Boxty is a traditional Irish pancake. It is often made with a combination of mashed potatoes and raw grated potatoes mixed with flour, milk, and egg.
Boxty’s origin dates back to 18th century Ireland where it was so popular that it inspired the following folk ditty: “Boxty on the griddle, boxty in the pan, if you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get your man!”
Boxty should be served hot, and is quite versatile. It can be served at breakfast with butter and sugar, as a side dish for dinner, or as a savory appetizer with sour cream and smoked salmon as you can see here. This is a re-post from February 19, 2017!
Ingredients for Irish Boxty with Smoked Salmon:
I used the following ingredients for the Boxty: Potatoes, flour, baking powder, milk, egg, butter, half and half, salt, freshly ground black pepper, smoked salmon, sour cream, and chives. I used russet potatoes for the Boxty, but you could also use Yukon Gold potatoes. You could use mayonnaise instead of sour cream if you wanted a less tart sauce.
First, I started by whisking some sour cream and chives together in a small bowl for the sauce. Then, I set this aside.
Next, I cut up half of the potatoes, and brought them to a boil over high heat in some salted water. I reduced the heat to medium low, and cooked the potatoes, uncovered until they were fork tender. This took about 10 minutes. When the potatoes were done, I drained them, and returned them to the saucepan. I added some unsalted butter and half and half, and “mashed” the potatoes with my electric mixer.
While the potatoes for the mashed potatoes were cooking, I grated the remaining potatoes with my food processor. Then I transferred the grated potatoes to a wire strainer set over a bowl, and tossed the potatoes with a little bit of Kosher salt. The reason for the salt was to help draw out excess liquid from the potatoes. Next, I took handfuls of the potatoes and started squeezing the liquid from them. I placed the potatoes in some double paper towels, and continued squeezing the liquid from them.
After I had squeezed as much liquid from the grated potatoes as I could, I added them to the mashed potatoes, and stirred to combine the mixture. I knew from experience that a chemical reaction causes potatoes turn pink shortly after they’re cut. Therefore, I wasn’t concerned when this occurred with the grated potatoes.
Making the Boxty Batter:
I added the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper to a large bowl, and whisked it to combine the dry ingredients. Then, I added the milk and egg, and whisked the mixture until it was smooth. Finally, I stirred the potato mixture into the flour/milk mixture.
Finishing the Irish Boxty with Smoked Salmon:
I heated some canola oil and butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil started to shimmer, I dropped about 1/4 cup of the batter in the skillet using my large ice cream scoop. I used the back of the scoop to flatten the batter into 1/4-inch thick rounds. I cooked the Boxty for 4 to 5 minutes until the bottoms were golden brown. Then, I flipped them, and cooked the other side until they were golden brown. This took another 3 minutes or so. I transferred the Boxty to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Then, I put them in a 200° F oven to keep warm while I finished cooking the Boxty.
I served the warm Boxty with a dollop of the sour cream and chive sauce, and slices of smoked salmon. Yum!
- 1/2 cup sour cream I used low fat
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 2 pounds Russet or Yukon gold potatoes peeled
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup (1.7 ounces, 48 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 4 to 5 Tablespoons unsalted Irish butter
- Canola oil for cooking the Boxty
- 8 ounces smoked salmon thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives for garnish
- Whisk together the sour cream and chives in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200° F. Put a cooling rack on a baking sheet. Set aside.
- Cut half of the potatoes into slices, place in a medium saucepan. Add 1/2 tablespoon salt, and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, grate the remaining potatoes using food processor or the large holes of a box grater. Transfer to wire strainer set over bowl. Toss with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and squeeze by handfuls. Wrap potatoes in doubled paper towels and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add the milk and egg, and whisk until smooth.
- Drain the boiled potatoes and return them to the pan. Add the half-and-half and 3 tablespoons of the butter and mash until the potatoes are smooth. Give the grated potatoes one final squeeze and then stir them into the mashed potatoes. Stir the potato mixture into the flour-milk mixture.
- Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of canola oil and one tablespoon of butter; heat until it begins to shimmer. Working in batches, drop scant 1/4 cups of the batter into the skillet and spread the batter into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Cook until the Boxty bottoms are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to paper towel lined plate to drain, and then to the prepared baking sheet. Keep warm in the oven while you repeat with more oil, butter and batter.
- Serve the Boxty warm, topped with a dollop of the sour cream and chive sauce and slices of smoked salmon. Garish with chopped chives.
- Yield 4 to 6 servings.