How to make good feckin’ boxty (Irish recipe)

This age-old recipe has been a love of the nation for years. Here is how to make a good feckin’ boxty.

Boxty, a traditional potato pancake originating in Ireland, is a recipe made up of simple ingredients that we all have in our kitchen.

It has been served at Irish tables for a long time now and, as with many other foods around the world like dumplings or pizza, this meal was created to feed a family using affordable everyday ingredients.

It may be a simple recipe, but certain recipes outweigh the rest – and we are here to give you just that.

Fun fact about boxty – what does boxty mean

Fun facts.
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An old Irish saying goes: ‘Boxty on the griddle, boxty on the pan; if you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get a man’.

The term boxty came from the Irish ‘arán bocht tí’ meaning ‘poor house bread’ or ‘bácús’ meaning ‘bakehouse’.

Potatoes – an Irish staple

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The potato in Ireland was traditionally a staple food as it was affordable, delicious, and kept you full until your next meal.

Not only that, but there are also many ways to serve them: boiled, baked, mashed, fried, and, of course, in pancake form like boxty.

To this day, potatoes are still a staple part of the Irish diet with a side of spuds served alongside almost every Sunday dinner – and even during the week too. We just can’t get enough!

You’ll find traditional Irish dishes such as boxty in many restaurants across the country, but the dish is more prominent in Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Fermanagh, Longford, and Cavan.

What do you need to make boxty – the standard ingredients

Standard ingredients.
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When it comes to making a good feckin’ boxty, you’ll find that all recipes contain finely grated raw potatoes and all are served fried.

But we are here to give you the lowdown on how to make the best feckin’ boxty out there, the Irish way.

The most popular version of the dish consists of finely grated raw potato and mashed potato with flour, baking soda, buttermilk, and sometimes egg. It’s worth noting that this meal is served on St Brigid’s Day in particular as she is, of course, the patron saint of dairy.

The best feckin’ ingredients – everything you’ll need

Everything you'll need to make boxty.
Credit: Facebook / @TheBoxtyHouse
  • One cup all-purpose flour
  • One cup leftover mashed potatoes
  • One egg
  • One tablespoon skim milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil

The best feckin’ method – according to Gallagher’s Boxty House in Dublin

How to make it.
Credit: Facebook / @TheBoxtyHouse
  • Grate the raw potatoes into a muslin cloth and squeeze as much liquid as possible into a bowl. Let liquid stand for 20 minutes.
  • Gently pour off the liquid and keep the starch that settled in the bottom of the bowl.
  • Add grated potatoes to mashed potatoes and flour. Add starch and salt to mix.
  • Slowly add 3/4 milk to form a batter of pouring consistency. Depending on the potato, you may not need to use all the milk. If the batter is too heavy, add more milk.
  • Leave batter resting for 30 minutes.
  • Drop a ladle full onto an oiled non-stick pan over medium heat and cook on the first side for two minutes (depends on how heavy the batter is and how much you use). Check colour (should be a nice golden colour) on the bottom. Adjust heat if necessary.
  • Turn and cook on the other side for two to three minutes more.
  • Boxty pancakes are best left overnight in a fridge and reheated in a pan.

The absolute best part of this recipe is that it is the ultimate way to use leftover potatoes and make them taste delicious.

If you are out and about looking for boxty on the menu, it’s worth noting that it can sometimes be called potato bread or even poundies.

Besides the traditional recipe, boxty can be served with sweet toppings such as honey, sugar, or butter. Or if you’d rather go for something savoury, you can have it with vegetables, meat, or cheese.

The boxty dough can be used to make dumplings, which are then seasoned with salt, boiled, sliced, and pan-fried in butter.

Gallagher's Boxty House in Dublin.
Credit: Facebook / @TheBoxtyHouse

Modern variations can include currants and raisins, or be served with cornflour sauce like a steamed pudding. So there are endless ways to experiment with this age-old recipe.

Fancy trying the recipe from its source? Then head to Gallagher’s Boxty House in Dublin’s Temple Bar, who have been perfecting the recipe for over 30 years.

Nevertheless, if you are nowhere near the capital, you can give their quick and easy recipe a go at home, which will surely not disappoint.

Address: Gallaghers Boxty House, 20-21, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 ET66

Recipe credit: The Culinary Travel Guide