back to article Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Bog-standard boxty

"Really dad?" It was with a slightly exasperated raise of the eyebrow that my daughter Katarina greeted the news last weekend that we were about to tackle classic Irish spud-based nosh boxty, the better to increase her chances of acquiring a suitable husband* when the moment arises. In case you're wondering, as was Katarina, …

  1. Chris Miller

    Omit the grated potato and milk, then add an egg and you've got potato cakes, an equally(?) good way of using up left over mash.

    1. Danny 14

      Both recipes are distinctly lacking in bacon though. Also reminds me of potato cakes.

    2. e^iπ+1=0

      I do like these articles

      However I always find the images are squashed horizontally to the point of looking 'redonculous' on the mobile site when I use my 'phone in portrait orientation.

      Also, at the times I find myself most in need of one of these delicious recipes, the only ones I can actually produce are some of the simpler bacon sarnie style jobs. I'm simply not going to start grating potatoes this evening, delicious as it might sound.

      Sent from my bleedin' 'phone E&OE etc.

      Please keep up the good work.

  2. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Good to see she's given up smoking.

    Well the pipe anyway!

  3. Vincent Ballard

    You used to get feedback on each dish from the regulars at your local. What happened?

  4. CH in CT20


    The buttermilk would add a slightly acid taste as well as a boost to the baking powder. Probably not essential though as the finished result looks pretty appetising even without BACON.

    1. Eddy Ito

      Re: Buttermilk

      It's not like buttermilk is hard to make either assuming you've got access to heavy cream.

      1. acquire a pint of heavy cream

      2. shake until it turns to whipped cream

      3. shake some more until you get a fairly solid glob in a thin liquid

      4. The thin liquid is buttermilk and the glob is - wait for it - butter!

      5. Enjoy your new found twofer!

      You can speed up the process with a bit of lemon juice or you can go the cultured route and employ one of the nicer bacteria but I think it's worth at least one extra donkey for a lass who can make two of the ingredients in the recipe from one.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Buttermilk

        Making your own buttermilk from double cream is a) expensive b) laborious and c) time-consuming. Not good when you're just back from the pub.

        An alternative that I use when making soda bread is natural yogurt, possibly diluted with a splash of water to make it runnier. The important thing is that it's slightly acidic to work with the baking soda. Easier than double cream!

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Buttermilk

          Milk also works, although I've tended to use half buttermilk and half ordinary milk when making soda bread. But I guess it'll work with whatever you've got to hand.

          I guess soda bread itself is just about easy enough to do when you get home from the pub. It is definitely fine the next morning when fried with bacon and fried eggs (and sausages), beans. Yummy.

  5. Richard Altmann


    That´s the Dad! Best to purchase a Rhodesian Ridgeback to keep the lonely howling wolves outside the perimeter walls. At the end they will get to her, and if they have to burrow a tunnel into your basement.

    Greetings from a father of a 14 year old with a tank in the driveway and electric fences. :-)

  6. Trigonoceps occipitalis

    My youngest daughter is now "over 14". Just a word of advice, any boy* they are interested will be unsuitable. It can only go one way - more unsuitable. I think it is one of natures immutable laws.

    * boy - as in male of any age (and for those of the right on variety of parent, female).

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

      Boys and Girls

      any boy* they are interested will be unsuitable.

      A friend of mine pointed out that he had to worry about three boys (his own) while I had to worry about 3 million (I have three girls). Add to your to-do list finding a good place for the bodies and several reliable people who can attest to your whereabouts at any time without prompting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Boys and Girls

        sleepless TV night, think it was Mock The Week doing "If this is the answer what is the question?"

        Answer was 56. Most popular answer with audience? One of the guys said "Is it .. the age of consent as far as my daughters are concerned?"

        1. Rabster

          Re: Boys and Girls

          Joke doing the rounds: "I don't trust my daughter's new boyfriend. He wouldn't meet my eyes when I asked him about his plans for the evening.

          He just kept staring at the axe in my hands"

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Boys and Girls

          @Anonymous Coward; Of course, that might backfire with hilarious consequences (chortle!) when she brings the "boy"-friend back home to meet the parents and discovers that yes, she's ensured he's safely above the parentally-defined "age of consent". :-O

  7. Whiznot

    My God! You Brits must produce the world's worst food. Every dish I've ever seen on this sight is an abomination.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've yet to read of any of their favorites that weren't horrid without serious modification. Here I'd use buttermilk and top with crumbled bacon, scallions (green onions) and a large dollop of sour cream.

