There’s no better way to start the day than with a Full English Breakfast. Whether you are hungover, planning a day climbing mountains, setting yourself up for an all day session or just a bit of a fat bugger, a decent Full English is as good a meal as you will get.
As I try and politely remind you in all of my blogs, there are always rules to abide by and the Full English is no exception. These are rules, not guidelines, not FYI, not a bit of friendly advice. They are like laws but stricter and have heavier punishments if ignored.
We are discussing a Full English here. I don’t care if you like Bran Flakes to keep you regular. I’m not interested in whether you had a lovely Eggs Benedict in a New York Diner. I couldn’t give a monkey’s chuff that you made a boiled egg and soldiers, took a photo then claimed that the bairns made it for Mother’s Day to get you some Facebook likes. They can be discussed another time, preferably out of my earshot. We are discussing the Full English and only the Full English.
There’s no need to worry, the rules are very simple. Follow them and you will spend the day satisfied, with friends and without the derision and ostracising that would come down upon you should you choose to ignore them.
The key to the perfect Full English can be described very simply as ‘Core Elements’ and ‘Optional Extras’. As as hinted (quite strongly) in the name, core elements have to be there and optional extras are allowed if you fancy them.
We’ll start with the important bit.
There are six core food elements. Sausages, bacon, eggs, black pudding, toast and ‘wet produce’. Don’t worry about the term ‘wet produce’, we will come to that shortly. You will also need a drink of some description and a sauce of choice.
Please note the plural nature of the word sausages. It has to be more than one, if you offer just one you might as well stick it up your hoop. Two is perfect, any more and you’ll be putting a strain on the NHS.
You have a little bit of choice here. You are allowed plain pork, Cumberland (Technically Cumberland may come in a ring so make it the equivalent of two sausages) or Lincolnshire.
I still look back in horror on the Lads’ weekend away when my best friend picked up some chilli sausages, then when reprimanded, picked up some basil and tomato ones. Fancy sausages have their place in society but not on a Full English.
Buy the best quality you can afford, cheap sausages are a false economy and you will regret it later.
Sausages can be grilled, fried or even done in the oven if you are that way inclined.
Again, choose the best quality you can afford, back bacon usually does the job. There are two options here, smoked or unsmoked. I prefer unsmoked, we’re not auditioning for Masterchef here but each to their own.
Bacon is best grilled but hoy it in a frying pan if you must.
Not duck eggs, quail’s eggs, ostrich eggs or any other crazy shit, just plain old eggs that come out of a chicken’s arse. Fresh as you can and Free Range if torturing chickens offends you.
There’s a range of options here, fried, scrambled or even poached. I prefer fried and I’m open to the other two although poached are always a risk. Please don’t ask for ‘sunny side up’ or ‘eggs over easy’ we aren’t Yankee Doodle Dans, this is a Full English, the clue is in the title.
You may wish to argue this point. Don’t bother, you are wrong. Black Pudding is a must on any Full English and if you don’t like the taste of pig’s blood, you need to see a doctor.
Quite simple, whatever bread you like toasted. If you are asked if you would like white or brown, choose one. Don’t say ‘whatever is easiest’, they put it in a bloody toaster, they aren’t painting it.
Not as worrying as it sounds, wet produce is merely tomatoes or beans or both if you prefer. Tomatoes have to be grilled, tinned tomatoes have no place on a Full English, we’re not peasants.
Three options here. Fresh orange, tea or coffee. You are allowed both fresh orange and one of tea or coffee. I prefer black coffee and some traditionalists will insist on milky tea but they are mainly wrong ‘uns because milky tea reminds them of suckling on their mother as a child.
Brown for me, HP as first choice and Daddy’s as a more than adequate substitute.
If you must choose red, go for Heinz but red sauce always has the hint of Reactolite glasses, sweaty palms and hanging about outside of schoolyards.
I’m not going to spend too long on optional extras, just going to split them into two groups. Those that I would choose to have on a Full English and those that I wouldn’t automatically choose but will allow to stop some of you from bleating on.
My choice of Optional Extras
Mushrooms, not for everyone but I’m a fan.
White pudding, not always easy to get hold of but an absolute delight.
Square sausage. Never in place of the core sausage but a decent extra.
Optional Optional Extras
Fried Bread. Bit greasy for me and you already have your toast but it is traditional.
Hash Browns. I’m a bit reluctant to allow this. They are American and have no place on a Full English but American culture is taking over and I can’t be arsed with the protesting fatties outside of my house if I don’t allow them.
Not allowed ever, don’t even think about it
If an ingredient hasn’t been mentioned above then it isn’t welcome on a Full English but for the avoidance of any doubt, here are a few things that are on the banned list and will result in severe penalties if ever spotted on or near to the plate.
Beef sausage, chips, cheese, ‘breakfast gravy’ and ‘breakfast Yorkshire puddings’ (you have been warned Toby Carvery), smoothies, hard boiled eggs, bubble and squeak, beef burgers or, under no circumstances whatsoever, vegetarian substitutes.
As promised, the rules are simple, I hope I have whetted your appetite. Enjoy your breakfast.