Boxty pancakes with cabbage and bacon

Boxty pancake with cabbage and bacon and parsley sauceI didn’t wear green, but in honour of St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to designate this week Ireland week. In a fit of over-enthusiasm, I made far too many mashed potatoes the other day. So to use them up, I decided to make three different versions of boxty over the course of three days.

As far as I can tell, there are as many different versions of boxty as there are Irish mammies. You can make boxty pancakes, boxty dumplings, baked boxty cut into slices, even grilled boxty patties. The common ingredients appear to be mashed potatoes, grated potatoes and flour. Beyond that, anything goes. Which is just how I like my recipes.

On Saturday, I made boxty pancakes, just slightly thicker than a crepe, and used them as wraps for – what else? – cabbage and bacon. This is the recipe in this post. On Sunday, I made thicker boxty blinis, almost patty-like in thickness, and served them with smoked salmon and parsley sauce. Today I made boxty dumplings, reminiscent of gnocci, and served them with non-traditional tomato sauce and salad. All were delicious, full of spuddy goodness.

Open boxty pancake with cabbage and baconBoxty pancakes with cabbage and bacon and parsley sauce

Serves about 4

For the pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups grated potato, wrung out (see point 1 in instructions)
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potato
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour (I used Dove’s Farm Plain White Flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups almond milk (you could use lactose-free cow’s milk if you don’t need dairy-free, or of course regular milk if you’re not concerned about lactose)
  • 1 T olive oil
  1. Tea towel containing grated potatoesGrate raw potato, keeping skin on for extra fibre, and wrap the result in a clean tea towel. Wring out as much excess fluid as you can. You’ll be surprised at how much you can squeeze out. Don’t worry if the fluid is dark brown – grated potato discolours easily. This will not affect the taste and even the appearance will be less affected than you might think.Boxty pancake batter with spoon
  2. In a large bowl, mix together grated raw potato, leftover mashed potato (cold is probably better), gluten-free flour, baking powder and xanthan gum.
  3. Add in egg, milk and olive oil and mix well.
  4. One boxty pancakeSpray a frying pan with oil and heat to medium. (Traditional recipes call for butter but a spray will result in a lighter dish.) Scoop a good ladle-full into the pan and spread it thinly until you get a thickness akin to a crepe, or just slightly thicker than a crepe.
  5. Once first side is golden, flip and fry other side until also golden. Repeat.

For the cabbage and baconBacon and chopped parsley

This isn’t a traditional Irish cabbage and bacon – a traditional recipe would involve boiling a whole bacon joint, then cooking the cabbage in the leftover water, and serving separately with potatoes, not wrapped in a boxty pancake. No offense to the traditionally-minded, but I think my version is better, not to mention a lot easier.
  • 1/2 large or 1 small savoy cabbage (1 cup of savoy cabbage is considered low-FODMAP, though white cabbage is high-FODMAP)
  • 6-8 slices back bacon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

cabbage and bacon stir-fried

  1. Chop savoy cabbage into longish, thin slices. Chop bacon into strips about 1 cm thick.
  2. Fry bacon in a pan until just heated through but not crisp. Oil is probably unnecessary but you don’t need to drain the pan or bacon afterward either.
  3. Add cabbage and stir-fry until cooked. Season to taste.

For the parsley sauce

Let me be honest: I did this by feel and didn’t measure anything. The following is an approximation.
  • 1 tablespoon sorghum flour, dissolved in 1-2 tablespoons cold water (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: nothing beats sorghum flour for thickening a sauce. No lumps, great texture, great taste. However, you could also use a plain gluten-free flour mix.)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup almond milk, lactose-free milk, or regular milk
  • 1 pat of butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons sour cream, optional (sour cream is relatively high in lactose but this amount in a sauce should be fine for most people)
  • 2-3 tablespoons white wine
  • Generous handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk in sorghum flour/water mix, milk/almond milk, and white wine. Bring to the boil, whisking constantly. Once mixture has come to the boil, lower heat to simmer and continue to whisk a minute or two longer. If mixture isn’t thick enough for your taste, add a little more sorghum flour. If it’s too thick, add a little milk.
  2. Remove from heat and immediately stir in sour cream (if using) and parsley. Season to taste.

To serve: Put a boxty pancake on a plate and cover half with cabbage and bacon. Fold over and serve with parsley sauce. Don’t let the leprechauns get it!

Pancakes, cabbage & bacon, and parsley sauce will keep in the fridge for a few days as long as you keep them separately. Pancakes would probably freeze well if separated with parchment paper, though I haven’t tried it.

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