Growing up in Ireland, I learned a lot of cooking methods, mainly from my grandmother, who cooked traditionally and would regularly make favorite dishes such as Irish Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, an Irish Sunday Roast, and of course Irish Boxty, so this simple recipe has stuck with me all these years later.
This is one of my favorites considering you can make it anywhere, anytime, and even on a budget, yet you can make enough to serve a group of people, which makes it a great recipe to take note of. We would eat this dish for breakfast, lunch, as a snack, or even as a light dinner, so no matter what the occasion this is a great option when trying traditional Irish cuisine.
Boxty is a dish that is relatively unknown outside the island of Ireland, but within the country, this traditional dish is one of the easiest and most popular ones to create, in fact, there are even restaurants solely dedicated to this dish around Ireland.
One of the biggest advantages of this tasty Irish dish is that you make great use of leftovers, to create something simply wonderful, so if you are wondering how to create this authentic traditional Irish meal no matter what your cooking skills are, then keep reading.
Boxty Goes Way Back
Boxty dates back to the 1700s, when the Irish people relied mostly on potatoes for nutrition and survival, and in those days, leftovers were used to the maximum, to create an array of dishes that kept the limited ingredients lasting as long as possible.
One of the reasons Boxty is so loved in Ireland is not just because of its long history, its limited ingredients, and its simplicity, but the result is so tasty, without much effort at all. Irish Boxty, also known locally as the Irish potato pancake, stems from the North Midlands region of Ireland, in particular the counties of Leitrim, Mayo, Donegal, Sligo, Longford, and Cavan, however it is eaten all over the country.
While, this dish was extremely popular back in the old days, since the potato blight which led to the Great Irish Famine and the destruction of the potato crop, fewer and fewer people consumed this dish, however as the years went on, more traditional recipes came to the surface and more people around the world came to know dishes such as Boxty due to mass emigration.
This dish requires very little time, cooking skills, and even space or utensils, so if you are trying an Irish dish for the first time, this is a perfect recipe to start with. I will never forget the old Irish saying ‘Boxty on the griddle, boxty on the pan; if you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get a man’. Over the years that Boxty is mainly made in the home, but in recent years I have started to notice it on more Irish menus as well as the aforementioned ‘Boxty restaurants’ which can be found mainly in Dublin.
My tip: You will know these are cooked to perfection when they are golden on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside, if they are overcooked, they will not taste the same, so keep an eye on them as they fry.
Local tip: Irish Boxty is traditionally served on St Brigid’s Day which falls on February 1st, as she is the patron saint of dairy, but don’t let that’s top you from indulging in this simple and delicious meal any time of the year.
This recipe will create around 6 pancakes, so you can add the extra mixture to make more. In general, this will serve two people, as these potato pancakes are quite hearty, so three per person is plenty.
- 1 ½ cups of grated raw potatoes
- 1 cup of leftover pre mashed potatoes
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 tbs milk
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to season as you like
- Spring onions (optional)
- You will need one large bowl, one medium bowl, and a non-stick frying pan, as well as a wooden spoon and a whisk for mixing. Begin by placing the grated raw potato and the flour into the bowl, and mix.
- You will now add the mashed potato, to the same bowl and mix it with the grated raw potato and flour, which you began with.
- Next you will take your medium bowl and mix the wet ingredient (the milk and the egg) with a whisk until it is fluffy, this will make sure that you have a lovely consistency when you fry your Irish pancakes, so take your time here.
- Take your medium bowl and add the whisked ingredients into the large bowl, to mix with the dry ingredients from earlier. Now, you will add some salt and pepper to flavor the mixture, so the quantity is completely up to you.
- Once you have your large bowl ready with all the ingredients mixed nicely, you will preheat your frying pan, with a drizzle of oil on the base. You will now add some mixture to the pan, once it is hot, and you will aim to have them around 2 inches in size, to form a small patty. When one side is golden brown, flip it over to brown the other side, and then repeat this process until all the mixture is gone and you have a stack of golden-brown Irish pancakes ready to be served – warm of course.