A Full English is a traditional cooked breakfast in the UK, it is also the ultimate breakfast when you have a hangover. I don’t have many hangovers these days but I do love to have a cooked breakfast / brunch at weekends.
It can feel a little decadent eating such a big breakfast but it really does set you up for the day. If you are going out for breakfast you will usually find a Full English on the menu and its a must for me when having breakfast at a B&B or hotel.
What to include in your Full English?
The best thing about a Full English is that you can tailor it to your taste. There are so many different ingredients you can include:
- Eggs – fried, scrambled or poached
- Sausages – traditional, veggie, chipolatas
- Baked beans
- Toast or Fried Bread
- Hash browns
- Black Pudding
- Potato cakes
Select the items that you like best to make your own perfect cooked breakfast. You can easily increase or decrease quantities depending on how many people you are feeding and how hungry they are likely to be.
A vegetarian Full English is easy to do by replacing the bacon and sausage for vegetarian sausages or plant based alternatives.
I think it is important to include some vegetables on the plate to help with digestion and tomatoes and mushrooms are my preferred options. Some have tinned plum tomatoes or halved fresh tomatoes. I prefer to have some vine ripened cherry tomatoes that I cook under the grill.
As for mushrooms, large Portabello mushrooms are a nice choice if you want one or two large ones. I also like to use chestnut or button mushrooms.
Eggs are a vital ingredient for a Full English. If I am cooking for a small number of people I will usually go for a fried or poached egg. However If there are several people eating I find it easier to do a batch of scrambled egg.
Cooking a Full English
A Full English breakfast is easy to cook but the hard bit is getting the timing right so everything is ready to serve at the same time. With a little organisation you will be fine but it does mean you have lots going on at once towards the end of the cook.
The order you cook the items in is important, start with items that will take the longest to cook like sausages, then bacon. Next you will concentrate on the tomatoes and mushrooms. Lastly the eggs, beans and toast which all come together at the last few minutes.
The type of sausage you use will impact the cooking time, a chipolata will be quicker to cook or you can halve a large sausage lengthways and put it flat to speed up cooking time.
Traditionally a Full English would be mostly fried hence ‘the fry up’ but we are more conscious about cooking with fat now so I like to grill my meat and use fry light rather than oil in my pan. This is down to personal preference.
If you are short on space or just want to reduce washing up you can go for a one pan cook. Try this Jamie Oliver One Pan Breakfast recipe.
For me you can’t have a Full English without tomato ketchup, my husband is a big fan of HP Sauce with his. Another must is toast to dip in your egg or soak up the beans.
As for what to drink you can’t go wrong with tea, coffee or orange juice.
Make it skinny
If you are watching your calorie intake there are lots of small adjustments that make your cooked breakfast a bit healthier.
A sausage is full of fat as it is trapped in the skin, you can reduce this by halving the sausage lengthways so some of the fat is reduced when cooking. You can also remove the skin altogether and make a sausage patty instead.
Trim the fat off your bacon or use bacon medallions which already have the fat removed. Another option is to use Parma ham that is dry fried instead of bacon. Once cooked put your sausages and bacon on some kitchen towel to soak up some of the grease.
Think about the choice of bread, wholemeal, rye or soda bread will be better than white bread. If using baked beans buy the low sugar option.
One addition to a healthier breakfast that is worth a little effort is some Pinch of Nom hash browns.Print Recipe
Full English Breakfast
- 4-6 Rashers of Bacon
- 2-4 Sausages
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Can of Baked Beans
- 2 Slices of Bread
- Butter for bread optional
- First turn on the grill and line the grill pan with foil.
- Place the sausages in the grill (check the cooking time on the packet).
- Slice the mushrooms
- After around 10 minutes add the bacon and tomatoes to the grill
- Put a frying pan on a medium heat and add a little oil or fry light
- Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir regularly
- Put your beans in a saucepan to heat for 1-2 minutes, stir often to make sure they don't stick to the bottom
- Put your bread in the toaster, check on the sausages, bacon and tomatoes remove anything that is cooked.
- When the beans are cooked take off the heat ( you can always put them back on the heat for a minute at the end if you think they may need warming again).
- As the mushrooms cook to your liking season with salt and push them to the edge of the pan. Now crack the eggs slowly into the pan.
- As the toast pop's up butter it.
- While the eggs cook you can put the sausages, bacon, tomatoes, toast and beans on the plate. Once they are cooked through (the white should be set) add the egg and mushrooms to the plate.
- Enjoy while hot with some tomato ketchup or HP sauce
What is in your ultimate Full English?