Saturday, March 16, 2013

Boxty Potato Pancakes...

Get your Irish on St. Paddy’s Day morning with a delicious, hearty, Irish Breakfast or Brunch. This meal is filling enough to keep you powered through your entire morning and well into mid or late afternoon, as most traditional Irish breakfasts are. Boxty Potato Pancakes are said to have originated sometime during the Irish famine, and it’s not surprising since the word Boxty - which is derived from the Irish aran bocht ti - means ‘poor house bread.’ Boxty are mostly associated with the Northern Midlands, especially the counties of Mayo, Sligo, and Donegal and are so much a part of the local culture that they’ve inspired many a folk rhyme.

Though these delicious potato pancakes may have started off as ‘poor man’s food they are anything but poor. Like most traditional Irish breakfasts they are hearty and filling, filling enough to power you through your entire morning, and well into the afternoon. Though they are delicious served with just a pat or two of Earth Balance they are more typically served wrapped around a hot savory filling tortilla style. Shredded meat and vegetables are the usual filling of choice, and cabbage and bacon are strongly recommended. Though it must be pointed out that when I say Bacon what I really mean is ham. - Vegan ham of course - The Irish refer to almost every part of the pig as bacon, so if you’re an American think of Ham as their actual meaning, if you’re Canadian imagine Back Bacon. In my case however I’ve used home-made Vegan seitan Ham, and I hope you do as well!  There are many good vegan ham recipes out there, or you could simply buy some tofurky ham, or use a vegan bacon of your choice. I chose to make the Vegan Ham from “500 Vegan Recipes” by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman.

Lastly, if the idea of blending potatoes in milk makes you cringe trust me when I say these pancakes are fantastic! What sets them apart from other potato pancake and latke recipes is that they’re very smooth like an actual pancake, ant not rough or grainy like most other potato pancake recipes. Flavor wise the pancakes themselves remind me very much of a German kartoffelpuffer which really pleases me because kartoffelpuffer are one of my favorite things from childhood and one of my favorite things that my Oma makes. Wrapped around lightly fried cabbage, vegan ham, and a savory, tangy and slightly sweet mustard sauce served with fresh tomatoes, there’s really no beating it!

Boxty Potato Pancakes

1lb Russet Potatoes Peeled and Chopped (2 Large ones)
2/3 C Unsweetened Almond Milk
½-2/3 C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
3/4 tsp Celtic Sea Salt

Mustard Sauce 

2 Tbsp Earth Balance
½ Yellow Onion finely chopped
4 Garlic Cloves Minced
½ C Vegetable Broth
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
3-4 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
3-4 Tbsp Unsweetened Almond Milk
Celtic Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
½ Tbsp Agave or Maple Syrup (Optional)

Bacon & Cabbage 

½ Tbsp Peanut Oil
½- 1lb Vegan Ham or Vegan Bacon
½ Head Green Cabbage Thinly Sliced

To Make the Mustard Sauce 

- Melt the Earth Balance in a medium sized pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and saute an additional 2-3 minutes.

- Add the vegetable broth and the cornstarch. Whisk until thickened, then reduce the heat and add in the mustard, and almond milk. Whisk until the sauce is creamy. Simmer for 5 minutes then season with salt, pepper and agave if desired.

- Remove from heat and keep warm until ready to use.

To Make the Bacon and Cabbage 

- Heat the Peanut Oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When sizzling hot add the cabbage and vegan bacon or ham.

- Stir-fry for 5-6 minutes until the ham is brown and the cabbage is bright green and tender but still crisp.

- Remove from heat and keep warm until ready to use.

To Make the Boxty Potato Pancakes 

- Place the chopped potatoes into a blender with the milk and blend on a highspeed until completely smooth.

- Pour the potato/milk mixture into a medium sized bowl and stir in the flour and salt. How much flour you use depends on how thin or thick you want the batter. When it reaches desired consistency heat a large pan over medium-high heat.

- Spray the pan with non-stick cook spray. Using a quarter or third cup measuring cup drop the batter out onto the heated pan, and using the back of the cup spread out to thin a little. As if you were going to make a thin pancake or a crepe.

- Cook for roughly 3-5 minutes on each side until the pancakes are golden brown.

- Remove to a plate and keep warm.


- Spoon 1-2 Tbsp of Mustard Sauce into each pancake.

- Place 3-4 Tbsp worth of bacon cabbage filling on top of the mustard sauce

- Roll the pancake like you would a soft taco

- Dab the top of each pancake with a little extra dollop of Mustard Sauce

- Serve with fresh slices of tomato, and enjoy!

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