Monday, May 17, 2010


Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty in the pan.
If you can't make boxty,
You'll never get a man.
I'm not actually looking for a new man in my life but I decided to make some boxty at the weekend anyway. There are many different recipes for this traditional Irish potato pancake and I suppose everyone's grandmother's was the best. I sort of made this one up from a mixture of childhood memory and guesswork:
8oz raw potato, grated
8oz mashed potato
4oz plain flour (US all-purpose)
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon chopped wild garlic stems or spring onions (scallions)
Milk or buttermilk to mix

Mix the grated and mashed potato together. Stir in the flour and garlic/onion and season with salt and pepper. Add the beaten egg and enough milk to make a batter that will drop from the spoon. Cook on a griddle or shallow fry for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Serve with bacon and eggs.
The best place to eat boxty and other traditional Irish dishes is at Gallagher's Boxty House in Dublin. Mine didn't match their high standard but we all enjoyed it. If you have a different recipe for boxty, I'd love to hear it.


  1. m. By mashed potatoes, do you mean potatoes that have been boiled and mashed with milk and butter?

    I love potato pancakes and it might be worth a trip to Dublin just to taste the best of the genre.

  2. Sounds a bit like bubble and squeak. Re-fried potatoes were always a treat at home- with a fried egg on top!

  3. e

    Yes, the mashed potatoes are boiled and mashed with milk and butter. And I do recommend the Boxty House should you take in Dublin on your next trip to Europe.

  4. Rattling On

    Not quite like bubble and squeak but equally delicious. I think it is the combination of cooked and raw potato that gives it a unique texture. My husband says it's a bit like a savoury scotch pancake but that could be my cooking!

  5. Hmmmmm I love boxty. My grandmother did make it when I was little. She would use left-over mashed potatoes from the previous night's dinner. I caught my man with home made pasta by the way. ;)

  6. Jodi
    I've only ever used ready made pasta. Do you have to have one of those machines that people buy and then keep in a cupboard with the fondue set and sandwich toaster? Perhaps you'll post a recipe and I'll give it a try.

  7. m. my mother-in-law was a truly wonderful cook of all things Neapolitan cuisine. She made her own ravioli dough, rolled it out pretty thin then dropped a little filling of meat and cheese at intervals, put on a top sheet of dough and then pressed the top and bottom with a little oval gizmo that made ravioli about the size of child's palm. Then dropped them into boiling salted water for a bit. Topped with her homemade fresh tomato and meat sauce, it was the most delicious thing you can imagine.

    One of the secrets of her great dishes was that she took infinite care in the preparation. Everything not only tasted good, but looked as good as it tasted.

    I often thought her dishes should have been photographed for those mouthwateringly fantastic glossy pictures in expensive cookbooks.

    Alas, it's been about thirty years she hasn't been with us.

  8. e
    You make that sound simple but I bet there was a great deal of skill involved! However, I might look for a ravioli gizmo and try it out, that would be smaller and less expensive than a pasta machine, I'm sure.

    Your mother-in-law must have been a great cook to have her dishes remembered so vividly and fondly thirty years later.

  9. Yum. I did not know what boxty is! Will you come over to my house and make us some, please?

  10. Terra
    I'd love to give a huge boxty party for all my blog friends.

  11. Love the comment about the machines! I do have a fondue pot somewhere inside one of my cupboards, but no machine for pasta. I made gnocchi--it takes two hands and a fork. :) I'll email you the recipe this week.

  12. Jodi

    Thank you, I look forward to trying it out.
    I wonder what we would come up with if we were to compare lists of unused gadgets in our kitchen cupboards? I feel a post developing!

  13. Oh that's a trip down memory lane, M. Haven't made boxty for years but, thinking of all things Irish, I do make a batch of soda bread every week . . . However, I have to cut it into eighths and then freeze it as am always tempted to demolish far too much while it's still warm from the Aga.

  14. D, I love soda bread too. My maths tells me there is one day in the week when you get a second helping. I bet that is when it is hot from the Aga!

  15. Well, now I know for definite that I was a deprived child! my mum just use to mix mashed potatoes with flour and a bit a milk to make her potatoes cakes. Not nearly so exotic as the treat your Gran produced M. We would have them for tea on Sunday afternoon in winter, served with lashings of butter in front of a blazing coal fire. To me they always tasted wonderful - but then I didn't know about what you were having over in St Helen's. Just as well!!

  16. You ladies are making my mouth water. I love Irish soda bread too, but it's only available for St. Patrick's day around here. :(

    Potato pancakes are also good with sour cream and apple sauce. Yum.

  17. Crinny
    My grandmother did all her cooking on an old black range, either in the oven or on the open fire. Everything had a delicious smoky flavour that I've never tasted since. Her bacon dishes were fantastic.

  18. e
    Irish soda bread is really quick and easy to make. It isn't made with yeast so there is no kneading and leaving to rise. I'll see if I can persuade my friend D to demonstrate on 60goingon16.

  19. m. it's not the level of difficulty of the recipe that stops me from baking or cooking, or the lack of ovens or pans, it's my level of laziness.


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