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Irish Potato

A selection of different recipes for traditional Irish Potato including Potato and Cheese, Potato Casserole, Irish Potato Salad, Irish Potato Cake and Cheesy Potato Soup.

The Gaelic word for potato is práta (In the West of Ireland (Connemara) the potato is called 'Fata'). The potato is considered by most to be the food of the poor as it was simple to grow even in poor soil, easy to cook and extremely nutritional. It is an extremely versatile and healthy vegetable to eat depending on the cooking method of course! (Chips and Fries are not included!)

Do you know how many varieties of potato are there in Ireland? or how potatoes can be grown from seed? Read lots of interesting information about the humble Irish potato!

English: Potato
Irish: práta

Irish Potato - History
Many people consider the potato an Irish vegetable however the potato originated from South America where it was discovered by explorers. It was only introduced to Ireland in the late sixteenth century and quickly became the main food of the Irish.

The Gaelic word for potato is práta (In Connemara however, the potato is called 'Fata'). History has labelled the potato as the food of the poor as it was simple to grow even in poor soil, easy to cook and extremely nutritional.

The potato is an extremely versatile vegetable and is in fact a healthy option depending on how it is cooked. Steaming potatoes and baking potatoes in their jackets are the healthiest choice. Chips and roasted potatoes are high in fat, the amount varies depending on the type of oil used.

Ireland - Food

Visit the Full Ireland Website for more information and pictures about  Irish Potato



Irish Potato - Growing Seed Potatoes
Growing potatoes from seed is a great way to get kids involved and interested in gardening. They need to be patient though, the process takes about two months from planting to harvest.

Irish Potatoes - What you Need to grown seed potatoes

  • A large bucket or barrel

  • Seed potatoes

  • Compost

Irish Potatoes - How to grown seed potatoes

Make sure your potato is starting to sprout before planting. (Place the potato on a windowsill until the sprouts begin to appear)

Ensure that water can drain from the bucket or barrel (Cut a small hole in the bottom if necessary)

Fill the container about three quarters full of compost and bury the sprouting potatoes in the soil

Water enough to ensure the soil is damp

Choose a sunny place for your container. This can be indoors or outdoors. If planting outside, ensure the potato is protected from frost

Water the potatoes enough to keep the soil damp, do not over water, this will slow the growth of the potatoes

The potato plants will begin to grow. Once the leaves begin to die off the potatoes are ready for harvesting (this will take around two months)

Irish Potato - Potato Cake Recipe
Potato cake is also known as potato 'farls'. It is popular in both Northern and Southern Ireland and is an essential ingredient in the 'Ulster Fry' breakfast famous in Northern Ireland.

Unlike soda bread, the dough is rolled out until almost flat, it is then cut into quarters and fried or cooked on a griddle rather than baked in an oven.

Irish Potato Cake - Ingredients
450 g (16 oz) warm cooked potato, mashed
1 tsp salt
50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter or margarine (melted)
100 g (4 oz) plain flour

Irish Potato Cake - Method
Add the salt and butter to a large bowl
Sift in enough flour to make a pliable dough, add more as necessary
Divide the dough into four equal parts
Roll the dough out on a floured surface creating four circles 22 cm (approx 9 in) in diameter and 5 mm (approx 1/4 in) thick
Cut each circle into quarters and bake on a hot griddle or pan for about 5 minutes or until brown on both sides

Irish Potato Cake - Ideas
For a drier cake use a dusting of flour instead of butter to grease the baking surface
For a healthier option with less fat, replace the fresh mashed potato with dried potato flakes

Irish Potato - Potato Casserole Recipe
Irish potato casserole is a great dish to serve on a cold winters evening! Try cooking the casserole in a slow cooker, simply add the ingredients in the morning and it will be cooked to perfection when you return from work, delicious! Serve with warm homemade wheaten bread with lots of Irish butter, perfection!

Irish Potato recipe - Ingredients
1lb potatoes
1lb carrots
1lb onions
salt & pepper
pinch of mixed herbs

Irish Potato recipe - Method
Put the potatoes in a large saucepan
Sprinkle the mixed spice over the potatoes
Fill the pan with enough cold water to cover the potatoes
Bring slowly to the boil
Simmer for an hour
Add the carrots and onions
Season with salt and pepper
Continue cooking until potatoes and vegetable are soft
Serve with warm home made wheaten bread or cabbage

Irish Potato - Potato and Cheese
There are lots of recipes that combine the potato with a variety of cheeses. A great choice for vegetarians! Try using goats cheese for a stronger taste. Simple dishes such as jacket potato with a cheese topping can be made unique by adding a selection of different cheeses, everyone loves four cheese pizza, why not try this with your next jacket potato? Try grating some cheese to use as a delicious topping for your mashed potato, delicious!

Irish Potato - List of Irish Potato Varieties

There are hundreds of different varieties of potato and their size and color varies greatly from the tiny new charlotte potatoes to the large Marfona variety which is ideal for jacket potatoes. Certain varieties of potato grow particularly well in Irish soil including Roosters, Desiree and Kerr's Pinks.

Irish Potato - Kerr's Pinks
Kerr's pinks are suitable for a variety of cooking methods including boiling, steaming and for chips. They are white to pale pink in appearance with a creamy colored flesh. A beautiful 'floury' potato variety, care should be taken when cooking.

Irish Potato - Roosters
Roosters are the most common potato in Ireland and are available all year round. They have a red skin with a yellow colored flesh, the freshly harvested potatoes in the picture below are roosters. They have a less 'floury' texture than other varieties and are suitable for roasting, boiling and steaming.

Irish Potato - Golden Wonder

Golden Wonder potatoes are the most traditional Irish potato. The Golden Wonder is an extremely floury potato and is recommended for boiling and steaming, they also make delicious chips.

Irish Potato - Queens
Queens are a great all round potato, very floury and ideal for boiling, steaming or roasting. They are a very popular early potato and can be identified by their white flesh.

Irish Potato - Desiree
Desiree potatoes are a popular choice, they are a versatile potato variety and are ideal for use in potato salads as well as boiling or roasting. Desiree potatoes can be identified by their red skin and yellow flesh.

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