The Great British Fry Up is probably not as famous around the world as our roast beef or mint sauce, but it’s something most people in the UK have very strong opinions about – what should go on the plate, beans/no beans, tomato sauce/brown sauce. It has been immortalised in literature, from stories of the landed gentry (think P.G. Woodhouse) to those from the most working class of homes (more Road to Wigan Pier). While some folk slink down to their fav caf for a restorative plateful after a heavy night’s drinking, it’s almost always better if made at home. In the house I grew up in, it was our breakfast every Saturday morning, and probably the only meal I remember being unfailingly good.
It is such an institution that there are vegan sausage and vegan bacon (coloured yellow and lurid pink) products available…I don’t quite ‘get’ the latter of these, but some ppl love it.
So, (and I’m trusting you, dear reader, to correct me or point out any omissions) it consists of fried or grilled bacon (or substitute), sausage (ditto), fried eggs (ditto) and any or all of the following: bubble and squeak, baked beans, mushrooms, tomato, onions, fried bread and possibly black pudding, with bread and butter on the side. A mountain of food washed down with oceans of tea.
Clearly designed for people involved in manual labour, at its best and worst, it’s a veritable heart attack on a plate – or could be. The only vaguely sensible thing about is at least it’s breakfast, not dinner.
Anyway, I’ve been working really hard in the garden yesterday and today, and it was cold this morning and I haven’t had one for ages, and I was a tad hungover, so…….
Unfortunately, as you can see from the list above, quite a lot of these things cost an arm and a leg, so my twisted versions are pepped up with herbs and spices – traditionalists and possibly the nostalgically homesick will probably see this as heresy. (I should at this point also confess to liking Earl Gray tea with mine, instead of a strong cup of builders.)
You may of course choose to add meat or meat substitute products, but I was pleasantly stuffed, and it cost about £1.10. It is hopefully slightly more healthy than your average fryup.
Bubble and Squeak
Mr Benz’s Blindingly Good Baked Beans
Fennel Roast Tomatoes
Red Onion Jam
Garlic Button Mushrooms – no, I’m not going to tell you how to fry a mushroom.
Sage and Onion patties – made from a 15p packet of stuffing mix – follow the instructions, using slightly less water, and fry in properly hot oil.