Boxty and Bacon Recipe

British Bites

Classic british dishes updated for the modern American cook.

Boxty and Bacon Recipe

[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

These traditional Irish potato pancakes are sometimes called "poorhouse bread," but when paired with some salty bacon and a few drizzles of syrup, you've got a meal you can be proud to serve no matter who you're hosting.

The combination of mashed and raw grated potato gives these simple cakes a really unique texture, unlike any pancake I've had before. And while these do make an ideal breakfast, perhaps for those mornings when you feel a tad tender after a long evening at the bar, they also make a really interesting side for grilled meats. They would also make a great base for a piece of hot smoked salmon, or even some leftover grilled vegetables for a quick appetizer (if you happened to have any leftovers).

When frying boxty, make sure you have a few drizzles of extra oil on hand because the potatoes tend to soak a good amount of fat in the pan while they crisp. If you're abstaining from bacon, use a good amount of olive or vegetable oil to cook your boxty.

  • Yield:serves 4
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes


  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 12 strips bacon (about 3/4 pound)


  1. 1.

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350°F. Cut one of the potatoes into 2 inch pieces; place in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are soft and mashable, about 8 minutes. Mash the potatoes, then allow to cool.

  2. 2.

    Grate the other 2 potatoes on the large holes of a box grater. Place a handful of grated potatoes into the center of a clean tea towel, then gently twist the towel until the potatoes release their water. Repeat with remaining potatoes.

  3. 3.

    In a large bowl combine flour and baking powder and whisk until combined. Toss grated potatoes with flour mixture, then add mashed potato and mix until all the ingredients are combined. Pour butter and milk over potatoes, mixing until the ingredients come together into a stiff batter. Set aside.

  4. 4.

    In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, flipping once in the middle of cooking. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat in skillet. Add boxty batter to the bacon fat by the spoonful and cook until well browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet as they cook. When all boxty have been fried, transfer baking sheet to oven and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve with bacon and maple syrup.