A traditional Irish boxty is a pancake made with grated raw potatoes and mashed potatoes and fried until they are golden brown on the outside. Still being light on the inside these wonderful pancakes are something you will completely fall in love with!
While boxty is served on St. Brigid’s day the first time I had them was on St. Patrick’s day. I immediately fell in love with them and was determined to make some that tasted as good as the ones I had just eaten. This recipe is what came from that and it is one that I love to make as often as I can. Made with simple ingredients you will find yourself hooked on these almost as much as me.
In this recipe
As you can see there are only a few ingredients in boxty. With these simple ingredients you can enjoy a fantastic Irish dish.
Potato: you will want to make sure you choose a nice starchy potato like a russet for this recipe.
Flour: this will help bind the potatoes together.
Baking powder: will give the boxty some air and make them lighter and softer on the inside.
Milk: adds moisture to the boxty. If your batter is a little dry add a little more milk a tablespoon at a time to help thin it out.
Butter: while this is my preferred fat you can use any other kind of fat like bacon grease, lard, ghee, or a combination of any/all of them.
Preparing the potatoes for boxty
The main component of this recipe is potatoes. There are some recipes that will have you make the mashed potatoes the night before and use them cold however I am a fan of keeping then warm. Plus it helps with the cooking speed. You will want to cook half of the potatoes so you can mash them and the rest to grate. By cutting the potatoes into smaller pieces you can help them cook faster. However it is important to use cold water when boiling the potatoes. This ensures they cook evenly.
I am sure that you have run into this issue when you peel a potato. It turns gray, brown, even black sometimes, as well as pink. This just happens when the potatoes come into contact with the air. When it comes to the potatoes that will be mashed you can just keep them in water. With the grated potatoes you want to wait as long as possible to grate them. Personally I use a food processor to grate the potatoes since taking a bot grater takes forever in my opinion. You can also use frozen grated potatoes just make sure you thaw them first.
Squeeze out the water
One of the last things that I can suggest is to try and squeeze out as much water as possible. I use cheesecloth since it is really thin however you can use a thin towel as well. If you don’t have a think towel that is ok just place the shredded potatoes in a colander and press a smaller bowl down and press out as much water as you can. If you go the cheesecloth route you can buy reusable cheesecloth which is the best thing ever. If you can reserve the starch and add it back to the boxty. You don’t have to do that last step however they will still be extra delicious.
Looking for other Irish recipes?
Traditional Irish Boxty (Potato Pancakes)
- Food processor or grating attachment or box grater
- Cast iron skillet
- Mixing Bowl
- Cheese cloth
- Potato ricer potato masher
- 2 pounds russet potatoes peeled
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup butter
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- In a small bowl whisk the salt, pepper, flour and baking powder together and set aside.
- Chop 1 pound of the potatoes and place into the pot. Cover with cold water. On medium-low heat, making sure the water doesn't boil, cook the potatoes until tender and a knife can pass through easily about 15-20 minutes depending on how large the pieces are.
- Once the potatoes are done, drain the water and using a potato ricer or masher, mash the potatoes.
- While the potatoes are cooking start shredding the remaining pound of potatoes. If you are using a food processor make sure to grate them after you have mashed the cooked potatoes.
- Using cheesecloth or a thin towel wring out as much water from the grated potatoes as possible. Keep the starchy water if possible.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the mashed potatoes, grated potatoes, milk, and flour mixture together. If you have reserved some of the starchy water from the grated potatoes add that as well. Mix to combine evenly. If the batter is too thick add milk a couple of tablespoons at a time.
- In a cast iron skillet heat 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat. Add about ⅓ cup of batter per pancake spread evenly and cook 3 minutes on each side. Set on a heat proof dish and place in a warm oven or cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat until all of the batter has been used.