Traditional Irish Breakfast

It’s not a heart attack on a plate; it’s a heart attack, high blood pres­sure, dia­betes and a stroke on a plate.


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When I lived in Col­orado Springs I used to love going to Jack Quin­n’s, a ter­rif­ic Irish pub. Jack Quin­n’s has an excel­lent assort­ment of beers on tap, along with a top-notch selec­tion of Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky. And the menu fea­tures all the good stuff: corned beef and cab­bage; shep­herd’s pie; fish and chips; lamb and bar­ley soup; bangers and mash.

But my favorite item on their menu is a tra­di­tion­al Irish break­fast. Here’s what their menu has to say about it:

Full Irish Break­fast: Two eggs, bangers, rash­ers, black & white pud­ding, baked beans, sautéed mush­rooms, Celtic pota­toes, grilled toma­toes, soda bread toast & hon­ey butter.

Oh, is that all?

Lemme trans­late that and also list oth­er options for an Irish break­fast. To start with, it’s impor­tant to note that this should all be pre­pared togeth­er in a large skil­let, because almost all the ingre­di­ents are fried in butter.

  • Fried egg (or eggs), sun­ny side up.
  • Rash­ers: a “rash­er” is British slang for a slice of bacon. Irish bacon if you can find it—Irish bacon has more meat and less fat (don’t wor­ry; you’ll get plen­ty of oth­er fats in an Irish breakfast!)
  • Pork Sausages: A non-nego­tiable. Irish pork sausages are the best!
  • Hash Browns or some oth­er ver­sion of spuds. Thick oven-baked fries are a pop­u­lar choice too.
  • Soda Bread: Here’s my Soda Bread recipe.
  • Black or White Pud­ding: White pud­ding is a sausage made from cere­al grains and ani­mal fat. Black pud­ding is sausage made from pork or occa­sion­al­ly beef blood, with pork fat or beef suet, and a cere­al, usu­al­ly oat­meal. If you can’t find either one local­ly, you can order either from Jol­ly Posh or a cou­ple oth­er stores for about $10 each (don’t go to Ama­zon; it’s $80 for an 8oz sausage!).
  • Grilled Toma­toes: I always have Roma toma­toes in the fridge, but any oth­er toma­to is fine. Slice it into thick coins and put ’em in the skil­let with every­thing else.
  • Beans: Just good old baked beans, home­made or store-bought.
  • But­ton Mush­rooms sautéed in Irish but­ter and sea­soned with salt and pepper.
  • Irish But­ter for cook­ing in the pan and to but­ter the soda bread: Ker­ry­gold is my go-to. Reg­u­lar but­ter is fine too.