Irish Boxty

I wanted to try to make something traditional of a different culture and boxty sounded appealing to me. My brother went to Ireland for his honeymoon a while back and bought me an Irish baking book. This was one of the recipes that they spoke of as being a staple throughout the culture. Well, I’ve never made a potato pancake before and it sounded easy enough, so I went for it. There were so many different variations of boxty that I found, it was almost impossible to pick which one to make. I suppose they differ regionally. I decided to go with one that used equal portions of raw, grated potato, mashed potato and flour, along with a bit of leavening, an egg and some milk. It seemed like it would produce something more substantial than the recipes for simply mashed potato, raw potato and a bit of flour, which just sounds so… dry! Anyways, I went forth with the project. I’ve never had them before so I’m not sure how they were supposed to come out, but I think they came out correctly. What I ended up with tasted like a mashed potato pancake. That is exactly the only way to describe it- exactly. You kind of bite into it expecting something sweet like a pancake, but instead it’s a denser, potato flavored pancake. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad by any means, it was just kind of bland. I suppose that is how they cook over there though. If I were to do it again I would definitely add some herbs and maybe some sauteed garlic. I think the recipe would even make a nice sweet potato pancake actually. I would also prepare them differently then the original recipe dictates. However, if I did all that they wouldn’t be traditional Irish boxty. So, if you’re interested in the experience, which was definitely something worth experiencing at least once even if this doesn’t become a staple, here’s the recipe. Also included is another method which I would employ if I were to do them again. The first has you mix in enough liquid to the proper consistency, the second has you mix in just enough flour to the right consistency. I am a big advocate of experiencing the cuisine of different cultures, especially the traditional fare, so please help yourself to the Irish experience! Unfortunately this recipe is conducted by weight, so you will need a scale.

Boxty (Traditional)
Yield: 2 large or 4 medium boxty’s

4 oz/125 g raw, grated potato (1 large potato- yukon or russet)
4 oz/125g mashed potato (1 large potato- yukon or russet)
4 oz/125g flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
Approximately 1/4 cup of milk
oil and butter (or bacon fat- traditional)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Squeeze grated potato dry with a clean kitchen towel then place in a large bowl with mashed potato. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl then mix them into the bowl with potatoes.

2. Whisk egg together with about 2 Tb of milk (splash). Add liquid’s into the potato mixture and stir to moisten. Add more milk if needed to consistency of a very thick pancake batter, this will depend on the moisture already in your potatoes (dropable, not pourable consistency).

3. Heat a skillet that has been oiled over med-high heat then add a “knob” of butter (a Tb or two). Drop either half the batter for large boxty or a quarter of the batter for medium boxty into the pan and spread out to no more than 1/2 inch thickness. Let cook for 2-3 minutes or until deeply golden then flip and allow the other side to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Place in oven either in skillet if you don’t need it anymore, or on a sheet pan, to make sure the middle is cooked through and to keep warm. Leave in the oven no longer than ten minutes. Serve warm with butter.

Irish Boxty
 

Ingredients
  • 4 oz/125 g raw, grated potato (1 large potato- yukon or russet)
  • 4 oz/125g mashed potato (1 large potato- yukon or russet)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tb milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • up to 4 oz flour
  • oil and butter (or bacon fat- traditional)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Squeeze grated potato dry with a clean kitchen towel then place in a large bowl with mashed potato. Whisk together egg and milk in separate bowl then mix into potato mixture, along with salt and baking powder. Slowly sprinkle in flour while mixing, just until enough has been added to make a thick batter, the consistency of a very thick pancake batter (dropable, not pourable).
  2. Heat a skillet that has been oiled over med-high heat then add a “knob” of butter (a Tb or two). Drop either half the batter for large boxty or a quarter of the batter for medium boxty into the pan and spread out to ½ inch thickness. Let cook for 2-3 minutes or until deeply golden then flip and allow the other side to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Place in oven either in skillet if you don’t need it anymore, or on a sheet pan, to make sure the middle is cooked through and to keep warm. Leave in the oven no longer than ten minutes. Serve warm with butter.

Notes
This is my tweaked method of the traditional way to make boxty.

 

Laura is the publisher of Laura’s Sweet Spot- a blog making regular contributions about baking, cooking, and blogging tips!

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