Rarely served outside of the Emerald Isle, Irish boxty is a sort of potato pancake that is entirely unique in its texture. You can make these two ways: thick pancakes like I did, then slather butter and sour cream on top, OR thin them out with extra cream and make them into an Irish crepe.
There's an old Irish rhyme that goes “Boxty on the griddle; boxty on the pan. If you can't make boxty, you'll never get a man!“, which, while totally eye-roll-inducing nowadays, does show how integral boxty is in traditional Irish cooking.
There are two versions of boxty – one is supposed to resemble a crepe pancake more than it does anything pancake-based; however, most people make these into thick potato pancakes – and the Irishman in our family crinkled his nose at me when I suggested making the crepes version. So, cakes it was.
A Great Leftover Mashed Potato Recipe
Use this recipe when you have leftovers from my Instant Pot mashed potatoes, my crock pot mashed potatoes or even my garlic mashed potatoes. (the garlic ones would make this sooo good!) This is one of the easiest ways to use up mashed potatoes, you only need one cup of mashed potatoes and a raw potato to make these!
By adding in some mashed potatoes, as well as some baking powder for some light lift, you end up with an Irish boxty that is light and airy, while still maintaining that classic texture.
Irish Boxty Ingredients
Look at the recipe card at the very bottom to make sure you get the right ingredients for this recipe.
- All-purpose flour
- Salt & pepper
- Baking powder
- Russet potatoes, grated
- Mashed potatoes
- Heavy cream
How to Make Irish Boxty
- Whisk together the flour, salt & pepper, and baking powder
- Mix the two different types of potatoes, egg, and cream
- Stir in the flour mixture until thick, adding more cream to thin it out as necessary
- Melt the butter in a large skillet and melt over medium heat
- Once hot and sizzling, scoop in mounds of the potato batter into the pan, spreading it lightly into flat, thin circles
- Fry one side for 3-4 minutes until well browned, and then flip
- Cook for another 3-4 minutes until golden brown and cooked through
- Serve hot topped with sour cream or butter on top
How to Make Sure Your Potato Gets Cooked Through Completely
The biggest challenge with making Irish boxty, or any other potato pancake-like it, is making sure the potato is cooked through all the way.
While the mashed potato will have no problem warming up to eating temperature, you need to make sure the grated potato isn’t basically just raw potato.
The trick is to watch your temperature carefully. If you have the temp set too high, the boxty will caramelize and get a brown crust before the potato is cooked.
If you have it too low, then the potato will turn to mush before the crust forms, resulting in a soggy mess. Stick to a smidge above medium, but it will vary drastically depending on your stovetop.
You should also try and grate your potatoes uniformly. This means only using one side of a box grater and trying to grate the whole potato evenly, throwing away any large lumps at the end that might misshape your boxty.
How to Serve Irish Boxty
Those familiar with other traditional potato pancakes in other parts of the world might find themselves pretty confused as to how to serve boxty when it is in the crepe form.
A traditional presentation would be to thin the batter and cook it into a crepe, then wrap the boxty around some beef and serve it with whatever vegetables you happen to have to hand. In this way, the boxty serves as a sort of filler carb, almost like white rice, and is designed to be a more textural dish than anything especially tasty.
However, when you make them into thick potato cakes, thanks to the sour cream and hopefully copious quantity of butter, you can eat this Irish boxty on it's own – and when you get that crisp browned boxty slathered in butter and sour cream, it's AMAZING.
Looking for more Irish recipes? Try these out:
Hope you enjoy! Let me know in the comments below if you try it!
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- Prep Time
- 15 minutes
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- Appetizer, Side Dish
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup grated russet potatoes washed and peeled first, moisture removed
- 1 cup mashed potatoes
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 cup butter or more for frying
- Whisk together the flour, salt, black pepper, and baking powder.
- Mix the two types of potatoes, the egg and cream.
- Stir in the flour mixture. The mixture should be thick, but able to spread out to cook into a patty. Add more cream if needed. (this all depends on the moisture in the mashed potatoes and shredded ones. You may need to add more.)
- Place the butter into a large skillet and melt over medium-high heat.
- Once the butter is hot, scoop mounds of the potato batter into the pan, spreading it lightly into flat circles around 1/3 of an inch thick
- Fry the one side of the patty for 2-3 minutes until well browned on the bottom, then flip.
- Cook another 2-3 minutes until golden brown and cook through completely. Add more butter if needed.
- There is egg in the mixture so make sure they are cooked through.
- Serve hot with sour cream or with melted butter on top.
- to make these into crepes, add cream, little by little, until the mixture is thinner, and will pool out into a crepe more than a pancake.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.