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  Boxty - An Easy Irish Treat

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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" in rhyme:

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 Boxty
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.

Sauté:
2 tbs minced shallot in
3 tbs butter with
Salt and pepper to taste

Add:
4 oz of sliced mushrooms and cook until they release their moisture

Then Add:
1 cup cooked chicken

Deglaze with:
2 tbs dry vermouth, white wine or chicken broth

Mix in:
2-3 tbs flour and cook until browned about 3-4 minutes

Whisk in:
½ pint heavy cream
1 cup milk (can use skim)
and continuously stir until thickened

Finish with ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

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.

Boxty
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.

Tips:
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 remaining boxty.

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.

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