Potato farls with herb or anchovy butter

by Angela Clutton

An Irish classic—excellent with fried egg for breakfast or lunch

Mashed potatoes are formed into a dough and then lightly fried in butter for this Irish classic. A great way to use any leftover mash, but also well worth doing some especially. Delicious served straight from the pan with herb or anchovy butter melting over. Try for breakfast or lunch—maybe even with a fried egg on the side too.


For the flavoured butter:
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
50g herbs of your choice (tarragon, dill or chervil), finely chopped
OR 6 anchovy fillets drained of their oil or brine, finely chopped

For the potato farls:
500g floury potatoes, such as king edwards
50g butter, plus extra for cooking
50g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
½ tsp baking powder


First, make the flavoured butter. Use the back of a spoon to mix together the butter with the chopped herbs or the chopped anchovies. If using the herbs, season well with salt. Use your hands to form into a roll. Wrap in clingfilm and put into the fridge to firm up. This can be made ahead of time and kept for 1 week or so.

Peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks and boil in a pan of salted water for 10-15 mins, until cooked through. Drain thoroughly and then return the potatoes to the pan for 1-2 mins to dry. Add the butter and mash until smooth.

Stir in the flour and baking powder to form a dough that comes away from the sides of the pan. Season well. Lift the potato dough out of the pan and gently knead for 1 min on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 2 and roll each half into a circle approximately 1cm thick. Cut the circles into quarters, so achieving 4 farls from each.

Melt a knob of butter in a large frying pan. Fry 4 of the farls for 3 mins on each side—they need to be golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the farls and serve warm, with the butter sliced over to melt.

Recipe: Angela Clutton