Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Boxty is a traditional Irish Pancake and translates to “poor house bread”. It is made from half mashed potato and half grated potatoes, so it’s a hybrid of a hash brown and pancake. It is similar to a latke, rosti, or several potato-like pancakes throughout Europe. Every country and family has their own version of this staple.
Boxty was created during the Irish famine when they had to make potatoes stretch. There wasn’t much available, so the basic recipe from that time was basically buttermilk and potatoes. Since then the recipe has evolved and there are several versions of boxty – sweet and savoury. It can be eaten for breakfast, as a snack, side dish, or even at dinner. It’s very simple to make and excellent with bangers. Potatoes and sausage? No surprises there!
To be extra festive, I serve them with Guinness Cheese Sauce. Irish food isn’t meant to be “healthy”, so indulge a little.
Boxty (Irish Potato Pancakes) & Bangers with Guinness Cheese Sauce
Serves 4 (8 Boxty)
- 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes (use your favourite recipe, Russet preferred)
- 1 cup peeled and grated Russet potato
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 green onions (optional)
- Butter for pan
- 8 Irish bangers
- Guinness cheese sauce (optional)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp Worcestershire
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- Wrap grated potato in a cheesecloth and squeeze out the liquid until potatoes are dry.
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Add the flour mixture to the shredded potatoes and mix.
- Add the mashed potatoes and mix. If there are no green onions in your mashed potatoes, add 2 thinly sliced green onions.
- In a separate bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add milk.
- Add the egg and milk mixture to the potatoes and flour mixture. Mix until combined. If the batter looks a bit thick, add milk to thin it out. It should be a bit thicker than the consistency of pancake batter.
- Heat a pan on medium heat. Melt butter in pan.
- Pour about a half cup of batter into the pan to form boxty (shape of a pancake).
- Cook each side for 3-4 minutes. Flip only once. Serve immediately with butter.
- Serve alongside bangers, swiss chard, and Guinness cheese sauce.
Guinness Cheese Sauce
- Heat a medium sauce pan on medium heat.
- Melt the butter. Add flour and combine until brown and flour is cooked out.
- Slowly add milk and beef broth.
- Add brown sugar, Worcestershire, and dijon mustard. Stir until combines and sugar is dissolved.
- Add the shredded cheddar cheese to the mixture and cook on medium until the sauce is thick and reduced.
- Pour over boxty.
Notes for success:
1. If your mashed potatoes are thick, you’ll need more milk in the batter.
2. If you want extra crispy boxty, use less mashed potato and more grated potato. Make sure the grated potato is dry.
3. For extra flavour, pan fry the boxty in bacon fat.
4. If your mashed potatoes are quite salty, use less salt in your flour mixture.
5. To enjoy, you can wrap the boxty around your banger – like a hot-dog/taco and dip in Guinness cheese sauce.
6. Garnish with pea shoots (resembling clovers), or serve with pea shoot salad or sautéed swiss chard.