In my family, when we have leftover mashed potatoes from dinner, we fry them up for breakfast. Turns out, we aren’t the only ones who do that. Boxty is an Irish dish that uses mashed potatoes, raw potatoes and buttermilk, which is then mashed together and fried up to yumminess. This dish is part of a traditional Ulster fried breakfast (Lots of fried meats and such but I’d omit the fried blood sausage if I were you.). Boxty is so popular that a little poem has been written about it:
“Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty in the pan,
If you can’t make boxty,
You’ll never get a man.”
You’d think the land of Yeats could do better than that, wouldn’t you? Oh well, you can’t win them all, I suppose.
Here’s a recipe for Irish Boxty from FoodNetwork**:
8 ounces (225 grams) freshly cooked potatoes
8 ounces (225 grams) peeled raw potatoes
8 ounces (225 grams/ generous 1 1/2 cups) white flour
1/4 American teaspoon baking powder (1/2 Irish teaspoon bread soda), sifted *see note
8 to 12 fluid ounces (225 to 300 millileters/1 to 1 1/2 cups) buttermilk
Pinch salt (optional)
Butter, for frying
*Note: an Irish tablespoon is the same quantity as an American tablespoon plus a teaspoon
Peel the cooked potatoes while they are still hot, drop into a bowl and mash immediately. Grate the raw potatoes, add to the mashed potatoes with the flour and sifted bread soda. Mix well, and add enough buttermilk to make a stiff batter.
Heat a frying pan, grease with butter and cook large or small pancakes in the usual way. Eat them straight from the pan with butter, crispy rashers or pure Irish honey.
**If you want to see Boxty prepared, watch FoodNetwork on March 15th at 8pm ET/PT.