8 November 2008

My Kitchen My World....Irish Potato Farls & Boxty

Ulster Fry Up

This week My Kitchen My World travels to the "Emerald Isle" itself.... Ireland. This illustrious group of bloggers is now moderated by the lovely Lauren of I'll Eat You. The group chooses a country every Sunday and we put our best foot forward in an effort to prepare a dish that represents that country. This weeks country was chosen by Michelle from My Year to Get Skinny who takes us to Ireland the land that boasts 40 shades of green in memory of a great meal she had at Ballynahinch Castle.

Food in Ireland comes in two general forms - traditional and modern. The traditional Irish food is what we most often think of, and it is the stuff you are likely to find on pub menus. Traditional Irish dishes include, Irish Stew usually made with lamb or mutton and vegetables; Soda Bread, a quick bread using baking soda instead of yeast; and a hearty Irish Breakfast which is a large breakfast usually consisting of fried eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato, black pudding (blood sausage) and white pudding (pork and oatmeal sausage).

Ireland may be known as the land of the Blarney Stone, leprechauns and St. Patricks Day but Ireland is also justly famous for its seafood such as smoked salmon, smoked fish, oysters, mussels and crab topping the bill. Ireland is an island after all. Salmon and cod are used quite frequently and prawns are popular in Dublin. Galway has an oyster festival each year as well. But it’s not just fish that gives Ireland its reputation... the country also produces excellent lamb, beef and pork, too. Who hasn't had a lovely Irish Stew!

It is equally famous for the potato with dishes like Colcannon which is a mixture of mashed potatoes, kale or cabbage and seasonings and Champ which is mashed potatoes and spring onions.When you think of Irish food you will be pleased to know that Irish food has come a long way since the days of the potato famine, and these days Irish cuisine does not have to be what we consider to be traditional Irish fare. But saying that it would be foolish to miss out on some of the country’s top produce including black pudding, farmhouse cheeses, soda bread and, of course, Guinness..... and maybe a drop of whiskey....hic!!!!

The foods that represented Ireland to me the best was a huge Irish breakfast!!! Since it is the weekend we can indulge in a late breakfast and eat to our hearts content. The fried breads are what make it unique. Soda bread and potato farls are cooked in reserved bacon fat making them golden and crispy. Served alongside bacon, sausage, black pudding, tomato and 2 eggs - you won't need to eat again for the rest of the day!" They sometimes even have a fried tomato thrown in for good measure just like an English or Canadian fryup!!

What is a farl you ask? The word farl originates from the Gaelic word "fardel" meaning four parts. This bread started out in the late nineteenth century as a means of using up that Irish staple ...mashed potatoes. These potato griddle breads are made with the leftovers...if you have any leftover mashed potatoes that is. They are basically unleavened bread served hot with a little butter and salt, or fried alongside soda bread or Boxty as part of the Ulster Fry-up. In Northern Ireland it is colloquially known as Tattie Bread. In Scotland potato bread is colloquially known as Tawty or Tattie Scone. If you have followed this blog in the past few months you already know of my love for Tattie Scones!!!

My Ulster Fryup consisted of sliced sausages as my mom calls them and not links, boxty, potato farls and Irish bacon. Since eggs are not on my list of favourite foods I forgo them altogether for myself. At a local store here in town I was able to find Irish bacon and could have also come home with black pudding and white pudding. The thought of eating all of that though left me with visions of me waddling, or better yet, rolling from room to room.

"Boxty on the griddle,
boxty in the pan,
if you can't make boxty,
you'll never get a man."
So here we go..........

1 lb. potatoes, grated
3/4 cups flour
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup mashed potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
parsley (optional)

Soak grated potatoes overnight in cold water to remove the starch. Mix all ingredients together EXCEPT the flour. Mix flour in a little at a time with a wooden spoon or your hands. Add extra milk if batter seems too stiff.

Lightly grease an iron skillet or griddle. Drop the mixture onto the skillet by rounded teaspoons.

Brown the bottom slightly, then flatten the tops a little bit with a spatula depending on whether you would like a thick or thin crispy pancake.

Cook until golden brown. Served with butter or sour cream.

