Friday, 16 March 2012

Paddy's Day: Potato and wild sorrel cakes with wild garlic butter


Truth be known, it would be pretty tough trying to survive on a traditional Irish diet as a vegetarian. It's a cuisine packed full of parts of cows, pigs, fish and rabbits complete with a hefty portion of potatoes. While, I absolutely love potatoes, I often find I have to look further afield than Ireland to add a little colour and excitement to my dinner plate. Of course though, being the weekend of St. Patrick, I had to find something to tickle the tastebuds, of a more traditional kind. After going foraging in Howth, I'd picked up some fresh-from-the-ground sorrel and wild garlic, that I'd planned to put to good use.

This sorrel and potato cake is so easy to make, that it's a good one to do with the kids or in a rush in between nap times! The wild garlic butter packs quite a punch and you really don't need to use a lot.


Inspired by several Darina Allen recipes

3 medium potatoes
a handful of sorrel leaves of various sizes
1 (generous) tbsp of plain flour
4 tsp butter
1 handful of wild garlic
2 tbsp rapeseed oil

Peel and grate the potatoes by hand or in a food processor. Wash the sorrel leaves well and dry with kitchen paper. Remove large middle veins from the leaves and dice finely. Add to a medium bowl along with the grated potato and the flour and mix well.

Add the oil and 1 tbsp of the butter to a pan, over a medium heat and add the potato mixture. Spread out evenly in the pan and pat out to create a flat, even cake shape. Cook on one side until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes, before flipping over to the other side and cooking through.

Meanwhile make the wild garlic butter by creaming 3 tbsps in a small bowl. Wash the flowers and leaves thoroughly and pat dry. Dice finely, add to the bowl and mix well. Fold the butter out onto some cling film, roll into a sausage shape and secure both ends. Pop in the fridge to chill and harden. When it is ready, lavish it on top of the potato cakes and enjoy. Guinness is not vegetarian, so maybe skip that and go for a chilled cider instead. Flat cap, pipe and old beard are strictly optional. 

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