Traditional Full Irish Breakfast (fry up)

The breakfast of champions. A plate of ALL the cooked breakfast bits… The traditional, full Irish breakfast or a “fry up” as it’s more commonly known. After nearly twenty years with my Irishman, I’ve made a few of these over the years. And while everyone has their take on a full Irish breakfast, this is mine. I’ve seen so many variations, with potato farls (Irish potato bread / potato pancakes) a staple in Northern Ireland, or bubble & squeak, and even hot chips! This one is a Sunday staple. Perfect for a cold winter morning, or as the ultimate hangover cure the day after St Patrick’s Day.

A traditional full irish breakfast just cooked in a cast iron frypan. On a bench alongside baked beans, orange juice and brown sauce.

What’s a Traditional full Irish breakfast?

It’s a cooked breakfast with all the sides cooked in a skillet. Want a taste of Ireland in one dish? This is it! It’s normally served on the weekend or on special occasions and is a staple on any Irish breakfast menu. Here are the main ingredients of an Irish fry-up…

  • Fried egg (or eggs) sunny side up

  • Bacon rashers. Bonus points if it’s Irish bacon.

  • Pork Sausages. A non-negotiable. Irish pork sausages are the best!

  • Hash browns or some form of potatoes. Leftover baked (or pan-fried) potatoes are my go-to, however, the Irishman would happily have oven-baked chips with his!

  • Soda bread. Irish brown bread is the most common when you are served up a typical Irish breakfast, however, in our house, we alternate between traditional brown soda bread and my bacon & cheddar soda bread.

  • Black or white pudding.

  • Grilled Tomatoes. We always have cherry tomatoes in the fridge, however you can substitute for any other tomato. You’ll just have to adjust the cooking time for larger fruit it cut it up before cooking.

  • Beans. Good old Baked beans either homemade or store-bought.

  • Button mushrooms sauteed in a little knob of Irish butter and seasoned with salt and pepper

  • A little oil or Irish butter for cooking in the pan and to butter the soda bread- Kerrygold is my go-to

Equipment you’ll need

As the majority of this hearty Irish breakfast is cooked in one pan, you’ll need a large frying pan or skillet. A small saucepan to cook the baked beans is also essential, as is a roasting pan to cook the potatoes or hash browns.

What is Irish Black Pudding?

While not easy to find in rural Australia, black pudding is traditional Irish food. Essentially it’s a type of blood sausage, made from pork blood, suet or pork fat, herbs, and spices and usually bound together with oatmeal.

Black pudding is readily available in Ireland in every supermarket and corner store and is an essential ingredient of any Irish fry-up. Although, in Australia, it’s quite hard to get. While it’s getting easier (sometimes our local Woolworths has it), I mainly order it from Taste Ireland – our savior for those Irish food cravings like Taytos, Ballymaloe tomato ketchup, and Irish whole wheat flour (the main ingredient of Irish brown bread)

The nitty gritty

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. 


  2. On a baking sheet, pop the hashbrowns or leftover potatoes with a little oil into the oven. Bake until golden and season with salt and pepper.


  3. In a small saucepan, heat the baked beans. While they are cooking start on the fried bits.


  4. In a large skillet, cook the sausages on medium heat. Once they are ready to turn, add the mushrooms to your pan with a knob of butter. Let the butter melt and stir through the mushrooms.


  5. Add the black pudding to the pan and cook for 4 minutes on each side.


  6. Into the pan add the tomatoes and bacon.  Cook for a couple of minutes.


  7. When everything else is fully cooked and ready to serve, crack the eggs into the pan and cook until sunny side up.


  8. Pop all the cooked ingredients on a plate and serve with 2 slices of soda bread (and butter), a cup of tea, and a glass of orange juice. Enjoy!

Here’s what I serve alongside this hearty breakfast fry up

A big glass of Orange Juice is essential.

Brown Sauce. Ahh, the mystery brown sauce! Please note, this is not bbq sauce but an actual English condiment called “brown sauce”. The most popular is HP Brown Sauce. It’s pretty much a disaster if we run out of this stuff. I think of it as a mix of tomato and bbq sauce with a strong vinegar component. It’s not for everyone, personally, I’m more of a bbq sauce girl, but in our house, this stuff reigns!

A cup of tea. Always tea. Coming from a family of coffee drinkers, I am always amazed by how much tea is drunk in Ireland. The average person in Ireland drinks 4-6 cups of tea per day – more than the English surprisingly!

Cook’s notes

This is the basic order in which I cook an Irish breakfast. Alternate ingredients will have different cooking times, however, by having an order in which to cook them, I try to have all my components, ready to go at the same time. Another method is to have a warming tray in the oven and as an ingredient is cooked, it goes into the warming tray until everything is ready for the plate. 

What’s the difference between a full English breakfast vs full Irish breakfast?

While the basics are still the same, bacon, sausages, eggs, and beans, the main difference is the addition of black pudding in an Irish breakfast. It’s a love-it-or-hate-it addition. We’re split among our family, while I’m not a huge fan, the Irishman and O love it, so it’s usually added when I can track it down. 

Love a good Irish recipe? Here are a few more…

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A traditional full irish breakfast just cooked in a cast iron frypan. On a bench alongside baked beans, orange juice and brown sauce.

Full Irish Breakfast

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  • Author: Emma Lee
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serve 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Pan fry
  • Cuisine: Irish

Description

The breakfast of champions. A plate of ALL the cooked breakfast bits… The full, traditional Irish breakfast or a “fry up” as it’s more commonly known. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cooked potato, sliced into 1cm discs or hash brown
  • 130g baked beans
  • a little olive oil
  • 1 Irish pork sausage
  • 3 mushrooms
  • knob of butter
  • 2 slices of black pudding cut approx 2cm thick.
  • 3 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 rashes eye bacon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices of Irish brown bread, or bacon, chive and cheese soda bread
  • a cup of tea
  • glass of orange juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. 
  2. On a baking sheet, pop the hashbrowns or leftover potatoes with a little oil into the oven. Bake until golden and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the baked beans. While they are cooking start on the fried bits.
  4. In a large skillet, cook the sausages on medium heat. Once they are ready to turn, add the mushrooms to your pan with a knob of butter. Let the butter melt and stir through the mushrooms.
  5. Add the black pudding to the pan and cook for 4 minutes on each side.
  6. Into the pan add the tomatoes and bacon.  Cook for a couple of minutes.
  7. When everything else is fully cooked and ready to serve, crack the eggs into the pan and cook until sunny side up.
  8. Pop all the cooked ingredients on a plate and serve with 2 slices of soda bread (and butter), a cup of tea, and a glass of orange juice.

Notes

This is the basic order in which I cook a full Irish breakfast. Alternate ingredients will have different cooking times, however, by having an order in which to cook them, I try to have all my components, ready to go at the same time. Another method is to have a warming tray in the oven and as an ingredient is cooked, it goes into the warming tray until everything is ready for the plate. 

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