Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Real Irish Food

Real Irish Food

By David Bowers

Published 2014

  • About

Combining cooked and raw potato with flour to make a thick cake is a decidedly northern recipe. It’s very common throughout Ulster, and we’re aware of it and occasionally run across it in other parts of Ireland, the same way, you might say, that parts of America know other parts of America eat a lot of barbecue, even though you might not eat it every day. There is in Dublin a restaurant of many years standing called The Boxty House, where large, flat boxty cakes are rolled around a variety of fillings such as creamed bacon and cabbage.


  • 1 large potato
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
  • ½ cup(1 stick) butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk


  1. Grate the raw potato directly into a bowl. Lift the pieces and squeeze them into the bowl with your hands, setting the squeezed shreds aside on a small plate. You’re trying to get as much liquid out as possible. Let the liquid in the bowl settle, then pour the thin juice off the dense starch that will settle to the bottom. Discard the juice and return the shreds to the bowl.
  2. Stir in the flour, mashed potato, and butter right away to prevent the grated potato from discoloring. Add the baking powder and salt, and turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead gently, just to combine. If the dough is very stiff and dry, knead in a couple tablespoons milk.
  3. Divide the dough into quarters. Pat each piece into a large circle about ½-inch thick. If you’re filling them, leave them whole, but if you’re eating them the traditional way, use a knife to score each circle with a cross, cutting not quite through the dough.
  4. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. With a large spatula, lift each boxty into the pan. Cook on each side until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Eat hot, with butter.