Re: And for the days when a lighter meal might be considered
how should they be served?
Not within 50 miles of me.
A turf war has broken out among the scribes at Vulture Towers North over the fried delicacies that should and should not be included in the world famous Full English gut buster Breakfast. Based as El Reg is, in deepest hipster central - East London - we've witnessed people starting their day in local coffee shops, consuming …
The best serving of kipper I can remember was some decades back at a mate's wedding.
Before he and the new missus went off in his Cortina, the best man wedged a kipper on the exhaust manifold,apparently the smell lingered for the whole two weeks of the honeymoon.
I wouldn't want to eat one though.
"Well, I must admit I'm disappointed over the lack of support for the finest Craster and Manx produce. All the more for me, I suppose..."
Like you, I also enjoy a kipper now and then, but it has no place whatsoever in a Full English.
(Full disclosure, by kipper, I mean the fishy goodness. The political kippers can also be fun, but only in a "playing with your food" kind of way)
The Scots amongst us will also recognise the importance of:
- haggis - most likely as an alternative to the black pudding - had this in a hotel in Orkney this month, and it was delicious
- a slice of fried fruit pudding - to be honest, I'm not a big fan of fruit with meat (see also some types of curry, and also pineapple on gammon) but it is traditional.
Sherlock because he wore an Inverness cape.
...my ultimate home cooked Full English (usually pre-beer festival for its absorbent qualities!) consists of:
Two sausages, one pork and herb and one pork (local butchers, 85% meat), grilled
Two rashers of smoked back bacon, grilled until they're safe, but not much more (also locally reared and cured)
Two lambs kidneys, butterflied and cleaned, grilled
Two slices of large black pudding, or half a small pudding sliced, grilled
Heinz baked beans
Two grilled tomatoes
Around 250g of closed cup mushrooms, thickly sliced and fried in olive oil
1 large flat mushroom, grilled
Fried egg (over-easy as our Colonial friends put it)
Thick slice of bread, cut from a loaf and neither toasted, buttered nor fried (put on the plate first and with the beans poured over)
Worcestershire sauce on the beans, no other sauces
If I happen to have any left over potatoes in the fridge I'll slice them and fry them with the mushrooms
Icon because of what usually follows starting about two hours afterwards and for the rest of the day!
For me, I would expect the following:
Sausages, bacon, eggs (fried or scrambled), beans, grilled tomato, some buttered toast and a cuppa, the availability of both tomato and brown sauce
Optional extras that I wouldn't say no to, but are not essential:
Black pudding, mushrooms, hash browns, fried bread, orange juice
“They don't go in for the fancy or exotic, but stick to conventional food like flightless bird embryos, minced organs in intestine skins, slices of hog flesh and burnt ground grass seeds dipped in animal fats; or, as it is known in their patois, egg, sausage, bacon and a fried slice of toast.”
― Terry Pratchett, Mort
Tattie Scone is another essential ingredient north of the border, and most of us up here will also prefer square sausage. It's pronounced "squerr", it's never called Lorne and it almost certainly isn't actually square, but such are the ways of things.
As an aside, seeing as hipsters are the cause of this article, a story from the 80s.
The Glasgow Herald (as was, now just The Herald) used to run a column called Tom Shield's Diaries for it's more irreverant stories. Concerned about the gentrification of Glasgow in the yuppie era, they ran a comparison of the working man's breakfast in the 70s vs the 80s.
Bacon, sausage, black pudding, fried egg, tattie scone, all wrapped in a city bakeries roll
Bacon, sausage, black pudding, fried egg, tattie scone, all wrapped in a city bakeries croissant.
Croissants have their place (Parisian railway station cafe) but are not breakfast.
How can you take something that looks,as though a baker had a bit of dough left over and didn't know what to do with it so he rolled it up and threw it in the oven anyway, as a serious part of ' the most important meal of the day' ?
It's chlorine-washed chicken, hormone-stuffed burgers and chemically created cheese slices for me. Served on a bed of E-numbers and additives.
I have been preparing for brexit and a US trade deal for months now. It's not bad once one has gotten used to it. I've lost a lot of weight and one quickly gets used to the diarrhoea.
In no particular order:
Unsmoked bacon (just crispy, not burnt)
Sausages (pref. Cumberland)
Fried Egg (runny yolk)
Beans and hash browns are acceptable but not traditional.
Regional variations such as haggis or potato cakes are also fine.
Does the method of cooking have a significant effect?
Whether I use the frying pan, griddle, or electric grill - I can never reproduce the Sunday morning fry-ups of my childhood. They were cooked on a tin or aluminium plate under a fierce gas grill. The bacon would not only be crisp - but the rind would "pop" to double its volume. Very crisp with a texture like a Crunchie bar.
There would be unsmoked bacon - possibly sausage or black pudding too. A runny yoke egg. Then grated "yellow" or "white" cheese which melted into a colourful pool against the juice of the tinned plum tomatoes. Possibly a spoonful of Heinz beans. No sauce in our house - even though pals ate "The Perishers" style ketchup sandwiches.
If it wasn't Sunday then there was a slice of fried white bread. On Sunday we would go to the Potteries oatcake*** shop round the corner while the breakfast was being cooked. The griddle range was set up in someone's front room and open for a very limited number of hours in the week.
The oatcakes had to be eaten warm as finger food - wrapped round a portion of fry-up with the grease running down your fingers. The trick was to load it just short of the point where the sharp bacon would otherwise rupture the thin oatcake and cause it to start disintegrating.
A sophisticated addition in later years were sliced button mushrooms. My sister won a bet of 1/- from our father for daring to eat those.
***Potteries oatcakes are like a thin pancake or a crêpe - but made with fine oatmeal and yeast.
"Are you frying in vegetable oil? Lard may be your missing ingredient."
Lard? Are you a southerner? Beef dripping all the way! Sadly, very difficult to get proper beef dripping with the pale brown colour these days. It's all filtered and clarified to a pasty white mush with no flavour. Use it and drain it back into a mug and leave in the fridge. After three or four fry-ups it starts get some proper flavour!
Eggs to be fried by default, options include poached or scrambled.
In the case of fried or poached, the yolk is to be soft.
Tomato ketchup, or brown sauce, or mustard. Or several.
I have heard of some establishments where I live, in God's Own Southend-On-Sea, providing a sprinkling of rocket on the fryup. This is an abomination and my Inquisition will be dealing with it.
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