Having traveled to one or two far off lands I can honestly say that the English breakfast is one of the best in the world. It certainly beats the typical American breakfast of various forms of processed, refined carbohydrates stripped of nutrients and doused with seed and vegetable oils (which will send blood sugar soaring, contribute to body fat, throw your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio out of balance, and generally make you feel like less-than-optimal an hour or so later).
The American breakfast aside, influences from other countries and the processed food industry have impacted the English breakfast, with croissants, pastries, hash browns, beans, and even potato chips all encroaching on its definition. As someone extremely interested in my own personal well-being and that of others, I was curious whether a grain-free English breakfast would be quite as delicious.
Answer: 100 percent!
This “fry up” (as it’s called) comes together quickly if you work in stages.
First, pop purple sweet potatoes into the oven (preheated to 400F). I used purple sweet potatoes because the color is beautiful and I prefer their flavor slightly more than that of the more common orange sweet potatoes. That’s the only fancy bit about this, however. There’s no need to rub the sweet potatoes with oil, or wrap them in aluminum foil, etc. Simply set them in an oven safe dish and roast them in the preheated oven for 20-40 minutes (duration will vary based on the potatoes’ weight and size).
While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, cook the sausages and bacon in a dry skillet until the sausages are firm and cooked through, and the bacon is crispy. Halve the sausages if you like, to ensure they cook more quickly.
While the meat cooks, slice your mushrooms and tomato. When the bacon and sausages are done, cook the mushrooms in the same hot skillet (now greased with bacon fat). See how the order of operations just flows? After the mushrooms have cooked down a bit and released some of their water, add the tomato slices. Cook them quickly over high heat, so they get a bit of a sear without disintegrating.
Finally, cook those two sweet fried eggs (or four)! It may be necessary to add a little oil or fat to make sure they don’t stick if your cast iron skillet is not well-seasoned.
Slice open the roasted sweet potatoes, garnish the entire breakfast with salt, herbs, and red chili flakes (not traditional but so many things about this aren’t), and of course don’t forget tea or coffee.
I’d love to play around with adding liver, pork belly, and black pudding to this paleo English breakfast and see how the balance of flavors plays out.
Lastly, if you’re following a keto dietary protocol, feel free to swap out the sweet potatoes for spinach (or some other type of dark, leafy greens), cauliflower, sprouts, or broccoli to make it lower carb. Which isn’t to say that sweet potatoes absolutely cannot be enjoyed while adhering to keto… but you’d have to watch your other carb consumption closely throughout the day.
- 2 small purple sweet potatoes (ube)
- 2 sausages
- 4 slices of bacon
- 1/2 lb mushrooms
- 1 tomato
- 2 eggs
- Toppings: salt, red chili flakes, and fresh herbs (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400F. In an oven-safe dish, cook the sweet potatoes until soft when pierced with a fork (time needed varies based on sweet potato size and weight).
- In a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage and bacon until the sausage is firm and cooked through, and the bacon is crispy. Remove from the skillet and set aside to drain off the fat.
- Roughly chop the mushrooms and slice the tomato. When the bacon and sausage are done, cook the mushrooms in the same hot skillet (now greased with bacon fat). When the mushrooms have cooked down somewhat and released some of their water, add the tomato slices. Cook the tomato slices quickly over high heat.
- Remove the mushrooms and tomato from the skillet and set aside. Fry the eggs (it may be necessary to add a little oil or fat to make sure they don’t stick if your cast iron is not well-seasoned).
- Slice open the roasted sweet potatoes and arrange them for eating with the cooked sausage, bacon, mushrooms, tomato slices, and eggs. Garnish with salt, herbs, and red chili flakes. Enjoy warm.