St. Patrick's Day Guide

Pan Boxty Recipe

Learn to make the Irish dish Pan Boxty courtesy of Darina Allen's book Irish Traditional Cooking


Whereas Leitrim and the Drumlin area seem to be the home of boxty, it crops up in many other places around the country under various names. In Co. Wexford and Co. Tipperary I was given recipes for “grated cakes in the pan,” both of which were essentially pan boxty. Granny Toye from Clones, Co. Monaghan, now 88 years of age, gave the recipe to me. Granny Toye says that pan boxty may be eaten hot or cold and may be reheated. A tablespoon of fresh herbs provides a delicious, if untraditional, flavoring to the dish.

Pan Boxty

Serves 4

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • Handful of all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Fresh herbs (optional)

To make pan boxty:

  1. Scrub the potatoes well, but don’t peel. Line a bowl with a cloth. Grate the potatoes into it, then squeeze out the liquid into the bowl and let it sit for about 20 minutes until the starch settles. Set the potatoes aside.
  2. Drain off the water and leave the starch in the bottom of the bowl. Add the grated potato, a handful of flour and some salt.
  3. Melt a nice bit of butter on a heavy iron pan and pour in the potato mixture. It should be ¾-1 inch thick. Cook on a medium heat. Let it brown nicely on one side before turning over and then on the other side, about 30 minutes in all depending on the heat. It’s much better to cook it too slowly rather than too fast. It should be crisp and golden on the outside.
  4. Cut the boxty into four wedges and serve.
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