Boxty - An Easy Irish Treat
The Irish used to believe that boxty was good for putting weight on single
women so they could find a husband . They celebrate this "boxty-goodness"
Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty in the pan,
If you can't make boxty,
You'll never get your man
Chicken and Mushroom Filling/Topping for
This thick chicken
and mushroom sauce makes a great topping or filling for the crispy boxty.
It’s also good served on toasted bread or over creamy polenta.
2 tbs minced shallot in
3 tbs butter with
Salt and pepper to taste
4 oz of sliced mushrooms and cook
until they release their moisture
1 cup cooked chicken
2 tbs dry vermouth, white wine or
2-3 tbs flour and cook until browned about 3-4 minutes
½ pint heavy cream
1 cup milk (can use skim)
and continuously stir until thickened
Finish with ¼ tsp
Yields 2 cups sauce
On the side,
Cabbage and Bacon
Fry 3 strips of bacon, in
a large sauté pan, until partially browned and crispy. Slice 2-3 pounds
of green cabbage into ¼ inch thick shreds and add to bacon in pan.
Continue cooking over medium-high heat until bacon is completely browned
and cabbage is wilted and soft.
Boxty is a traditional
Irish potato cake that can be made in a variety of ways – by simply
adjusting the ingredients. Originating in the northern region of Ireland,
boxty varies from traditional potato pancakes in that it contains either a
mix of raw and mashed potatoes or only raw potatoes, whereas potato
pancakes typically only contain mashed potatoes.
The use of raw potatoes
heightens the potato flavor of these little cakes. It’s important to use a
high-starch variety, as the russets we used in our recipe below. While
there are recipes that use mashed potatoes, eggs, etc. in their recipes,
we prefer the much simpler recipe that uses only raw, peeled potatoes as
it is faster and much easier, especially due to the use of a food
processor to puree the potatoes.
Boxty can also be made
as thin or as thick as you prefer. The thinner boxty are made like crepes
and can be rolled around a variety of fillings. Thicker, more pancake
like, boxty are great to serve as a hearty main dish with a variety of
toppings or made smaller and used as a side dish.
Serving suggestions for boxty include a variety of fillings, sauces and
accompaniments such as apple sauce, butter, sour cream, cabbage braised
with bacon, fried eggs, sautéed leeks, smoked fish, chicken or lean sliced
beef. For our recipe, we’ve included a chicken and mushroom sauce. As
restaurants add boxty to their menus, garlic and other herbs and spices
are being added to the boxty batter for even greater culinary creativity.
2 lbs russet potatoes
½ cup flour
¼ cup milk
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
Pepper to taste
Butter for frying
Peel and chop potatoes
into 1-inch cubes. Place in food processor and pulse on high until the
potatoes are pureed. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. In a mixing
bowl, mix pureed potatoes with the flour, milk, salt and pepper. Add
approximately ½ tablespoon of butter to the warm skillet and once melted,
pour batter into the skillet spreading the batter to make a six-inch
pancake, approximately ¼ inch thick. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side
until the boxty/pancakes are brown and crispy.
Yields 6 to 8 pancakes.
If not serving immediately, pre-heat oven to 250 degrees and keep boxty
warm on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil while cooking the
For a thinner, more crepe like boxty, add more milk until you reach your
desired consistency. Depending on the moisture in your potatoes, this
could be ½ to 1 cup of milk versus the ¼ cup listed above.