Irish Pancakes (Boxty)

Boxty, these are what I’ve grown up calling Potato pancakes, or potato cakes. Of all the food memories growing up, this is probably about the only that could be considered Irish in origin and going on with my Irish theme for March this is another of my Irish treats. I make these “boxty” a few times a year typically, on average they’re served with breakfast and dipped in ketchup or a horseradish sauce. I believe most people would serve them with an afternoon lunch or a proper supper. I always find these comforting and delicious, and I love them for breakfast. Its really reminiscent of a hash brown. For me I often find that the simplest recipes can really be the most rewarding.
Its only as I get older that I start really trying to replicate foods that are rich in culture and traditional. I’ve seen just about every potato cake called a “boxty” but to me using primarily shaved potatoes makes a latke, and using mashed potatoes with a flatter batter would be a traditional Scandinavian lefse. So after all I’ve absorbed over time these have just turned into Irish pancakes. I make mine with mashed potatoes, and fry them in my favorite cast iron skillet. Rich with flavor they are slightly different every time depending on what kind of mashed potatoes I have on hand. This variation is with sour cream and green onions, other times they’ve been with roasted garlic mashed potatoes or plain creamy whipped potatoes. They can be frozen after they’ve cooled and baked off to use later. Its a really great way to utilize leftovers in a new way.

Base Potatoes:
About 3 pounds of potatoes

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup green onions chopped
2 cloves of garlic (pressed or grated)
1/4 cup +/- butter
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
salt and pepper

In a large pot place un-peeled but washed and cubed potatoes, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender and soft. Drain the water and add all remaining ingredients. Mash with a potato masher or back of a spoon until they are your desired consistency. I like rustic mashers I’m not typically a huge fan of the light and whippy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Irish Pancakes:
1/4 cup oil, (a mixture of canola oil and extra virgin olive oil is what I use)

1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
2 cups of left over cold mashed potatoes

In a large pan or cast iron skillet coat the bottom of the pan with oil and bring up to high heat. To prepare the pancakes use a measuring cup or disher scoop form the potatoes into uniform balls and roll in the flour. Press the balls somewhat flat but keep them round and pat around in the flour. Do this until you have your desired amount of cakes or your oil is ready.

To test and see if your oil is ready for frying you can place the back of a wooden spoon or spatula into the oil, if it bubbles its ready. Reduce heat as necessary to prevent burning. Fry the cakes on both sides a few minutes  until they are browned. Remove from pan and place on paper towels or brown paper bag to catch any excess grease.

Horseradish Dipping Sauce:
4-6 ounces of greek yogurt (or sour cream, but not regular yogurt)
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste