I have always wanted to do something with the Great British Breakfast, it has so many potential combinations. Here is an idea that acts as a starter for lunch, dinner or a complete meal on its own. The leaves listed below are good for this salad as they have different tastes and colours, but you can use any lettuces available to you. The most exciting part of eating this dish is breaking into the egg yolk and mixing it with the salad and sauce. It’s tasty, rich and a delight to eat (see pp. 58–9).

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon white wine or malt vinegar (using white wine vinegar prevents any discolouration)
  • 4 eggs
  • 225 g (8 oz) new potatoes, boiled and sliced
  • 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 175 g (6 oz) smoked bacon, rinded and cut into strips
  • ½ black pudding, cut into 1 cm (½ in) pieces
  • A few lettuce leaves per person (lollo rosso, oak leaf, curly endive, rocket)
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) Basic Vinaigrette
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) Red Wine Sauce (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Method

Bring a large, deep pan of water to a rolling boil, add the wine vinegar, then crack the eggs into the water. Poach for about 4 minutes until the white has set. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cold water.

Fry the potato slices in the butter until golden and crisp on both sides. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Fry the bacon until crisp and nicely browned. Add to the potatoes. Fry the black pudding for a few minutes on both sides and keep warm with the bacon and potatoes.

Separate the lettuce leaves carefully and wash in a little salted water. Drain and shake off any excess water. Place in a bowl and dress with most of the vinaigrette.

The finishing of the salad is up to you. I like to almost ‘build’ my salad by firstly placing some potatoes, black pudding and bacon on to the plates or bowls and then the lettuce leaves followed by more potatoes etc. until I have what you might call a designer salad, but still looking quite natural. The simplest way is just to mix your garnishes with the salad leaves and separate on to plates.

While assembling the salad, warm the red wine sauce, if using, and re-heat the poached eggs for 1–2 minutes in a bowl of hot water. Drain the eggs well, place on top of the salad and sprinkle with a little of the remaining vinaigrette and a twist of pepper. Pour the red wine sauce around and serve.

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