Sure, you can whip up a pot of corned beef and cabbage to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, if you’re American. Surprise – it’s a U.S. tradition! Irish immigrants to the New World latched onto one of the cheaper meats their Jewish neighbors were cooking: corned beef. (After all, it went so well with the root vegetables that sold for very little – onions, carrots, rutabagas, turnips and cabbage.)
Instead, try a true Irish recipe: Boxty, a tasty potato pancake that makes excellent use of Ireland’s gift (and bane): the potato. Unlike the Jewish latke, boxty mixes both raw and cooked spuds for a soft, yet crunchy texture. Make it even easier on yourself, and serve mashed potatoes the night before; cook extras for this dish.
An old Irish saying goes: “Boxty on the griddle, boxty on the pan, if you can’t make boxty, you can’t get a man.” I’ll have to ask Husband what that means, while he’s happily munching away.
Boxty, The Traditional Way
- 1 1/2 cups grated raw potatoes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon skim milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Toss the grated potatoes with flour in a large bowl. Stir in mashed potatoes until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and skim milk; mix into the potatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Gaelic Boxty, Gallagher’s Style
- 8 ounces grated raw potato
- 6 ounces mashed potato
- 8 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 pint milk
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning, plus 1-ounce cracked black pepper, for filling
- 18 (2-ounce) Irish fillet medallions
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 6 large flat field mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 ounces Irish whiskey
- 1 pint cream
- Watercress, for garnish
Wash and drain the raw potatoes at least twice to remove all starch. Place the raw and mashed potatoes in a large pot, add the flour and milk. Season and blend to a smooth consistency. Drop a small ladle full onto a hot griddle; push the mixture from the center outwards with the bottom of the ladle, cook for 2 minutes then flip the boxty over and cook through. Season with salt and pepper.
Sear the fillets on both sides in an oiled, well-heated pan, remove from the pan and set aside. Fry the onions and mushrooms until soft, add the whiskey (careful not to burn your eyebrows off), add the cream, cracked pepper and season with salt, to taste. Reduce a little then return the fillets to the pan continue cooking until the sauce thickened to the right consistency.
Place 3 medallions onto each hot boxty, cover with sauce and roll over to make an omelette shape. Spoon some sauce on the top and garnish with watercress. Serves 6 hungry Irishmen/women...Erin Go Bragh!
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