The 12 unbreakable rules of the Full Irish breakfast 5 years ago

The 12 unbreakable rules of the Full Irish breakfast

The Full Irish breakfast is a noble tradition, and as with all traditions, there are certain ceremonial expectations.

To really enjoy it, you have to respect the Full Irish. To respect the Full Irish, you have to play by the rules. What are the rules? Well...


1. Egg yolks must be runny.


Photo: @tihuachang

That's if you're having fried eggs, which you absolutely should be. Scrambled are okay if you don't have the frying space, but leave your poached eggs back at the local hipster hotspot.

2. There must be some distance between the eggs and the beans.


Photo: @jaredlouw

You may want to mix them, but you want that to be your decision. Use a sausage as a breakwater.

3. Go double or nothing.


Photo: @sharonrodgers

One sausage? One bacon? No chance. We're not here for single servings. This is Venus and Serena, boy - we're here for doubles. Once you've eaten that first sausage, you've got the taste for it. You're gonna need another. You'd better have another.


4. No chips.


Photo: Jason Cartwright

No. Chips. You can have a potato farl, maybe a hash brown or two at a push, but absolutely no chips. If you want sausage, beans and chips, you should cook sausage, beans and chips. This is a Full Irish. Chips are beautiful in their own way, but they don't belong on the same plate.


 5. Bacon should be crispy, but not too crispy.


Photo: @myperfectbacon

You don't want flabby, fleshy bacon wobbling all over your plate like James Reilly's jowls, nor do you want the scrapings from the crematorium floor; if you can snap it, you've gone too far. There's a mid-ground that should be your bacon happy place. Enough chew, but not too much crack.


6. If you’re doing toast, do actual toast.


Photo: @TomNicholes

Toast means toasted bread. It doesn't mean bread that's been held under a hairdryer for two seconds. Toast should be a decent shade of brown; it should have structural integrity; it should be, in a word, toasted. If it can't support a decent dollop of beans, it's not toast. Fried bread is an acceptable alternative, because f*ck your arteries, right?

7. Don’t buy cheap meat.


Photo: @The_MOFAD

Cheap rashers are mostly water, and once that water evaporates you will be left with some very sad, very tasteless bacon indeed. Cheap sausages are made of Christ knows what, but they're marginally more acceptable. Marginally. The thing is, if you can't spare the extra €2 to get a decent pack of butcher's quality sausages, should you really be splashing out on a Full Irish at all?

8. Ketchup or HP, nothing else.


Photo: @Spomb

Mayonnaise? Get the f*ck out of here.

9. Tinned tomatoes are not acceptable.


Photo: @Yozila

Unless you absolutely f*cking love tinned tomatoes (and we know you're out there), there's no need to lower yourself to those standards, or get all that juice all over the shop. Get a nice, plump tomato, season with salt, pepper and a little oil, and pop it under the grill for around five minutes. Perfect.

10. For God's sake, get your timing right.


Photo: @laurabissell01

No one is born knowing the secret to a perfect Full Irish. It takes time, but it mainly takes time management. You want everything to arrive on the plate piping hot and perfectly cooked. Keep a covered Pyrex dish in the oven on a low temperature and, if timing isn't your strong suit, pop your constituent elements in there to keep warm while you deal with the remainder of the meal.

11. Don't make it like this


Photo: @domcovkid

Everything about this picture is sad. This picture is practically crying. The withered bacon, the shrivelled dick tomatoes, the cat sick scrambled eggs, the styrofoam plate, the primary school safety cutlery. If it comes to this, the best way to eat it is to put it in the bin, find a quiet corner to sit in and think about what you've done.

12. Eat it all


Photo: @WorsleyTeaRoom

You've started, so you'll finish. A Full Irish is like a good book - if you don't see it through to the end, what was the point in starting in the first place?

Feature: Ewan Munro