Lucinda Scala Quinn’s household is soccer central. So when the weekend rolls around (and her boys are home), they wake up early to watch the matches of their favorite English Premier League teams on television. (Allegiance? No unification there—her family splits between Arsenal and Liverpool.) She knows that this 50-minute English breakfast (minus the blood sausage) might seem like a lot of effort, but rest assured, it’s worth it. Savory pork breakfast sausages, caramelized tomato, mushrooms, onions, slightly sweet-sauced beans, and buttery runny egg yolks all converge on a single plate. Have all your prep done so you can start cooking about 30 minutes before kickoff, and you’ll be sitting down with everyone else eating a hot meal when the game starts.
Preparing this almost full English breakfast featured in Quinn’s latest cookbook Mad Hungry Family is a total balancing act. You need to pay attention to the cooking sequence so you can sit down and eat with everyone when the food is hot, instead of being the starving short-order cook. First, prep everything you plan on serving. If coffee or tea is part of the plan, get the coffee or tea leaves in the pot and ready the cups, milk, and sugar. Ditto juice and glasses. Stack the plates and heat them in a warm oven (about 200°F). Silverware and napkins should be open on the coffee table in front of the game. Don’t forget the jam, ketchup, HP sauce, and any other condiments you plan on serving.
Calder, Quinn’s first-born son, has childhood memories of his mom cooking fried eggs the way she liked them, and eventually, it became the style he likes, too. The yolk is runny enough to sop up with toast, yet the white is cooked through, on both top and bottom, to a firm, not tough, texture. Her trick: Tip a teaspoon of water into the hot pan, then cover the pan. This steams the surface albumen (a.k.a. that clear goo) so that it cooks through, while the bottom of the egg sautés in the bubbling butter.
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for toast
1 onion, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
4 small plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, or 2 large tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick
8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and halved, or sliced if large
One 13 ½-ounce can Heinz Beans in Tomato Sauce, or similar Brit-style beans in red sauce
6 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
6 slices bread, toasted
How to Make It
Place the sausages and bacon in a large skillet over high heat. Cook through until golden brown, turning a couple times, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, and keep hot in a warm oven.
Pour off most of the fat from the pan, then add 1 tablespoon of the butter and melt over medium-high heat. Add the onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms so they lie in a single layer and cook, turning once, until cooked through, with golden brown edges in spots, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (Cook in batches or use two pans.) Transfer the vegetables to a plate and keep hot in a warm oven. (If your pan is large enough, push the vegetables to one side and cook the eggs on the other.)
Place the beans in a small pot over medium heat. Place the toast in the toaster. Put your serving plates in the warm oven.
Add the remaining ½ tablespoon butter to the skillet and swirl it to coat. Immediately crack the eggs into the skillet. Add 1 teaspoon water to the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the whites are set, about 2 minutes.
Place an egg or two on each warm plate. Add a couple of pieces of bacon, a sausage or two, a piece of tomato, some onions, a few mushrooms, and a spoonful of beans. Season with salt and pepper. Butter the toast and serve.