The Dish | Full Irish Breakfast for a crowd

I was recently traveling in the coastal southwest of Ireland and was pleasantly surprised at the variety, complexity, and flavor profile of our meals. While the classics were everywhere – each pub I visited had O’Neill’s soda bread, fish-n-chips, and Guinness pie, I also found the unexpected, like rich local Black Cod, steamed mussels, and cuts of lamb and beef that were perfectly prepared.  We even stumbled upon some local oysters – medium-bodied and exceptionally memorable.   

One meal I did not expect to stand out was the Full Irish Breakfast. This extraordinary combination of meat, eggs, vegetables, and starches energized the start of each day. This is a great weekend breakfast meal for the family or when guests or friends are over. 

  • 1/2 lb thick-cut bacon
  • 1/2 lb pork sausage links
  • 1/2 lb Clonakilty black or white pudding (ask for it from your local butcher)
  • One dozen eggs (local or fresh)
  • Garlic, 3 cloves diced
  • Portabella mushroom caps, one per serving
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes thinly sliced
  • 1 lb fingerling potatoes
  • Thyme, one bunch
  • 1/4 cup Irish Butter
  • One can Baked Beans
  • Potatoes:  Fill a medium saucepan halfway with cold water. Salt the water and add the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil, reduce to medium and cook until the potatoes are soft. (10-12 mins after boiling). Once cooked, strain the potatoes from the water and set them aside for finishing. 
  • Rashers / Bangers / Pudding: Bring a large cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat (before it starts to smoke). Add your rashers (bacon), bangers (sausage), and pudding (sliced) to the same pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes, flipping the meat once. Once cooked, remove the meat, place it on a paper towel, and cover it with a pan lid or foil (to keep it warm). Do not clean this pan, as we will cook our eggs here.  
  • Mushrooms / Tomato / Potatoes:  Once the rashers and bangers are underway, bring a large saucepan to medium heat. (Note: If you are cooking for 2-3, this can be done in one pan, if cooking for more, additional pans might be required).  Melt 1/8 cup of butter and coat the bottom of the pan. Add the diced garlic to one corner of the pan and place the mushroom cap over the garlic. Add the sliced tomatoes in another corner of the pan, and finally, add the cooked fingerling potatoes to the last corner of the pan. Salt and pepper generously, and let cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip the mushroom cap, tomatoes, and potatoes. Reduce to medium-low heat and cover.   
  • Baked Beans: Heat the can of beans over low-medium heat, do not boil.  
  • Eggs:  In the same cast-iron skillet used for the meat, bring it back to medium heat and melt 1/8 cup of butter (this might seem excessive, but its not – trust me!).  Before the butter browns, crack your eggs into the skillet.   A large cast iron skillet should hold 6-8 eggs. Use care when cracking the eggs, not breaking the yokes.  Salt and pepper the eggs generously. Cook until the egg whites are cooked through and the edges are browning.    The yokes should be runny.   
  • Plating:  Once the eggs are done, plate a serving of each meat, vegetable, and two eggs.  Include a small bowl of beans. Garnish the tomatoes with thyme and serve.  

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