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Boxty (Irish: bacstaí) is a traditional Irish potato pancake. The dish is mostly associated with the north midlands, north Connacht and southern Ulster, in particular the counties of Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Fermanagh, Longford, Leitrim and Cavan. There are many recipes but all contain finely grated, raw potatoes and all are served fried.

Boxty with beef and squash.jpg
Boxty, in a contemporary presentation served wrapped around beef and with courgettes and sauce
Alternative namesPoundy, poundies, potato bread
TypePotato pancake
Place of originIreland
Main ingredientsPotatoes, flour, baking soda, buttermilk; sometimes eggs

The most popular version of the dish consists of finely grated raw potato and mashed potato with flour, baking soda, buttermilk, and sometimes egg. The grated potato may be strained to remove most of the starch and water but this is not necessary. The mixture is fried on a griddle pan for a few minutes on each side, similar to a normal pancake. Traditional alternatives include using only raw potatoes, boiling it as a dumpling or baking it as a loaf. The most noticeable difference between boxty and other fried potato dishes is its smooth, fine-grained consistency.

The old Irish rhyme is: "Boxty on the griddle; boxty on the pan. If you can't make boxty, you'll never get a man!"

As the interest in Irish cuisine has increased, so the popularity of boxty has risen. It is not unusual to see boxty on the menus of restaurants outside the areas with which it is traditionally associated. Boxty may be bought in shops and supermarkets either in the dumpling form or ready cooked as pancakes. Boxty is authentically served roughly cut in thick slices or wedges, never in the thinner style of a crepe.


Likely Irish, possibly from the Irish arán bocht tí meaning "poor house bread"[1] or bácús meaning "bakehouse".

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ayto, John (2012). The diner's dictionary : word origins of food & drink (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 42. ISBN 9780199640249.