Irish Boxty

By Chef JP McMahon
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The traditional Irish potato pancake known as boxty is associated with many different parts of Ireland, though the north-west seems to lay most claim to it. Longford and Leitrim play a major part in the story of boxty, but many other counties also have the tradition. The most common way of making boxty consisted of combining grated raw potato and mashed potato with flour and frying it. Later recipes added bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to help it rise and buttermilk for moisture. Often an egg is added for texture. Nowadays, the mixture is fried in a pan, but in the past it would have been cooked directly on the hotplate of a range. As with colcannon and champ, there is no set way of making boxty and it depends on the equipment one has to hand: pan boxty, boiled boxty, griddle boxty and loaf boxty are some regional variations.

Ingredients

  • 11 ounces/300 g (about 3 medium) potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 11 ounces/300 g (about 3 medium) potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups (250 g) plain all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder butter, for frying 

Directions

1. Put the cubed potatoes in a medium pan of salted water, bring to the boil and cook for about 15 minutes until soft. 

2. Strain and mash.

3. Lightly salt the grated potatoes and squeeze them in your hands to remove the excess starch.

4. Combine both potatoes with the buttermilk and salt in a large bowl.

5. Add the flour and baking powder and mix thoroughly.

6. Heat a little butter in a frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat and spoon in the mixture in the shape of small pancakes.

7. Cook the pancakes in batches for about 5 minutes each until nicely browned, turn over and cook a further 5 minutes until the other side is browned.

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