Every year for the past few years, my family have packed up a weeks’ worth of clothes and a car full of dogs and driven somewhere for a holiday sometime during the summer. This year, ten of us (and two dogs) piled into two cars and drove to Dingle, Co. Kerry (via Holyhead). I love this week away – I’m so not normally a wet-dogs-sand-between-my-toes-getting-freckles in-the-sunshine kind of girl, but somehow, for that week, I run about in jeans and bare feet and and paddle in the freezing-cold sea and pick wildflowers from the hedgerows to plait into my hair.
With ten of us, we can take turns cooking and tidying, and brewing enormous pots of coffee in the morning. I’ve had a hard past few months, with one thing and another and, without wishing to sound like a #blessed stereotype, it has been so wonderful to be reminded how lucky I am to have such a funny, generous, loving family (even if we all get on one anothers’ nerves the other 51 weeks of the year), and to have a break from real life in such a beautiful (and mostly WiFi-free) part of the world.
Because I love brunch, I decided to make my family a gluten-free twist on a traditional Irish recipe, gluten free potato farls. When I ate wheat, I used to love potato farls. They’re a real treat: buttery and salty, fluffy with potato inside and golden crunchy on the outside. I love them as a breakfast, with mushrooms and spinach and eggs, but they are also a perfect way to finish off a night of one-too-many pints.
Making Irish Gluten Free Potato Farls another day? Pin it so you don’t forget!
The Irish Gluten Free Potato Farls recipe:
- 4 medium-small potatoes (around 150g each – I used the creamy, waxy red variety available locally)
- 1 tblspn. butter (at room temperature)
- ½ cup rice flour
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- Oil or butter, for frying
- Mash the potatoes: Peel and roughly chop them, then add to a large saucepan. Cover with hot water, bring to the boil, turn down the heat a little and simmer for around 15-20 minutes, until very soft. Drain the potatoes and return to the pan, with a little of the cooking water to loosen, and roughly mash. If possible, do this step ahead of time (preferably the day before), and allow the mash to cool completely before making the dish.
- When you’re ready to go, take the mashed potato and knead in the butter, rice flour and salt. Once it is at a doughy consistency, turn out onto a board and form into two balls. To make traditional potato farls*, use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough into a circle, around half an inch thick, and cut into quarters (like a pizza or a pie). If you’re making a lot of them (or saving them for later) you can pile the uncooked cakes on a plate, with baking paper between each layer, and they will save in the fridge for a few days.
- Heat a large, cast-iron frying pan, or skillet, over a medium flame, and melt in some butter or olive oil. Don’t skimp on this, or the farls will stick to the bottom of the pan: just accept that this won’t be the healthiest meal you’ve ever eaten, and have a salad later. Carefully drop each piece of farl into the pan and allow to cook for about 4 minutes, then carefully turn and cook the other side for another 4 minutes. Both sides should be golden brown, and sizzling a little when you take them out.
I made enough gluten free potato farls to serve ten, but here I’ve scaled the recipe down to serve a much more reasonable number of brunchers. This morning I served them up fresh and hot in batches, with sautéed mushrooms, caremelised red onion and fresh, peppery rocket leaves.
*The word ‘farl’ literally means ‘fourths’ of ‘quarters’, referring to the shape of each piece. When I made these in Kerry I couldn’t locate a rolling pin, so you may notice that I’ve made four separate, much smaller flat circles from each big ball of dough, which was much easier when cooking for the five thousand.