**Potato Farls**

2 cups (1 kg or 2 lb) warm cooked potato, mashed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup (4 oz or 125 gm) (plain) flour

Makes 2 circles each with 4 quarters Add salt and butter, then work in enough flour to make a pliable dough. Divide the dough in two and roll out on a floured surface to form two circles 22 cm (9 in) in diameter and 5 mm (1/4 in) in thickness. Cut each circle into quarters and bake on a hot griddle or pan for about 5 minutes or until browned on both sides. Some people like to grease the baking surface, while others prefer a light dusting of flour for a drier effect.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
Best Blogger Tips


  1. I know the "modern" is good but I love the traditional: soda bread, corn beef, boxty, Colcannon, Guinness. Must try your tattie scones.

  2. i love potato fritter-type food, these two recipes sound absolutely delicious, especially when seasoned with something spicy.
    is soda bread what the australians call damper? it's a quick bread to make, but doens't last long, a little scones.
    those irish breakfasts sound great to me - love the seafood, even though i didnt know ireland was so famous for them

  3. A very informative post on Irish cuisine Val. Love reading about the modern vs traditional fare. Being the total glutton that I am that Irish Breakfast fry up is my cup of tea! Bring it on!

  4. What a great event. I think I would love Potato Farls!!!

  5. I'll eat anything made with potatoes, especially if it's tasty and hearty! A wonderful plate! Yummy!



  6. Another great event Val. I love anything with potatoes.

  7. Awww... your food is well healthy! Wish i can cook like that.

    Hmmm... been jotting your recipe for the next day's recipe home.

    Enjoy your Sunday ahead.

  8. Love those boxty lines & the farls. The background info makes for such interesting reading Val...can just visualise all of you sitting back an enjoying a hearty Irish breakfast!!

  9. love your choice and the photo is great! great info also!

  10. I wanted to eat Tim Horton's galettes de pomme de terre, but I'm sure your potato treats are way better!!

  11. I'm dying to try boxty some time!

  12. Great looking platter Val!roll from room to room lol.

  13. Wow, this is really cool. I love the Irish names, so unique!

  14. What a lovely tribute to Ireland, Val!

  15. That was a great post Val -- can definitely tell you enjoy taking these little "trips" around the world. And you transport us there with you!
    It's breakfast time right now and an Irish breakfast would really hit the spot ... too bad I'm glued to the computer.

  16. What a delicious looking plate and informative post! I've never had farl but I can tell I would just love them!

  17. I'm happy to read your post as I have to make a recipe for my son's multicultural feast that is from our heritage... which is either Irish or Swedish. Everything I'm thinking of that is noted as Irish has either guinness or whiskey in it! Probably not appropriate for our 2nd graders! I'll have to check out the other participants to see what ideas there are :)

  18. I just tried boxty for the first time a couple months ago. It's great! That fry-up is really gunning my engine, though.

  19. Now that is what I call a proper breakfast!

  20. Ireland ranks top on my list of places I've never been, but would love to visit. Until I can sample a traditional Irish breakfast abroad, these recipes will help to tide me over!

  21. lovely post! potatos are my favorite food. we used to go to a pub in calgary that served boxty with a savory filling (like a crepe). my favorite was the chicken and leek.

  22. I love your blog, no only do youhave great recipes but ai always learn something!! Great recipe and post!

  23. Val, you're definitely an authority on potato dishes...and I learned of a new dish (boxty).

  24. You took on quite the challenge and it looks incredible. I noticed this group for the first time the other day - love the around the world food idea.

  25. This is such a super event. So informative too!

  26. what a spread! i so want to go to ireland one day and feast upon things like this. great post for a great event! :)

  27. Aaaahhh Irish people are great! I love green, I love Irish, I love guinness and I love potatoes ;D.
    Uppssss and I love Van Morrisson most of it♥♥♥

  28. Irish foods have such interesting names. Thanks for the great recipes.

  29. Now that is what I call a breakfast!

  30. There is just something about breakfasts in the British Isles - they realyl know how to make it the most desirably meal of the day! I must try the boxty - yum!


Welcome to my home. Thank you for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your support, comments, suggestions,and daily encouragement.


This blog uses comment moderation therefore SPAMMERS, SELF-PROMOTERS and ADVERTISERS will be deleted.