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Catholic Recipe: Boxty Pancakes


  • 8 oz freshly cooked potatoes
  • 8 oz peeled raw potatoes
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon or 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1-1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • butter for frying
  • Details

  • Serves: 4-6
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 15+
  • Origin: Ireland

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St. Bridget is the much-loved Irish saint from early Christian times whose feast day is celebrated on Frebruary 1. Originally this was the Celtic festival Imbolc celebrating the first day of spring and the beginning of the new year on the farm.

Bridget is portrayed as a warm-hearted, charismatic woman — a latter day liberated lady in the best sense of the word. She was influential, travelled widely, entertained with panache and was known for her kindness to people and animals.

Bridget is the patron saint of cattle and dairy work, and her cows are said to have produced more and better milk than any other herd. She is also reputed to have been the best mead and ale maker in Ireland. She also loved to cook — and like many saints she could feed the multitude with very little.

Boxty was traditionally eaten with freshly churned butter on St. Bridget's Day.

Boxty pancakes are also eaten on Shrove Tuesday and Halloween.


1. Peel the cooked potatoes while still hot and mash in a bowl.

2. Grate the raw potatoes and add to the mash with the sieved flour and soda. Add salt if desired.

3. Mix well and add enough buttermilk to make a stiff batter.

4. Heat a frying-pan, grease with butter and cook large or small pancakes in the usual way.

5. Eat the pancakes straight from the pan with butter, crispy rashers or pure Irish honey.

Recipe Source: Festive Food of Ireland, The by Darina Allen, Kyle Cathie Limited, 1992
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