This week is Farmhouse Breakfast Week, an annual celebration championing the importance of breakfast.

With an aim to get the nation to Shake Up Their Wake Up! the week is designed to encourage people to enjoy a healthy breakfast more regularly.

According to statistics, 47% of people regularly skip breakfast during the week so we have got some top tips from local butchers, bakers, farmers and farm shops to help you start the day the right way.

Eggs:

Which came first – the chicken or the egg – still remains unsolved, however the first part of a good day starts with a traditional Great British breakfast.

Leigh’s Family Farm Eggs, of Dunkirk near Chester, perfectly complement the Great British breakfast.

Locally produced eggs from hens kept in welfare friendly conditions are fed on home grown grain, milled and mixed on the farm. Less then a quarter of the ingredients are bought in such as soya, soya oil, maize and limestone grit. Yolk colour is helped by natural sources such as maize and marigold flower extracts.

Whether you like them poached, scrambled, fried or boiled the key to a delicious egg is the love and hard work that is put into every step of producing our British favourite.

Leigh's Family Farm Eggs
Leigh's Family Farm Eggs

Sausages:

Bruce Edge, of Ernest W Edge & Son, Handbridge, one of Chester’s leading butchers gives advice on what makes a good sausage:

“Rule number one is that you cannot make a great sausage without putting great ingredients into it."

“We take pride in our sausages and put only the best quality shoulders and bellies of local Cheshire pork into them. We remove all rind, bone and any excess fat which is why there is no fat at the bottom of the grill tray after cooking. A sausage needs to be juicy and succulent but not fatty."

“I think the perfect percentage of meat in a sausage is 75-80%, the legal minimum requirement being 65%. If you see someone advertising 90%, I would suggest that it is seasoned meat in a skin rather than a sausage. To be juicy and succulent, the sausage must contain the right amounts of lean meat and fat, rusk (breadcrumb) and seasoning."

“Last but not least is the skin. A natural skin is far nicer tasting than the edible plastic collagen skins that all mass produced sausages are made with. Today thank goodness the humble sausage is a gourmet product and fully deserving of its centre piece position in the middle of a full English breakfast.”

Bruce Edge with his award winning pork and herb sausages. PICTURE: IAN COOPER
Bruce Edge with his award winning pork and herb sausages. PICTURE: IAN COOPER
 

Tomatoes and mushrooms:

Hawarden Estate Farm Shop’s Olly Sayles and Shereen Edwards, top breakfast chefs, share the secret of perfectly cooked tomatoes and mushrooms:

“The vital thing with both tomatoes and mushrooms is to preserve and enhance both the texture and the flavour, either tend to become watery and mushy with too much cooking."

“Tomatoes are best cooked under the grill with a little salt and pepper, a moderate grill for about five minutes works the best in the Farm Shop, at home I love them on wholemeal bread with a little cream, parsley and (only at weekends) a splash of white wine."

“Field mushrooms work best in the oven, 175°C  for 10 minutes with a little freshly ground black pepper and a small knob of Welsh butter. Chestnut mushrooms offer an even stronger nutty flavour for the more adventurous. Oven cooking enhances the flavour, and cuts down the amount of fat needed, resulting perfect, firm, delicious mushrooms.

Mushrooms and tomotoes sent from Hawarden Estate Farm Shop
Mushrooms and tomotoes sent from Hawarden Estate Farm Shop

Bacon:

Butcher Bruce Edge of Ernest W Edge & Son of Handbridge gives his views on what makes great bacon:

“A lovely farmhouse breakfast needs delicious bacon in it. Quality is key and there is a lot of mass produced rubbish freely available in every supermarket. This mass produced bacon is brine cured and pumped full of water (Brine cured bacon is pork cured in a salt and water solution)."

“Decent bacon is available but is far harder to find."

“Bacon comes with lots of choices: smoked, or plain, rind on or off, streaky or short back or a combination of the two is called ‘middle cut’."

“The next choice is dry cured or not. Dry cured bacon is cured by rubbing dry curing salts into pork and leaving it to cure for approximately ten days."

“We cure our own bacon using loins of lovely Cheshire pork and we also prepare a Cheshire Molasses dry cured streaky bacon. Both of these are delicious but due to the dry curing process they are slightly denser in texture than brine cured. There is definitively more taste though and less shrinkage in the pan or under the grill when cooking."

“When I cook bacon I want there to still be as much to eat after its cooked as before and for it to have lots of flavour. Some people may prefer the brine cure style, its just a matter of taste.”

Bruce Edge of E W Edge butchers Handbridge with their dry cured bacon
Bruce Edge of E W Edge butchers Handbridge with their dry cured bacon