Boxty on the griddle, Boxty in the pan
If you can’t make Boxty, you’ll never get your man!
So goes an old Irish folk rhyme. My husband had never had boxty before I made it for him the other night. He absolutely loved it. Indeed, he went on to say that if he had known of dish beforehand, it might well have been a marital pre-requisite. Boxty or arán bocht tí in Irish-meaning poor house bread, is a traditional potato bread which can be made into pancakes, dumplings or baked into a loaf. I made the boxty on the griddle, or the pancake variety.
I love this dish because it is so versatile. The pancakes can be eaten on their own, perhaps with a bit of butter or stuffed with a variety of sweet or savory fillings. My friend Theresa Storey who owns and operates the Green Apron in Ireland just blogged a recipe that she found for boxty which is very similar to the boxty she had in Connemara as a child. Take a look at her site. I must take a moment to brag, Theresa not only runs a fantastic Artisan Preserve Company in Limerick Ireland, but her youngest child, Athene -age 11, is RTE’s (Ireland’s T.V. station) Young Chef of the Year and her oldest, Alexander-age 16, just won the Rotary Clubs Ireland’s Young Chef of the Year and goes on to compete in England in May. Impressive huh?
Anyhoo….The Gaelic Boxty I made is filled with steak in a mushroom, Irish whiskey cream sauce. I adapted the recipe from one that was provided to the food network from Gallagher’s Boxty House in Temple Bar, Dublin. Take a look at their menu. They serve boxty in all its incarnations. If you’re in Dublin, definitely stop by for a meal. If you’re not traveling anytime soon, give this recipe a try. It really is incredibly tasty!
When I made this the other evening, I only prepared enough of the steak cream sauce for the two of us. I did make the full six boxty pancakes though, so that left us with some extras. The next evening we decided to create a bit of a fusion dish and stuffed the pancakes with some left-over chicken in a Thai green curry sauce.
The following morning I stuffed our boxty with scrambled egg, bacon and Irish cheddar cheese. Use your imagination. I’d love to hear what you come up with.
1 cup (8 oz) grated raw potato
1 cup (8 oz) mashed potato
1 cup (8 oz) all-purpose flour
2 cups (1 pint) buttermilk
1/2 tsp. baking powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning, plus 1 Tbsp. cracked black pepper for filling
6 (6 oz.) steak fillets cut into 18-2 oz. medallions
2 large onions
8 oz. of cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 oz. Irish whiskey
2 cups (1 pint) cream
Wash and drain the raw potatoes in cold water two times to remove all starch. Place the raw and mashed potatoes into a large bowl and mix until combined. Add flour and baking powder and mix together. Slowly add buttermilk and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to mix until you have a smooth, pancake batter consistency.
Sear the steak medallions on both sides in an oiled, well-heated pan. Remove steak from pan and set aside. Sauté the onions and mushrooms until soft. Add the whiskey and stir. Slowly add the cream, salt and cracked pepper to taste. Allow sauce to reduce a bit and then return the fillets to the pan and continue cooking until the sauce is thickened.
Assembling the boxty:
While your sauce is thickening, prepare the boxty pancakes. Drop batter onto a hot griddle; pushing the mixture out from the center with the bottom of a spoon until you have a pancake which is approximately 6-6 1/2 inch diameter. Cook for 2-3 minutes until bottom is golden brown and then flip the boxty over and cook through. Placed finished pancake on aluminum foil and cover with a second sheet of foil to keep warm. To prevent boxty pancakes from sticking together, place foil between each of the pancakes as you finish them.
Once your sauce is thickened to the desired consistency, place three pieces of steak onto each hot boxty, cover with sauce and roll over to make an omelette like shape. Spoon more sauce over the top. Enjoy!