|Start the day off right--a traditional Welsh breakfast|
One of my many food resolutions for 2011 is to eat more big, fatty breakfasts. I've gotten quite lazy in this regard, and have found myself nibbling a couple of crackers, a bowl of fruit, maybe a couple of scoops of yogurt, or most of the time, simply endless cups of black coffee. And, what have I gotten out of this? By the time lunch rolls around, I'm famished and half out of it, with most of my spaciness attributed to one hell of a sugar crash. The answer here is clear. I need to eat more greasy meat.
Low fat granola bars are no way to live, especially when something like this can instead be enjoyed with vim and vigor:
Over the years, I've traveled somewhat extensively throughout England, Scotland and Wales, and what I've discovered (in addition to some seriously good beer) is that the Brits know how enjoy a hearty breakfast. Being from West Virginia, where my granny was known to known to cook meals where literally everything had some sort of meat or meat byproduct in it, be it country ham gravy, fatback infused collards or brown beans simmered in nothing but a ham hock and a little salt and pepper, I have always counted myself as some sort of meaty expert when it comes to all meals, especially breakfast. Growing up in our house, the eggs were fried in bacon grease, the white gravy made from country sausage drippings, and the biscuits rolled in pure lard, so when I sampled my first real British-style breakfast, I seriously thought I had been transported back to granny's kitchen.
|A traditional English breakfast must include Heinz beans|
And, there are plenty of variations to the "Full Breakfast" theme, making an English, Scottish, Irish or Welsh breakfast a veritable blank canvas of potential porky goodness. There's black pudding (a.k.a. blood sausage) which is a combination of pig's blood, suet, breadcrumbs and oatmeal that is pan fried and served alongside your eggs, sausage, rashers and beans. (See photo a top.) Apparently, Barbara Streisand is a pretty big fan of it, too, which makes it even more cool (or she ruined it).
In Wales, it's all about the laverbread (a.k.a. Bara Lafwr). Laverbread is a nutrient-rich breakfast treat made from Laver, a type of seaweed found off the coast of Britain. Traditionally, it's pureed an served alongside rashers, sausages and cockles, making it the most healthy breakfast additions of the bunch. While visiting Wales, I found it to be particularly tasty when spread on a piece of crusty, buttered toast.
|Photo courtesy Welsh Foodie|
Making a hearty meat-laden breakfast in honor of the British Isles couldn't be easier. Start with your meats (bacon, sausage, rashers, black pudding etc...) and fry them well in a hot pan (cast-iron is best for flavor). Drain on paper towels and reserve most or all of the grease, depending on your intended fat quotient. Next up, fry any vegetables like a sliced-in-half tomato, mushrooms (Portabello is deliciously woody) or cubed potatoes. Set those aside. Keep your pan hot and crack in your eggs. Fry them how you like. I like over-easy best for its runny-ness factor. Toast your bread. Warm your beans and season the whole shebang with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and a little salt.
|We added a little Toad in Hole action to our breakfast|
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