Boxty is an Irish version of potato pancakes.
It’s made from equal amounts of raw, cooked and mashed potatoes, along with some salt and flour.
You grate the raw potato, (Many people say to wash the potatoes, but not to peel them before grating them, because the peel adds a great deal to the flavour.)
Mix the grated potato with the mashed, add salt to taste and some flour to give it all body so that it will hold together. Form the mixture into disks, and fry them up until nicely browned on both sides and cooked all the way through (about 5 minutes per side.) The texture inside should be something that North Americans would relate to as a hash brown. Serve hot with butter and salt (the salt is traditional.)
Fancier versions will add a beaten egg, some milk, lots more flour, and baking powder.
A new generation of Irish cooks in restaurants are making them quite thin now as well, for use as crepes.
In Northern Ireland, a boiled version is more likely to be made in the counties of Cavan, Donegal, Fermanagh and Leitrim.
You make the potato disks as per above, but place the potato disks into simmering water for about 35 minutes. You then remove them from the water, slice each one in half horizontally, then fry them up in butter to brown each side. Some people, instead of forming it into disks, make it in roll, wrap it in a cloth and boil it, then slice it up for frying. This boiled kind can be made up to a day ahead, and fried up when you want to serve them.
Some recipes, particularly the boiled version, add a pinch of baking soda, but it’s unclear what the baking soda is supposed to be reacting with.
Boxty would have been a small bit of luxury, using white flour, plus a fair bit of extra work as opposed to just boiled potatoes
Boxty was common for a while in Manchester, with the recipe having been brought over by Irish immigrant workers
Literature & Lore
“Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty in the pan,
If you don’t eat Boxty,
You’ll never get a man”