This pan boxty is essentially an Irish potato pancake. Just a few ingredients–grated potatoes, a little flour, and butter–constitute this classic Irish dish. Lovers of colcannon, rösti, latkes, and hash browns will find comfort here.
The best way we can think to describe pan boxty is to that they’re hash browns’ answer to fudgy brownies. See, pan boxty is essentially a huge hash brown with the characteristically crisp, crackling surface but a dense and almost-but-not-quite gooey interior. It’s an Irish classic. And, as with so many classics, there’s all manner of shapes, sizes, and incarnations of the recipe. But the love for pan boxty is singular, as witnessed by the following little Irish ditty. (Feminists, please note, LC cannot take credit for this rhyme nor will LC be held responsible for it.)
Boxty on the griddle
Boxty on the pan
If you don’t eat boxty
You’ll never get your man.
Originally published March 13, 2012. –Renee Schettler Rossi
Pan Boxty | Irish Potato Pancake
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 1 H
- Serves 4
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Recipe Testers Reviews
This is fun to make and fun to eat! The crisp outer layer is super and just what I’d expected, the tender inside is equally as good.
I added fresh herbs the first time I made it–parsley, some thyme, and a wee pinch of rosemary and chopped oregano–and thought it was perfect. The second time I added some chopped scallion and a lot of parsley.
The only problem I have with this recipe is that it says it serves 4, but it doesn’t tell you 4 giant lumberjacks! I found that 6 medium potatoes makes enough to serve at least 12 regular people. I would cut this recipe in half next time and invite some hungry friends over.
P.S. This was just as good the next morning with a sunnyside egg on top. Try it, you’ll love it. And when you pile lots of chopped parsley on top, you can serve it on the 17th of March!
Before I say anything else, let me explain that I’m a home fries type of gal. I’ve yet to meet any sort of hash browns with whom I’m compatible, so I was leery about me and Pan Boxty. Let’s just say that while I still swoon to home fries, I’ll definitely be cheating on them with this little number.
I was quite startled at the size of the mound of grated potatoes before me, so I used a 12-inch cast-iron skillet rather than a 10-inch so I could spread that heap of spuds into a slightly thinner cake, which was still a good inch thick. I was thinking the wider skillet may help the inside turn tender before the outside scorched. I needn’t have worried, as the Pan Boxty turned a lovely crisp golden brown on the bottom within 20 minutes. Though I played it safe and flipped the spuds using 2 spatulas, next time I think I’ll try to flip it midair, as the cake was really cohesive, more so than any hash brown I’ve ever made. (I would love to say, for the benefit of those who need to eschew flour, that the ingredient is optional, but it’s really not. It helps create a stickiness among the shreds of spuds that makes turning the entire thing a cinch.)
The result was, as promised, the potato counterpart to a fudgy brownie–crisp outside, dense and moist inside. Full confession: I used olive oil instead of butter, but these were still, as I told my 10-year-old nephew, the world’s best and most monstrous tater tots. He didn’t argue.