One of the things that we enjoy eating wherever we travel is a classic English or Irish breakfast. It is one of those perfect “breakfast for dinner” meals that is simple and tasty. Traditionally it is served with blood sausage, also called blood pudding, but we weren’t able to get that from our butcher. It is a unique combination of eggs, beans, sausage, ham, mushrooms, and tomatoes that isn’t typically found in the United States unless you happen to visit an English pub. Not only is it delicious but it is very filling. The baked beans are always a simple, ketchup-based style bean that aren’t overly sweet. Here is our version of a traditional English breakfast.
• 4 Large Eggs
• 6 Breakfast Link Sausages
• 4 Slices of Canadian Bacon
• 1 cup Button Mushrooms- sliced
• ¾ cup Cherry Tomatoes- sliced in half
• 1 16 oz can Baked Beans
• 4 slices of White Toast- buttered and cut diagonally
• 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
• 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
• Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat an oven to 250 degrees. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms. Simmer the mushrooms until golden brown. Set the mushrooms aside and add the sausage links to the skillet. Brown the sausage on all sides until fully cooked, about 10 minutes (we cooked a full package). Heat the beans in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove the sausage and place on an oven-safe plate, cover, and place in the oven to keep warm. Put the Canadian bacon into the pan and cook until both sides are browned. Add the bacon to the plate with the sausage, recover, and place it back in the oven. Add the tomatoes to the skillet along with the mushrooms and cook until the tomatoes start to blister. Remove them from the pan and put them on an oven-safe plate, cover, and put them into the oven to keep warm. Start toasting the bread and crack the eggs to place them in the skillet. If necessary, add more butter to the pan. When the egg whites are no longer translucent, add 2 tablespoons of water and cover. Cook for 2 minutes, being sure that the yolks are still runny. Butter the toast, plate, and serve. Serves two.
Like any resort town, there are a lot of restaurant choices in Breckenridge, Colorado. You can also find just about any type of food that you might desire, but the vast majority of them are what we’d consider to be western in style. We consider western style to be a lot of steaks, burgers, and chicken, but also a lot of gamier meats such as elk, duck, trout, and even things like rattlesnake. When people come to Colorado, they associate it with ranches and cowboys, which is absolutely correct, so that is the type of food they often want to eat.
One thing that you find about restaurants in Colorado, and especially in the resorts, is that they are quite casual even if the food is upscale. When you come to the mountains, you wear blue jeans to any restaurant that you visit, no jacket or tie required. Also, many of them have outdoor seating that allow you to enjoy the wonderful views of the mountains and they use heat lamps to ensure that the scenery can be enjoyed even in the winter months. We really enjoy eating in such a relaxed atmosphere with the views of nature all around us.
We had our fair share of traditional western food, but we also ate a few other things as well. One of our first meals was an American style meatball sandwich that certainly didn’t skimp on the meat and cheese. We ate a wonderful BBQ chicken with spicy chicken andouille and potato salad, very western. Even a pizza in Breckenridge can be a western adventure like the one that we ate with rattlesnake, elk, and Italian sausage with red peppers, onions, and jalapenos. We did enjoy a seafood dinner with fresh oysters (not Rocky Mountain oysters), scallops with capers and a roasted corn relish, and fresh mountain trout.
Needless to say, since it is Colorado there was no lack for options to quench your thirst. We went to the Breckenridge Brewery where we enjoyed a flight of beers with four different styles. Even when not going to a brewery, every restaurant carried a variety of locally brewed beers as well. A perfect way to unwind from a long day of hiking. Breckenridge certainly had plenty to offer as far as restaurant choices and everywhere we ate was truly wonderful.
You can find various styles of beef sandwiches, beef on a stick, or beef pockets like empanadas throughout the world. The sloppy joe sandwich is uniquely American, though, and something that many people will relate to their childhoods. Most people grew up making sloppy joe sandwiches using sauce from a can, but it is possible to make it from scratch with fresh ingredients. We found that making homemade sloppy joes was not only easy, but the taste was better than what you can get from a pre-made sauce. You also have the option to make a different twist on the dish as well, perhaps making it a little spicy, but we chose to go with a traditional approach.
1 lb Ground Beef
1/2 Medium White Onion – diced
2 cloves Garlic – minced
1 Red Pepper – diced
3/4 cup Ketchup
1 dash Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups Water
Place the ground beef and onion into a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat, breaking the ground beef up as it cooks, until the meat is browned and the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot water and stir, being sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet to incorporate all of beef bits into the sauce. Add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Add another cup of hot water, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce is thick and the liquid has been reduced, about 40 minutes. Serve on buns.