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Friday, September 25, 2015

Boxty on the Pan

Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty on the pan,
If you can't bake boxty,
sure you'll never get a man.

Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty on the pan,
If you don't eat boxty,
you'll never get a man.

Old Irish rhymes like the ones above sums up the importance of a boxty in traditional Irish cuisine. I read somewhere that if a restaurant menu promises to serve traditional Irish fare and boxty is not part of it then it is not a traditional Irish eatery. It should not come across as a surprise considering that potato has been a staple of the Irish peasant diet for centuries and they ate potato three times a day. Boxty derived from the word 'bacstai' meaning poor-house bread in Irish and are basically potato based pancakes. Boxty is prepared in several ways traditionally in Ireland. Boxty on the pan uses a batter of mashed potatoes, grated potatoes, buttermilk, flour, baking soda and sometimes egg and are cooked on a griddle like pancakes. The other versions use only grated potatoes and are boiled like a dumpling or baked like a loaf.

Traditionally the recipe is kept to the basics since it was a peasant dish originally. However the modern versions may include grated onion, garlic powder and such for added flavors. Personally I felt that the boxty do not need any flavors at all and the basic version itself was good when served hot from the griddle. They are crispy from outside and softer inside. While preparing the pan version, the size of a boxty would be of the griddle size though you can make them bigger or smaller. It makes sense to make the griddle sized ones since the recipe has raw potatoes and they take longer to cook on low flame. If you start making small sized boxty, it would take forever. However for presentation sake, I made small sized ones. I used about 2 heaped tbsp. sized batter for each pancake and ended up with 5 boxty.

3 large sized peeled potatoes *
(or 1 cup mashed and 2 cups grated potato)
2 to 3 tbsp. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Salt to taste
6 - 8 tbsp. buttermilk
Butter / Oil to make boxty
* I cooked one potato and mashed it which came to scant 1 cup. I grated the other two potatoes that came to about 2 cups. 

* Chop one potato into pieces and cook it until done. Drain well and mash it finely. Or you can substitute about 1 cup of mashed potato.
* Grate the remaining peeled potatoes onto a cheese cloth or a thin cotton cloth. Wrap the towel around the grated potato and squeeze out as much water as possible. One would be surprised to note the amount of water that is released from potato gratings.
* Combine flour, salt and baking soda into a mixing bowl. Add the mashed potato, grated potato and buttermilk to the flour mixture and mix well to combine. It should be on a thicker side.
* Heat a griddle and grease it with butter or oil. You can make the griddle sized boxty or small sized ones depending on your choice. The bigger ones can be cut into wedges. I poured about 2 heaped tbsp. of batter and spread lightly with the back of a spoon to shape into circle.
* Cook on low flame until the top is almost set, doesn't appear wet and the bottom side is golden brown. When done, it should be easy to flip the boxty with the spatula. Flip and cook the other side too until done.
* Repeat the steps with the remaining batter. 
* Serve them warm with more butter and traditionally bacon goes with it.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 56



Priya Suresh said...

Even i tried boxty, and simply love this pancakes, prefect breakfast pancakes rite.

vaishali sabnani said...

I have loved this series of breakfast by you Suma...this pancake looks too good..bookmarking it right away.

Usha said...

Potato pancakes look good.

cookingwithsapana said...

Pancakes looks wonderful.I like the name Boxty .

Srivalli said...

Such a lovely dish Suma...way too good..I do remember I have made something similar on these lines..I enjoyed your series...

Srividhya said...

Great recipe. Anything with potato is awesome

Sandhiya said...

I like the name of the dish.Potato pancake looks delicious.

Pavani said...

Yummy looking potato pancakes Suma. They sound very interesting.

Harini R said...

Potato pancakes can never go wrong! They turn out yummy every time and are a hit with kids.

Sneha's Recipe said...

Tempting pancakes, looks delicious.