and fry until golden brown. When they are close to done, add in the tomatoes and mushrooms.
- Once these are finished, remove from the pan. Add in more butter and cook the eggs to your liking.
Now it’s time to plate! Traditionally, this breakfast is all served on one plate. Add on the meats, eggs, beans, potatoes, and veggies. Serve with warm brown bread, butter, jam, and Irish Breakfast tea.
What a fun idea for a Saint Patty’s Day weekend breakfast!
Do you think you’ll try this recipe? Let us know what you think!