Irish Boxty: Enjoy This Delicious Food Featuring an Iconic Irish Ingredient!

One of our favorite foods, Irish Boxty, is made from the simplest of ingredients. Think of it as a potato pancake - with many possible variations. And it is so easy and quick to prepare!

By playing with the ingredients and steps, you can give it different textures and flavors, making it one of the most flexible ways to express your Irish side through food.


No matter how you do it, the basic idea is the same – a hugely popular and delicious meal made from the core of the traditional Irish diet, the potato.


Irish boxty.  Image by Goodiesfirst. Flickr.com

From Humble Beginnings

Boxty is yet another example of a simple, hearty food made from ingredients that were close at hand for the traditional Irish farmer.

It was (and still is!) often made from the leftover mashed potatoes from the meal before. The main ingredient – potatoes – could be grown in the harshest, rockiest of climates. 

Typical garnishments such as onions and apples (applesauce) are also commonplace in the Irish countryside.

Irish Boxty: Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of peeled russet potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter (salted)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Irish Boxty: Preparation

  1. First, mash half of the potatoes. Chop them into large chunks and place in a saucepan. Cover with water and add sea salt. Bring water to a boil, then lower the heat and allow to simmer 10-12 minutes or until the potatoes can be mashed with a fork.
  2. In the meantime, grate the remaining potatoes. It’s a good idea to do this step second, because grated potatoes will brown quickly if not used. Use the large holes in a grater, preferably the ‘box’ variety. Spread and pat the potatoes dry with a towel, then place in a bowl and set aside for the moment.
  3. When the boiled potatoes are ready, drain them, return them to the pot. add half of the buttermilk and mash until the mixture is smooth. Combine the mashed and grated potatoes in a large bowl.
  4. Briskly whip the egg, flour, pepper, remaining buttermilk and garlic salt. Add the potatoes to the mixture and stir until combined into a smooth batter.
  5. Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat and add butter to cover the surface. We prefer a somewhat generous amount of butter to ensure a crispy exterior to the potato cake. Scoop ¼ cup portions of the batter onto the heated surface and cook until the bottom is golden brown (3-5 minutes). Then flip the cakes and repeat for the other side.
  6. Serve straight from the griddle.

Fun Variations

For a dinner version of Irish boxty, add 1 cup of finely chopped onion to the batter.

For breakfast, consider diced ham or sausage.

Great garnishes include tomato slices or asparagus spears, applesauce and sour cream, cream cheese and lox.

Experiment and enjoy!

And That's Not All!

I believe one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to live your Irish side is to serve Irish food. 

And it just so happens we have many, many more Irish recipes for you to explore in our section on Irish food recipes

If you enjoyed our Irish Boxty recipe, please take a moment to share your feedback about it, or any other part of our site, using our contact form here.

In the meantime, thank you so much for visiting! 

Now, choose another topic to continue your exploration of Irish culture and traditions, and to share your Irish side with your growing community of friends at Irish Expressions.com!



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