For a start, I’ll bet you didn’t know that there was even such a thing as a world potato dumpling record.
Or that a new such record was set just this past week in Ireland. Fact.
I watched as the hefty 82.5kg record-breaking dumpling was unveiled.
“Y’know, this kind of thing could inspire a boiled boxty craze,” I thought to my spud-self.
“And when that craze hits, I want to be right up there.”
Truly my ambitions know no bounds when it comes to spuds.
There was just one teeny problem, though…
…I had never actually made boiled boxty.
Those boiled boxty crazies would find me in their google search results but discover that, while I had made such things as pan boxty and loaf boxty, I had never made the boiled kind. Hmph.
There was only one thing for it – I needed to get my boiled boxty skates on and fast.
So, before long, I was mashing and grating, kneading and shaping, boiling and frying, and generally channeling my inner dumpling. The happy result is that I can now present, for your delectation and the delectation of crazed boxty lovers everywhere, boiled boxty à la Spud.
Do please keep the image above in mind as you read this, because I warn you, boiled boxty goes through an ugly phase. The thing is, boiled dough is never pretty, but it is thoroughly redeemed by a visit to the frying pan in the company of butter (which makes everything better). And of course it tastes good (as if you needed to ask).
I’ve used Pádraic Óg Gallagher’s formula for boiled boxty here. And he should know all about it, being a world record holder ‘n’ all.
- approx. 500g potatoes, preferably a floury variety (try Roosters or Kerr’s Pink or, in the U.S., try Russets)
- approx. 150g plain flour
- 0.25 tsp salt plus more for boiling the potatoes
- butter for frying
You’ll also need:
- A ricer is best for mashing the spuds, plus you’ll need a grater for grating the raw potatoes.
- Wash and peel half your potatoes and cut into roughly even-sized slices, around 1-2cm thick. Rinse them under cold water.
- Bring about 1.25l of water to the boil in a saucepan, add about 1.5 tsp salt and the potato slices.
- Bring back to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer gently, covered, for around 12-15 minutes or until just fork-tender.
- When the potatoes are done, drain well and return them to the saucepan. Place the pan over a low heat and stir the potatoes gently for a minute or so while they dry out. Alternatively, let them sit, covered by a tea-towel, for about 5 minutes or so.
- Put the cooked and still warm potatoes through a potato ricer, if you have one, or mash with a potato masher or, if all else fails, a fork.
- Wash and peel the remaining potatoes and grate coarsely.
- Place the grated potatoes in a clean tea-towel and squeeze as much liquid out as you can.
- Add the mashed potatoes, grated raw potatoes, flour and salt to a mixing bowl. Mix to a firm dough, adding more flour if needed (the dough should not be too sticky) and knead for 3-4 minutes.
- Form the dough into 3 dumplings (they’ll be roughly tennis-ball-sized). Throw each one forcefully from hand to hand a few times to help compact the dumplings further.
- Bring a pot of water to the boil, add the dumplings and let them simmer for about an hour and 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, cool and preferably chill overnight in the fridge.
- You are now free to slice the dumplings as thickly or as thinly as you’d like, then fry to your heart’s content in butter. Enjoy!
- If you don’t want to make dumplings, you can bake the dough instead. In that case, add about 25g of melted butter to the dough and bake in a loaf tin @ 180C for around an hour to make a kind of boxty loaf. This, too, can be sliced and fried.
- Makes 3 dumplings, which will serve 4-6 as part of a fry-up.