    2. Zog_but_not_the_first


      Liking the food is down to personal preference, but correct spelling and grammar is an absolute.

      1. Cliff

        Re: Whiznot

        It's Irish, not British (It's similar to conflating Mexico with USA).

        Most of the dishes are from around the world, but the breakfast of kings is Eggs Benedict :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Whiznot

          Used to be, now it's Eggs Royale - smoked salmon instead of ham. Duck egg California style (sliced Avocado) is best.

        2. Martin Budden Bronze badge

          Re: Whiznot

          It's Irish, not British (It's similar to conflating Mexico with USA).

          It's a bit harsh to compare Mexico to Britain ;-)

    3. x 7

      And typical American food is good? The land where all you can get is supersize fat bastard coronory-burgers and chips (sorry fries) with brain haemorhage and diabetes to go?

      1. Joe Zeff

        More than just burgers.

        You can get far, far more than burgers and fires over here if you stay away from the Big Name Fast Food Chains, including lots of different regional specialities, such as chili, two different styles of clam chowder and the many different kinds of barbecue. All you have to do is have an open mind (and empty stomach) and ask the locals where they like to eat. Or, you can allow yourself to be blinkered by your prejudices if that's what you prefer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: More than just burgers.

          "You can get far, far more than burgers and fires over here"

          Thanks, but I prefer my burger *without* the fire still raging...

          Are some of your chains taking flame-grilling just a *little* too far by any chance?!

    4. bpfh Silver badge

      What's wrong with this one? It's more or less the same thing as Swiss Rösti: fried grated spuds.

    5. itzman

      yeah well.... least we can spell 'site'..

  8. x 7

    Surely the point of straining through a stocking is to add flavour? If its a suitably used stocking it saves on adding cheese to the dish. Female stockings would be best - sweeter aroma.

    PS - nice to see Kat's lost her nail varnish. Must make the food in your house a bit safer

    PPS - so whats the going rate in donkeys?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      .. of Donkeys and Dowries ..

      If a donkey cannot fetch US$500.00 or more, I'd advise you go the way of a young 'walking' cow or bull - they hold value well! I remember the look of utter disgust on my younger (and only) sister's face when I argued (purely for the sake of malice, of course) that her dowry would need to cover mine and my brother's 'outgoings' when we eventually marry!

      She's the middle child you see, and I insisted that she had to 'fetch' at least 30 head of cattle; this would afford Mum and Dad approximately 10 (because you HAVE to show gratitude in their direction), and leave my brother and I with 20 to fight over (probably using a 3:2 ratio giving me 12 - he's younger than her anyway so his cattle can reproduce in time to shore up the numbers by the time he decides to marry!)

      Ah dowry - that socio-economic mechanism which ensures one can only marry someone one can truly afford ^_^

      1. x 7

        Re: .. of Donkeys and Dowries ..

        An ex-girlfriend of mine once became the subject of a "how many camels" offer when she was in Tunisia.

        She was hitching her way around the Med, alone and the ferry crossing from Italy to North Africa got a bit bouncy so she hooked up with an Arab guy just to try to get a chance to lie down in his cabin.......

        Anyway, the Arab chap had other ideas so she passed a rough night ferry voyage alternating between chuntering and being sexually assaulted. If the weather had been OK she'd probably have welcomed the attention (normally she liked sex as many times as possible) but this time....

        When the ferry docked, she found herself being dragged off by a thoroughly pissed off bloke and ended up in some backstreet bar cum cafe, shoved in the corner with a bottle of pop to shut her up, while a loud discussion went on. While this was happening one of the barstaff grabbed her by the wrist, dragged her out by the back door and said "run - he's trying to sell you"

        She legged it back to the ferry terminal and managed to beg a lift back to Italy with a truck driver -doubtless she had to pay for that in kind as well

        It was later explained to her by locals on the ship that girls with copper-coloured hair fetched quite a premium in camels in parts of North Africa and she probably dodged a violently short lifetime being abused in a harbour brothel

  9. Chris G Silver badge


    A few years ago my step daughter was 17, I got her a Saturday job in a Bike Breakers shop in Palma as she like bikes and had ambitions to be a bike mechanicby the time she had been there 3 months she was going out with the Pres' of the locals Angels chapter and borrowing his 1000 Blade. Once you got past his rough exterior he was a nice guy and she was certainly not at risk from any other boys, well, not if they wanted to carry on breathing at any rate.

