Full Irish Breakfast

A full Irish breakfast: black and white pudding, sausage, rashers,Irish soda bread with Irish butter, egg, beans mushrooms and tomato

In Ireland, as elsewhere, the exact constituents of a full breakfast vary, depending on geographical area, personal taste and cultural affiliation. Traditionally, the most common ingredients in Ireland are bacon rashers, pork sausages, fried eggs (or scrambled), white puddingblack puddingtoast and fried tomato. Sauteed field mushrooms are also sometimes included, as well as baked beans, hash brownsliver, and brown soda bread. Fried potato farlboxty or toast is sometimes served as an alternative to brown soda bread. Limerick in particular has a long-standing traditional association with pork-based meat products.


So my Irish version of a full breakfast didn’t turn out much different than the English. The only two noticeable differences are the inclusion of white pudding and using soda bread. Of course, my research also uncovered some discrepancies- most sources claimed that black and white pudding are the defining Irish piece of the Irish breakfast, but of course, both my English and Scottish breakfast recipes included the black pudding. Maybe it originated in Ireland?

I didn’t include them in my base recipe, but as in Scotland, potatoes in some form seem to be accepted as a common piece of Irish breakfast, unlike the English breakfast that does not include them. I mean it is Ireland, the land of the Potato famine, so that’s not a surprise.

Wikipedia says that it’s the whole wheat “brown” soda bread that’s used with Irish breakfast, and I do believe that version is the most commonly used for all purposes across Ireland (although having never been to Ireland I’m not sure why I have that impression). When I researched soda bread recipes, though, I came up with a white flour version, so that’s what I used. (In the future I might make it with whole grain flour though. As I mentioned in my post of the soda bread recipe, I’ve made brown soda bread before and it’s absolutely delicious)

I did order Irish sausages etc, from an online source, but I wasn’t all that impressed with the quality, so I’m not going to share that link. (Not that they were bad, they just seemed more like mass-market quality products than the nice artisan ones I got when I searched for English and Scottish ingredients. They were probably still higher quality than if I’d bought American equivalents.)

I guess I should admit that maybe my source recipes were a little on the Americanized side, seeing as ketchup won out over brown sauce as the condiment of choice. I’m sure my Irish readers will give me all kinds of grief about that. (Of course, maybe the Irish authors just didn’t think they needed to specify a condiment). If you’ve got some HP sauce or the like that would be the authentic way to go, but ketchup is an acceptable alternative, at least here in America.

Full Irish Breakfast

Serves: 4
Time: about 20 minutes

5 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
8 rashers back bacon
4 pork sausages
4 slices black pudding
4 slices white pudding

9 mushrooms, sliced
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
2 tomatoes

12 oz. British baked beans

4 slices Irish soda bread
8 slices bread 

1 ¾ Tablespoons butter
4 eggs

Ketchup or HP Sauce


4 hash brown patties
Sugar, for tomatoes
4 teaspoons milk, for scrambled eggs
5 Tablespoons butter, for scrambled eggs
3 cups cooked potatoes for fried potatoes
4 potato farls

Preheat oven to 200 F. Place a baking sheet or oven proof platter inside. 

Heat 2 ½ teaspoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add rashers and cook, turning occasionally, until nicely browned. Transfer to oven to keep warm. 

Add pork sausages to the bacon grease in the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally. Add black and white pudding slices and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until sausages are cooked though and puddings are are slightly crispy on the outside. 

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 ½ teaspoons oil in a skillet and add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook about 5 minutes. Core your tomatoes and cut in half around the equator. Season the cut sides with salt and pepper. Give mushrooms a stir and push to one side of the pan. Add tomatoes, cut side down, and cook 2-3 minutes. Flip tomatoes and cook 2-3 minutes more, until tomatoes are lightly caramelized and soft. Transfer mushrooms and tomatoes to oven. 

Meanwhile heat baked beans in a small pot over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Fry your soda bread in the remaining grease from the meats, for just a minute or two on each side, until golden brown. Or toast it in a toaster. 

Wipe out one of your skillets and melt butter over medium heat. Crack in your eggs and fry to your liking- about 2 minutes per side for over medium. 

Divide everything between 4 plates and serve with Irish tea, ketchup or brown sauce, and Irish butter for your bread. 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. I am half Irish and my half loves that soda bread!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lorin Black says:

      It’s pretty delicious.


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