I’ve lifted this from Matthew Drennan’s Best of Ireland and thrown in a few variations of my own. Griddle cakes are great for heating up a body on a cold wintry day. Being almost pure carbohydrate beyond the bit of fat in the butter and milk, these are great energy-givers, although I wouldn’t be running the 800 metres after a feed of these, as they do tend to be very filling. Just as with pancakes, you can be very creative with what you spread on griddle cakes (or dip them into): whipped cream, jam, butter, sour cream, cheese, savour sauces.
225 g/8 oz potatoes
115 g/4 oz/1 cup plain flour
1.5 ml/¼ tsp salt
1.5 ml/¼ tsp baking powder
15 g/½ oz/1 tbsp butter, plus extra for frying if you chose not to use olive oil
25 ml/1½ tbsp milk
Olive oil for frying
1. Cut the potatoes into small cubes. Place in saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 min, until tender (until a butter knife will pass through with ease).
2. Drain the potatoes and dry out over a high heat for 1 min, until all traces of moisture have evaporated. Mash well, leaving no lumps.
3. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until combined. (My favourite part. I love the buttery smell of my hands afterwards!)
4. Add the mashed potato and mix thoroughly with a fork. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk. Bring the mixture together to form a smooth dough.
5. Turn out on to a floured board and knead. Roll out to a round 5 mm/¼ in thick. Either use cookie cutters to shape the dough (see accompanying pix) or, more traditionally, cut in half, then cut each half into three triangles.
6. Grease a griddle or large frying pan with some butter and heat until very hot. Fry the cakes for about 3-4 min, until golden brown, turning once during cooking, then serve hot.