In honour of St Patrick's Day, which is coming up on the 17th March, Becca thought she'd make a traditional Irish recipe - boxties! Boxties are simple potato pancakes, and they're usually served one of two ways: either as large, flat pancakes that are rolled up around any number of delicious fillings, or as smaller fritters that are served on the side of something else.
I decided to go for the smaller fritter-style version, since they're much easier to flip in the pan! I'm pretty well-known for my clumsiness, so balancing a large, heavy pancake on a spatula didn't seem like something I should attempt - however, if you're a little more graceful than me in the kitchen, you can use this same recipe to make larger pancakes too.
Boxties use a combination of mashed (i.e. cooked) potato and raw, grated potatoes. It feels a bit odd mixing raw into cooked (I had to keep reminding myself that it's only raw and cooked meat that you need to keep separate, not potatoes), but it works really well in the end - you get the light fluffiness from the mash, and the grated potato means that they retain a bit of a bite. They end up perfectly crispy on the outside too, which is just gorgeous.
I first had boxties when my fiancé and I visited Dublin a few years ago. We were determined to try some traditional Irish food, and luckily we found a restaurant that served nothing but boxties! The cheese and mushroom stuffed version I had was so good that next time I'm considering putting my fear of pancake flipping aside and attempting to make a larger, stuffed version. Wish me luck, because I'll almost certainly need it.
Irish boxties (potato pancakes)
50g plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
2tbsp butter for frying
of the potatoes into chunks, and boil until tender (I left the skins on mine). When they're ready, drain them, and mash with around a third of the milk.
Grate the remaining raw potatoes, and add them to the mashed potato, along with the remaining milk, flour and the egg. Season very generously (especially salt - the potatoes need it!). Mix well until the mixture resembles a thick batter.
Heat a small amount of butter in a frying pan, and add a couple of heaped tablespoons of the pancake mixture. Gently flatten it with the back of a spoon until it's around 1cm thick, and shape it into a circle. Then leave it to cook for several minutes over a medium-low heat, until the underside is golden brown and crispy. Flip the pancake over, and repeat on the other side. Then do the same with the remaining pancake batter, adding a little more butter to the pan each time.
If not serving immediately, keep the pancakes warm in the oven (set to a low heat) until you've cooked all of the remaining mixture.