Bread & Breakfast

A la Irish boxty (potato cake)

If you like Swiss Rösti (a.k.a. fried grated potatoes), you will like a similar Irish potato pancake dish — the boxty. While Swiss Rösti is made with grated potatoes, the Irish boxty is made with a combination of mashed and grated potatoes.

Most boxty recipes include flour and baking powder, and calls for the kneading of the dough. This is my take on the boxty cake version which requires no kneading, is larger than single serve pancakes and cooks partly in the oven for an evenly crisp and browned texture with no need for frying.

The traditional boxty recipe does not include meat but since I have a carnivorous husband, I added sliced sausages to my a la Irish boxty potato cake. It’s a very filling brunch which you may want to serve with crusty bread and butter on the side.


  • 4 medium-sized potatoes
    2 sausages (I recommend smoky and spicy varieties), thinly sliced and lightly fried
    about 4 tbsps. of butter
    12 onion leaves, finely sliced
    1 egg
    shaved parmesan cheese
    salt and pepper



    Rinse and scrub the potatoes. Cook two of them in boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes. Peel and mash.

    Peel the remaining two potatoes and grate coarsely. Sprinkle with salt, let stand for about 10 minutes then squeeze out the starchy water.

    Preheat the oven to 375F with the top and bottom heat on.

    In a bowl, beat the egg with the onion leaves.

    Add the mashed potato and mix.

    Add the grated potatoes…

    … and the sausages and mix well.

    Add the parmesan cheese. Mix. Season with salt and pepper, and mix. Taste, add more salt and pepper, if necessary.

    You’ll need a frying pan that can go into the oven. I used an eight-inch stainless steel pan. If yours is larger, the broiling time will be shorter (I don’t know how much shorter — you’ll just have to check how the cake browns after about 10 minutes) and the potato cake will be thinner.

    To prevent the potato cake from sticking to the pan, heat the pan before adding anything to it. To test if it is hot enough, sprinkle some water. If the water droplets dance around the bottom of the pan, it is hot enough.

    Put 2 tbsps. of butter in the pan. Swirl to coat the entire bottom. Spread the potato mixture in the pan. Use a spoon or fork to make an even layer. Cook on the stovetop over medium heat for about three minutes. Drop the remaining butter (in pinches) all over the top of the potato cake.

    Transfer the frying pan to the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top and edges are nicely browned.

    Slide the potato cake onto a plate, cut into wedges and serve.

Cooking time (duration): about 45 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 3

Meal type: lunch

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