Irish Boxty

Boxty is type of a potato pancake that traditionally combines mashed and grated potatoes. The dish is very popular all over Ireland and is also known as “poundies” or “potato bread” in certain regions of Ireland. While there are many variations of the hearty dish, the constants are that boxty always contain grated potatoes and are always fried. The word “boxty” is derived from the Irish bac-stai.  The traditional way of cooking potatoes was on the “hob” or “bac” over an open fire or “stai”.  This recipe uses the traditional mashed potatoes and grated potatoes, but does not contain baking soda like many recipes do. This variation also uses diced onions and a pinch of nutmeg, enhancing the already delicious flavor of the fried boxty.

Servings: approximately 20 boxty


2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled

1/4 cup milk

1 large onion, diced

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4  teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons unsalted butter



Cube half of the potatoes and place in a medium saucepan. Fill the sauce pan with enough water to cover the potatoes by one inch and salt well. Bring the potatoes to a boil, then allow to simmer for 8 minute or until fork tender.

While the potatoes are boiling, line a large bowl with muslin or cheese cloth. Grate the remaining potatoes with the large holes of a box grater and place into the lined bowl. Squeeze the cloth to extract as much liquid as possible.

Drain the boiled potatoes once they are cooked. Return them to the pot and add the milk. Mash well.

Add the grated potatoes, onion, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and flour to the mashed potatoes and mix well.

In a large skillet, melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add dollops of the potato mixture to the hot pan, one tablespoon at a time. Use a spatula to flatten each boxty. Cook until each side is golden brown and crisp (about 3-4 minutes per side). Do not overcrowd the skillet. You can make the boxty in batches and keep the boxty warm in an oven that has been heated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add more butter to the skillet each time you start a batch of boxty.

Serve Immediately. You can eat the boxty alone, or served along with a piping hot bowl of Guinness stew. You may also top the boxty with scallions and sour cream.


*Feature image courtesy of



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