This month I decided to team up with the “Food’N’Flix” movie group and make Boxty. Each month a movie is chosen and after viewing, the participants cook a dish inspired by the movies culinary scenes. Culinary Adventures with Camilla is the host for July and has chosen the movie “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.”
Luckily I had already watched this movie on a flight a couple of months ago and had really enjoyed it. Worth watching this romantic drama if you haven’t managed to see it yet. In the way of food inspiration throughout the movie, there was a pork roast, gin and a potato peel pie. During world war II most of the farm animals were confiscated and food was scarce. The potato peel pie was a creation made out of necessity as farmers relied on the crops they grew, like potatoes. In the movie, the potato peel pie’s brief appearance at the bookclub was deemed bland and unappetizing and made from only two ingredients, potatoes and potato peels.
My movie inspired recipe submission for the Food`N’Flix theme is a traditional Irish potato dish called Boxty. It is a mixture of cooked mashed potatoes and raw grated potatoes with a little flour, butter and seasoning mixed in. As with most traditional recipes, Irish families have their own variations on how they prepare and cook boxty, be it on a griddle or in a pan… we even have a rhyme for our boxty.
“Boxty on the griddle
Boxty in the pan
If you don’t eat your boxty
You’ll never get a man (followed by the answering rhyme)
I’ll have none of your boxty
I’ll have none of your blarney
But I’ll whirl my petticoats over my head
And be off with my royal Charlie”
Growing up in Ireland my Dad loved to make potato bread (we still do in our house), but when he made boxty, he would add grated raw potato to his potato bread (recipe here). Boxty is a little heavier and denser in texture but both potato recipes are very similar and really tasty. Perfect accompaniment to a full Irish breakfast.
Our family always pan-fried boxty (recipe below), but on this occasion and wanting the dish to look more like a “potato peel pie,” baked the boxty in a pie dish. I also included the potato peels (normally discarded) and tossed them with olive oil and sea salt, then roasted the potato peels on a tray alongside the boxty. A neat little reminder how tasty roasted potato skins are. So there you have my version of the humble Potato Peel Pie from the movie, The Guernesey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
- 250g peeled potatoes (use floury potatoes), cut into chunks
- 25g butter
- sea salt, to taste
- 250g peeled potatoes, (use floury potatoes)
- 50g plain flour, sieved
How to make:
Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through, the tip of a sharp knife should easily pass through the potato.
Pass the potatoes through a food mill placed over a mixing bowl, mix in the melted butter and salt. Check seasoning. If you do not have a food mill mash the potatoes using a potato masher.
Meanwhile, grate the raw potatoes directly into a clean dish cloth, twist the ends together and wring out all the watery starch from the potatoes, you might want to do this over the sink.
With a wooden spoon, mix the raw potatoes into the mashed potatoes. Add the flour and mix in to form a dough.
Place dough mixture onto a lightly floured work-surface and knead lightly to smooth. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a circle to about 1.5cm in thickness. Using a knife dusted with flour, cut into triangles.
Lightly grease an iron griddle or non-stick frying pan with sunflower oil and place over medium heat until hot. Cook the potato bread until each side is well browned and has formed crust.
Serve the potato bread immediately on warmed plates and brush each slice with a little melted butter, if desired.
Note: Once the raw grated potato is prepared, incorporate them into the mashed potato immediately to stop them from discoloring.