Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Oct 7, 2009 01:02 PM

Traditional English Breakfast

I am helping a friend organize his daughter's wedding and his soon to be son-in-law is English, and required the traditional English breakfast for the day after.
I have tried googling and research, having come up with nada, I am turning to the chowhounds for help.

Thank you! I really do appreciate it!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Are you looking for a menu of what to serve?

    1. Following on from the above I'm presuming a list of ingredients is what you're looking for. Well to me you have to have:

      - 2 fried eggs
      - 1 tomato (cut in half and grilled or fried)
      - fried mushrooms
      - baked beans
      - 1/2 sausages
      - black pudding (may be hard to obtain in Canada, but you may find boudin noir in Montreal which is basically the same. Or 'morcilla' if you know a Spanish deli)
      - toast (if you're gonna go mad fried bread)
      - bacon
      - a GOOD cup of tea
      - maybe condiments -> brown sauce/english mustard/ketchup according to tastes

      With that you're basically there - people may substitute one or two things (especially black pudding which isn't for everyone). It's not complex food, the difficulty is basically cooking so many things simultaneously.

      Hope that's of some help (or even what you're asking for!)

      8 Replies
      1. re: chief1284

        Wait a few things there aren't clear:

        1/2 sausages = 1 or 2 sausages

        On toast - I meant you can even do fried bread if you want to go really mad, although it does make things ridiculously greasy.

        1. re: chief1284

          Wow! Thank you guys!
          That is about what was mentionned. What is a grilled or fried tomato?

          What about toast? Any good bread will do? And what is fried bread? Sounds yummy!
          I need to go back to my roots and visit you guys!
          What kind of brown sauce?

          Black pudding I get, doesn't mean they will, my friend is in San Fransisco, California.

          I am really appreciating this!

          1. re: Richelle

            The full English breakfast is simple fare. Fried tomato is just a regular tomato fried in the same fat as the bacon and sausages.

            Brown sauce is most recognisable in the iconic form, it is not a gravy or stock based sauce, it is however considered an essential condiment for the 'full' experience.

            Toast would usually be made from the regular sliced white sandwich loaf, but any quality toast would be a nice addition.

            You'd also commonly find some form of fried potatoes, usually par boiled, sliced then fried.

            The main thing to avoid for a successful meal is to avoid it being too greasy, considering everything in the dish is fried it isn't quite as easy as it sounds!


            1. re: pass

              If you're trying to be really traditional, serve the toast cold in a server like this:

              1. re: pass

                thank you HTH, I appreciate the details, I think I will be trying this myself on a group of friends!

              2. re: Richelle

                I think if you're doing the "full English", it has to be fried bread, rather than toast. Toast would usually be served after the cooked plate - with marmalade.

                Depending on which part of the country son-in-law comes from, there may be regional variations to chief1284's comprehensive list. For example, "bubble & squeak" often appears on London area breakfasts but not usually elsewhere in the country. And a full brekkie without black pudding in my part of the world in unthinkable.

              3. re: chief1284

                I basically had variations of the above menu every morning when I was studying in England. Needless to say, I put on a few pounds back then!

                1. re: chief1284

                  That's a pretty good list.

                  A couple of notes:
                  - The eggs are only fried on one side.
                  - Various people have mentioned bacon. In addition to being a different cut from the American streaky stuff, it's usually cooked to be chewier and less crispy.
                  - The sausages are also different. American sausage meat is often saltier, and sometimes lacks the skin.
                  - The tea is a robust black tea (e.g. Assam), brewed with freshly boiled water. Served with milk.

                2. Make sure the bacon is the best/meatiest possible. There are several grades of bacon in British butcher shops, and the lowest grade is typical U.S. bacon.

                  1. It has to be back bacon, imho. I also really like bubble and squeak, which is typically made with leftover potatoes and cabbage. And brown sauce is a must for me, although some people have ketchup.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: greedygirl

                      Yes if you use streaky bacon (aka American bacon) instead of back bacon it won't be the same thing. It is a completely different cut.

                    2. This website: has the kind of breakfast meats you're looking for to make the classic English/Irish Fry Up.