International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Boxty (Irish potato pancakes)

(Irish potato pancakes)

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Boxty, a simple potato pancake, comes from the northern regions of Ireland. It goes well with a breakfast of sausages, bacon and eggs or as a side dish to Irish stew.

A batch of boxty is the perfect way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Boxty is particularly popular around Halloween.

The word "boxty" is believed to come from the Gaelic bac-stai, where "bac" is a shelf over a "stai," or open fire, where it was originally cooked. An old Irish saying goes as follows:

Boxty on the griddle, boxty on the pan.
If you can't make boxty, you'll never get your man.

Makes 6 to 8 pancakes


  • Potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed -- 1/2 pound, or 1 cup
  • Potatoes, peeled, finely grated and squeezed dry -- 1/2 pound
  • Flour -- 3/4 cup
  • Egg, beaten -- 1
  • Milk -- 1/2 cup
  • Salt and pepper -- to season
  • Oil for frying


  1. Mix the potatoes, flour, egg, milk, salt and pepper together well in a large bowl.
  2. Heat a generous amount of oil in a skillet or saute pan. Drop about 1/4 cup of the batter at a time into the hot oil and spread out into a round about 1/2-inch thick. Fry until underside browns, then flip and brown the other side.
  3. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the rest of the batter. Finished boxty can be held in a warm oven until serving.

Boxty Variations

  • Boxty Cake: Preheat oven to 475°F. Place a greased 8 or 9-inch cake pan or skillet in the oven to get hot. Follow the recipe above, cutting the amount of milk to 1/4 cup. Spread the batter out into the cake pan or skillet and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 400°F and bake for another 45 minutes to an hour. Serve cut in wedges and serve hot.
  • Boxty Dumplings: Drop spoonsful of the batter into simmering stews.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to the batter if you like to make the cakes puff a bit more.
  • Large, plate-sized boxty are often made and folded over meat, fish or vegetable fillings.

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