The Great British Fry Up

*The Great British Fry Up*
(the angst free way)
Serves 1

Feel free to multiply the quantities and directions according to however many people you are wanting to serve. Pop your plates into a warm oven while you cook everything up and be prepared to serve immediately with big mugs of milky tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Pick your own poison!

Per person allow:
2 sausages (buy the best you can buy. Cheap sausages are just plain nasty and full of fillers and fat. This is one instance you DO get what you pay for. I prefer Cumberland chipolatas myself)
2 to 3 rashers of back bacon
a hand full of mushrooms, sliced
1 to 2 ripe tomatoes
1 large free range organic egg (another instance of getting what you pay for. If you are going to be eating an egg like this, it better be a good one that tastes the way a proper egg should taste)
1 slice of bread
1 small tin of baked beans
Olive Oil and a bit of butter
Cooked hash brown potatoes or potato waffles

Heat a large heavy skillet over low heat and brush it very sparingly with a light coating of olive oil. Open the tin of beans and pour into a small saucepan. Put over low heat and heat while you are cooking your breakfast, giving them a stir once in a while to help keep them from sticking.

For the sausages:
Using a sausage with a high meat content, add the sausages to the pan and allow to cook slowly, for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden. Remove and keep warm on a plate in the oven while you cook the rest of the breakfast.

For the Bacon:
I always buy dry cure bacon for the best flavour. It has less water in it and cooks up really nicely. You can choose smoked or non-smoked as you wish. You may also use streaky bacon, back bacon is my personal preference. Snip a few small cuts into the fatty edge of the bacon. Place straight into the pan and fry for 2 to 4 minutes on each side, or until your preferred crispness is reached. Remove to the warm plate in the oven and old there while you continue cooking your breakfast.

For the Mushrooms:
Increase the heat to medium high and add a small knob of butter to the hot pan. Once it begins to foam, tip in the sliced mushrooms. Let them cook, without disturbing them, for several minutes before giving them a stir. Avoid moving them around too much while cooking as this makes them rather soggy. Once they are as browned as you like, remove them to the hot plate in the oven as well.

For the Tomatoes:
Cut the tomatoes across the centre if using regular tomatoes, or in half length ways if using plum tomatoes. Cut the "eye" out of the top with a small paring knife. Season with salt and pepper and place cut side down into the pan drippings, adding a bit more butter if need be. Cook , undisturbed for about 2 minutes over medium heat. Gently turn over and continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until tender but still holding their shape. Remove and place in the oven with everything else.

For the Fried Bread:
For the best fried bread it is highly recommended to cook it in a separate pan. Stale bread works best. Just plain old store bought white bread. Heat a skillet to medium heat and cover the base of the pan with oil. Once it is hot, add the bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until it is crispy and golden brown. If the pan starts to become dry you can add a bit more oil. I always like to add a small knob of butter to the pan just after I turn the slice to add a richer flavour. Delicious! Again, keep this warm in the oven with the rest of the breakfast while you fry your egg.

How to fry a perfect Egg:
I always start off with a clean pan for the egg. Heat the pan over medium heat. Add a good knob of butter and allow it to heat until it is foaming. Crack a fresh egg into a bowl and then slip it into the foaming butter. Don't be in a rush to cook it. Cook it over medium heat, basting it with some of the hot butter from time to time, until it is cooked to your preferred stage of doneness. If you prefer it over easy, flip it carefully once the whites are completely set and then remove it from the pan immediately. I prefer it sunny side up with crispy brown edges.

If you must do Black Pudding:
Cut the black pudding into 3 to 4 slices. Remove the skin. Place in the heated skillet and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side until slightly crisped.

Hash brown potatoes:
We like hash brown potatoes with ours. You can make your own from scratch of course, but you can buy some really good frozen ones nowadays as well as potato waffles, which some people like also. I cook these before I even start the breakfast and just keep them warm in the oven while I cook the rest of the breakfast.Once all the elements of your breakfast are cooked,place it all on warmed plates and serve along with lashings of tomato ketchup or brown sauce!
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