    N.B.No donkeys involved but I did get discount on spares for my old RD 350 Powervalve.

    1. Martin Budden Bronze badge

      Re: 'Boys'

      I think this may be the first comment so far which shows a good attitude toward being a father.

      Daughters should *not* be locked away until they are 56. Shotguns (and even jokes about shotguns) are *not* appropriate. Listen to your daughter, be there for her, support her, by all means give gentle guidance but don't be pushy about it, and remember that it's better to allow her choice of beau into your home where you know she is safe than to drive her away through disapproval.

  10. Tromos

    Finishing touches

    Top with grated cheese and pieces of pig and stick under a hot grill for a couple of minutes.

  11. Caff

    blood boxty

    Seriuously missing out on the ONE TRUE BOXTY by not including minced black pudding in the recipie for blood boxty

  12. Tim Worstal

    Daughters are God's punishment for having been a young male.

    As to boxty, not too dissimilar to one of the Czech dumpling recipes. There's three basics, two based on flour and one on shredded potato with flour etc, as above.

    Boxty is better of course, because bacon.

    1. Martin Budden Bronze badge

      I feel blessed to have a daughter, not punished.

      p.s. I feel equally blessed to have a son, too.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hash brown*

    posher admittedly, but in principal a hash brown.. Must admit, some of the frankly foul looking concoctions you have come up with, it does sound and look nice. ideal to experiment with. One commentard suggests bacon, agreed, crispier the better....

    *not some pseudo palindrome or euphemism for the rarer and much nicer brown hash...

  14. Mark 85 Silver badge

    It twas quite tasty...

    Nice dish.. much like potato pancakes. Had it this a.m. with a side of bacon (the good stuff, not the streaky stuff) and an egg. Next time, I'll add some chopped onion to the potato mixture and see what happens. Hopefully, a wee bit of heaven.

  15. dan1980

    Best post-pub food is the toasted cheese and tomato sandwich.

    Easy, quick, cheap, ingredients almost always handy without forethought and it's not a huge effort if it's just for one. Also pretty safe; hard to burn yourself.

    As a suggestion to the author, however, it might be a good idea to adjust the instructions so that they are as simple as possible and actually suitable for the professed situation - stumbling around the kitchen with a head full of spinning tops and veins full of solvents.

    Yes, it's a potato cake but straining through a stocking? I know you also suggested a tea-towel but I've tried that stone sober (with mushrooms) and failed miserably. Does it work with a strainer? (Perhaps pressing with a spoon?)

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      You seriously say toasties cause no serious risk of burning? Have you never tried a jam toasty? Delicious but deadly.

      Although my favourite is the egg toasty. Your machine has to have tight fitting plates, or you just end up with work surfaces covered in egg. But the trick is to hold the centre of the bread down in the moulded bit of the plate with a knice, pour in one egg from a cup - rapidly drop the knife and grab the top slice, shove on and whack lid closed as quickly as possible. Then hold tight shut until a seal forms. With practice you can do this totally without spillage. And the fried outside and poached inside of the egg, in buttery fried toasty badness if truly delicious with a little ketchup.

      Thinks, I must dig my old toasty maker out of whatever cupboard it's been living in for the last few years.

  16. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Boxty +

    Irish bacon = yum

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You'll never get your man

    Oh what a gay day, I've got me pinny on already and topically if I were that way inclined, once got, I could marry him as well.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bog-standard boxty

    Aren't we all la-di-da, list of ingredients, instructions??? There's nowt wrong wi' taties on their own, anything more than a fork is unnecessary and even then that's a bit extreme.

    Having said that, there'll be some of these in the pan tonight.

  19. stringyfloppy

    Just so you know, no American is going to drain grated potatoes in a stocking unless it's a brand new stocking.

  20. EarthDog

    Use buttermilk

    Besides adding some sour cream like flavor the acid in butter milk reacts with the baking powder to help the cakes rise. This should result in a lighter and fluffier cake. C'mon guys, this is basic chemistry.

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