10-step guide to the perfect cooked breakfast

How often have you made (or been served) flabby bacon with a side order of cold egg and stewed mushrooms? Doing a cooked breakfast well is harder than you might think, but it’s a simple process of organisation once
you know how.

Here’s your key to the ultimate fry-up.

10-step guide to the perfect cooked breakfast

First, get the grill on! Make sure there’e enough space in the grill pan to cook the sausages, bacon and tomatoes together, then…

1. Browned sausages

Get the sausages under first and grill them, turning once or twice. Give them a five-minute head start.

2. Crispy bacon

After five minutes add the bacon and grill for 8-10 minutes, turning once, until crisp

3. Juicy tomatoes

Add halved tomatoes to the grill pan with the bacon (season them well first). They need to be golden on top, and tender and hot all the way through.

4. Heavenly hash browns (the cheat…)

Secret: we’re fans of McCain Hash Browns straight from the freezer. If you have a double oven, put it to good use and bake the hash browns while you grill the other ingredients. If not, fry them in the pan with the black pudding.

5. Black pudding

Fry the black pudding just before you fry the eggs – use a non-stick pan and you won’t need much oil. Wrap with foil and keep warm in the bottom of the oven while you have the grill on.

6. The perfect fried egg

Heat a good glug of flavourless oil (groundnut is good) in a non-stick pan until just starting to smoke. Crack in the egg and cook over a medium-high heat for the best part of a minute. As soon as the edges start to crisp, spoon hot oil over the white to help it cook. After a minute, carefully loosen the egg and serve sunny-side up.

7. Mushrooms

Treat them to their own frying pan so they’re not crowded, and cook them at the same time as the eggs. They’re best done in butter and a splash of oil until golden brown… Get the pan hot, add the butter/oil and, as soon as it sizzles, fry the mushrooms. Serve hot.

 8.Baked beans – yes or no?

We’re not fans of them on the breakfast plate, but if you have a bean fan at the table who loves nothing more, microwave the beans at the last minute and serve in a little pot on the side (just in case they don’t like them touching the egg…!)

9. Buttery toast

Pop the toast down in the toaster as soon as the eggs go in the pan – enlist a helper to butter the toast while it’s hot. Salty butter is a must.

10. OJ or tea (or both)

For many, the idea of a cooked breakfast without a pot of strong ‘builder’s’ is unthinkable. OJ? It’s a great vitamin C booster but you only need a small glass and it must be freshly squeezed.

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  1. I lament the passing of fried bread – all these do-gooders who think it is acceptable to ruin the traditional “fry up” (the clues in the title) by removing the staple ingredient of the perfect British Breakfast. The number of times I have requested it in hotels and been told that for “Health and Safety reasons” they are not allowed to serve it. Disgracefu…

  2. It is a fabulous breakfast, but no to the way you serve the beans. If you don’t want beans then don’t serve them, I’m really not a fan of all these fiddly little pots cluttering up the breakfast table (I do like beans so they’re tipped out on to the plate).

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