My first Irish boxty was not eaten in Ireland. It was, in fact, enjoyed in an Irish pub in, of all places, Tulsa, Oklahoma. It’s called Kilkenny’s, and it’s been an established and popular Irish pub since 2002.

I really enjoyed the boxty, which I’d never heard of before. I only ordered it because I wanted something traditionally Irish since I was in an Irish pub. And it was good – a giant potato-based pancake filled with creamy goodness. I can’t really remember all of the details now, but because of that experience, I was determined to have one in Ireland… which I did just a few weeks ago.

We had lunch in Dublin at Gallagher’s Boxty House. We went there knowing that it was a touristy sort of place, but I had to have a traditional boxty. Gallagher’s Boxty House is an unassuming little restaurant in the Temple Bar area of Dublin.


It actually seemed like only locals were eating lunch there – especially families with children. The young man who waited on us was 17, and the son of the restaurant’s owner. It was nice finding out it’s a family business.

But touristy or not, we all had a fabulous lunch. I chose the seafood boxty and it was delicious.


After returning from Ireland last week, I wanted to make boxty. I own a book on Irish cooking*, and it revealed that the boxty originated in the north of Ireland, actually. The word boxty came about from the fact that people cut holes in boxes in order to grate the potatoes to make this dish! I now appreciate my metal grater even more than ever.

There are a few different versions of boxty. One is exactly like what I had in Tulsa and in Dublin – an oversized pancake with filling. Another version is a smaller pancake served simply with butter.

The third version is from a thicker pancake batter – essentially a dough. Round shapes are cut out of it much like our biscuits, and baked. I think I actually saw these on breakfast menus in Ireland, because they were described as hash brown potato cakes.

Here’s my version of the giant boxty pancake with a creamed ham and cheese filling.

Boxty with Creamy Ham and Cheese Filling

4 medium baking potatoes, peeled
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups milk, I used whole

Chop up two of the peeled potatoes and boil them until done. If you’re not sure, stick a fork in the pieces to see if they are tender. When they are cooked, drain the potatoes; set aside.
Grate the remaining two potatoes and place them on paper towels for a few minutes to drain.


Then place the grated potatoes in a medium bowl. Add the flour and baking powder. Mash the two cooked potatoes and add to the grated potatoes in the bowl.


Give everything a stir, then slowly stir in the milk. The batter should have some consistency, yet be somewhat thin as well.


Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Use a generous amount of butter for each pancake. When the skillet is hot, almost completely fill the bottom of the skillet with the batter. Don’t make it too thick, but also fill in any thin spots or holes. Turn down the heat to medium, and cover the skillet with a lid.


After a few minutes, turn the heat down to low to finish cooking the pancake. I discovered that it was nearly impossible to flip over these “pancakes,” so I just let them cook on the bottom side slowly.

After a few more minutes, slide the pancake onto a large plate, turn up the heat again, and make a second pancake. When the second one is done, slide it onto a separate plate.

Complete as many pancakes as you wish, then proceed with the filling:


1 recipe for white sauce
About 2 cups of chopped ham
6 ounces Monterey jack cheese

Make a white sauce according to the directions using butter, flour, and milk or cream, whichever you prefer.


Stir in the ham and the cheese. I also sprinkled in some white pepper, but that is certainly optional.


Add a generous amount of the filling to each boxty, and fold the other side over. Repeat with the remaining boxties that you made. The filing will generously fill four boxties, approximately 8″ in diameter.


Serve immediately.

* It’s called The Scottish-Irish Pub and Hearth Cookbook, by Kay Shaw Nelson.

By Published On: June 2nd, 201321 Comments on Boxty

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. sallybr June 2, 2013 at 10:23 AM - Reply

    Amazing! Can you believe I had NEVER heard of boxty? I thought I was gastronomically clever, but now I realize there’s a lot missing in my knowledge!

    great post, and yes, those women are simply stunning! So gorgeous!

    pass me a boxty, dear… ;-)

    • chef mimi June 2, 2013 at 4:30 PM - Reply

      hahaha! you are clever! but we can’t know everything, now can we?!!!

  2. MonkeyBreadandSweetPea June 2, 2013 at 10:40 AM - Reply

    There is an amazing bar in San Diego called Hamilton’s (South Park area). They serve the best boxty sandwiches!!!! And I’ve never seen boxty stuffed! What an amazing idea? Thanks for sharing!

  3. lulu June 2, 2013 at 10:45 AM - Reply

    I must confess to never having heard of a boxy, but it looks delish and I like knowing a bit about it’s origins. Looks like something to keep my eye out for.

    • chef mimi June 2, 2013 at 4:31 PM - Reply

      I think you could go through life without experiencing a boxty, but I just had to have one because they’re so Irish!

  4. Pride in Photos Photography June 2, 2013 at 3:21 PM - Reply

    I have never even heard of this…but if it has potatoes in it….this girl would love it♥

  5. chef mimi June 2, 2013 at 4:32 PM - Reply

    It really was a good little restaurant. I don’t remember coming across Elephant and Castle… and I thought we walked everywhere!

  6. chef mimi June 2, 2013 at 4:33 PM - Reply

    It was fun, cause it was Irish, but it wasn’t anything “outstanding.”

  7. chef mimi June 2, 2013 at 5:47 PM - Reply

    I’ve never seen them on a pub menu, so I really don’t know what to think!

  8. johnnysenough hepburn June 2, 2013 at 9:11 PM - Reply

    Huh, I’ve never heard of these and I’m originally from the North. Will have to give these a go, purely out of curiosity.

  9. chef mimi June 3, 2013 at 12:34 PM - Reply

    It’s fun!

  10. chef mimi June 3, 2013 at 12:34 PM - Reply

    I ate my weight in potatoes while I was there!

  11. chef mimi June 3, 2013 at 12:35 PM - Reply


  12. chef mimi June 3, 2013 at 12:35 PM - Reply

    I’m glad someone else has had one!

  13. chef mimi June 4, 2013 at 8:40 AM - Reply

    Potatoes are quite delicious, aren’t they?!! Ireland was beautiful.

  14. Fig & Quince June 4, 2013 at 11:27 AM - Reply

    Having a parade go by while enjoying a delicious and coveted boxty in Ireland on a trip … what a perfect slice of life! I’d have been super excited too! (ps like the majority I’d NEVER heard of boxty before.)

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