Euro 2012 – Football Food – Boxty

My hunger has returned after the Dutch humiliation of yesterday but the less said on that the better. Friends and family tell me we are still in the championship – I think they are hugely deluded.

So  today some Irish flavours to complement the calm enjoyment of watching a football game when “almost” completely neutral. I would like to see Ireland win. Why? Because I have a soft spot for the underdogs that’s why…simple.

Boxty, or bacstaí in Irish, is a quintessentially Irish potato cake. It’s open to various regional interpretations but I’ll stick to this recipe which is tasty and simple.

Boxty was a popular dish during the Irish Famine

Boxty was a popular dish during the Irish Famine

Some recipes are based primarily on leftover mash. Others on raw potato instead. But for the best results, for the smoothest of textures, with a dish that doesn’t fall apart in your pan, I recommend an equal mixture of raw and cooked potato.

Boxty ingredients:

The main ingredients of this recipe are simplicity itself – equal parts of cooked potato, raw potato and flour:

  • 250g mashed potato
  • 250g raw potato ( a floury type)
  • 250g plain flour

The other bits and pieces are store cupboard/fridge staples:

  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Up to 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • Pinch of pepper (optional)
  • 1 large (or huge) knob of butter
  • Some milk (about 120 ml) – buttermilk if you can get hold of it

You’ll also need:

  • A couple of fairly large bowls
  • A cheese grater
  • A tea towel
  • A heavy frying pan


Put the mashed potato into a large mixing bowl and leave it to one side.

Next, grate the raw potatoes into another basin lined with a teacloth or napkin. Wring them very tightly in the cloth over the basin, to squeeze out  as much starchy liquid as possible.

Put the dried grated potato in with the mashed potato.

Melt the butter in your frying pan, very gently so that it doesn’t burn. Pour it into the potato mix.

Add the flour (which you’ve already sifted if you are fussy) and the baking powder, and salt if you’re using it. Then add some milk in small amounts until there’s just enough to form a soft dough.

Spread the dough ball out onto a floured work surface. Knead the mixture lightly or, better still, mix it well with a knife and do a minimum of kneading at the end.

The final bit is to cut the ball up into about four smaller balls and shape them into flat round cakes, then gently make them into smaller cakes or cut them into triangles.

Pop them into your frying pan and fry them in the remaining butter.

Boxty on the griddle, Boxty in the pan, If you don’t get boxty, You’ll never get a man.

Boxty on the griddle, Boxty in the pan, If you don’t get boxty, You’ll never get a man.

So versatile – you can also add onions, cabbage, cheese or bacon bits.

Serve with sour cream to be traditional, mayonnaise if your Dutch, ketchup if your English, lunu miris if you’re Sri Lankan and sprinkle with chopped chives if you’re posh! Enjoy.



Filed under Snacks, Vegetarian recipes

3 responses to “Euro 2012 – Football Food – Boxty

  1. David Blacker

    There’s a German version of this that’s eaten with apple sauce, but I can’t remember what it’s called.

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