Boxty: Potato Pancakes from Ireland are a Frugal Crowd Pleaser
Boxty is the name given to a traditional Irish potato cake that originated in the northwest of Ireland in the 1600's. Perhaps most often made as a potato pancake, boxty can also be cooked up as a potato scone, or as a dumpling. It is an inexpensive accompaniment for a meal of roasted or grilled meat, and is also served as part of a full Irish breakfast along side bacon and eggs. Made in its dumpling form, it can be cooked right in a simmering pot of Irish stew - a perfect one dish meal to try out for your supper on a chilly Halloween or St. Paddy's Day!
The name boxty comes from the Irish bacstai or arán bocht tí , meaning "poor house bread." Irish boxty is a frugal dish that can be easily prepared from household staples, including leftovers. The basic ingredients in a boxty are potatoes, onions, flour and a little fat to hold the pancakes together. Milk and sometimes eggs may also be present, although some recipes omit them both. Most contemporary recipes call for an equal amount of mashed and raw grated potatoes. Feel free to use your leftovers instead of making the mashed potatoes from scratch!
Irish Boxty (Potato Pancake) Recipe
4 medium potatoes (or 2 raw potatoes, plus 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes)
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk or buttermilk
Choose a floury or starchy (dry) potato to make boxty, not a waxy one. In North America, try Idaho (Russet Burbank) potatoes. Kerr's Pink is commonly used to make boxty in Ireland.
Wash and peel half of the potatoes; cut into small pieces and boil until tender. Drain very well, then mash them. Peel the rest of the potatoes and grate finely, working quickly so they don't turn black. (If your raw potato begins to oxidize, put it into a bowl of cold water until ready to mix all the boxty ingredients together.)
Squeeze the grated potatoes through a clean kitchen towel to remove as much moisture as possible. (Do this even if the potatoes were not soaked in water.) Mix together the raw and mashed potatoes, onions, flour, salt and baking powder. Add just enough of the milk for the boxty batter to stick together. Fry the boxty in melted butter or bacon grease for an authentic taste, turning when golden brown. Serves 4
You may want to prepare a double batch of boxty, as this Irish comfort food will disappear just about as fast as you can fry it up! Leftovers can be refrigerated, but you probably won't have any.
For a special treat, make crepe style boxty using a slightly thinner batter. These can be stuffed with fillings such as cooked meat and gravy, or grilled vegetables and fish. Alternatively, try them rolled and dipped into sweet or savoury sauces.
Note: This article was originally published on te now defunct Yahoo Voices web site
Image Credit » http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Boxty_with_beef_and_squash.jpg