We can talk Guinness and green beer all we want, but, if I’m being honest, the reason I love St. Pat’s is that it’s no-holds barred excuse to eat potatoes. And when it comes to potatoes, I’m partial to mashed potatoes — especially my Dad’s mashed potato pancakes. True to his Irish roots, my dad never met a mashed potato he didn’t like and, on the off chance there were any left over, they’d undoubtedly turn into mashed potato pancakes.
As simple as can be, the key to my Dad’s mashed potato pancakes is the insane amount of aged Cheddar cheese and a ton of chives to freshen it all up. Though it’s hard for me to top one of my all-time favorite recipes — this Oatmeal Cheddar and Chive Breakfast Souffle — I’m topping Dad’s mashed potato pancakes with some a Cheddar-Beer sauce, a fried egg, a few crumbles of bacon, and a bunch more chives this year and something tells me they’ll be a hit.
such as Guinness (can also use an ale)
finely chopped plus more for garnish
for frying the pancakes and eggs
For the cheese sauce: Combine the 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until toasted and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 3/4 cup of the beer and the mustard until evenly combined. Roughly chop 8 ounces of the cheese then add to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and smooth, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Sauce can be made ahead of time - refrigerate in a covered container for up to 4 days.
For the mashed potato pancakes: Heat oven to 250°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Grate remaining cheese (you should have about 1/2 cups). Whisk one egg until smooth then combine with mashed potatoes (ideally room temperature or slightly warm since they'll mix better), remaining grated cheese (about 1/2 cup), chives, remaining 1/2 cup of flour, and a big pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir until just mixed together. Divide mixture in 8 portions then, using damp hands, pat each portion into a pancake (roughly 1/2-inch thick and 3-inch wide). Place each pancake on a plate or rimmed baking sheet and repeat. Line a baking sheet with paper towels; set aside.
You could use any leftover mashed potatoes you have on hand to make these, though, depending on the wetness of the recipe you may need a bit more egg or flour to bind them. If you're looking for a basic recipe, you can't go wrong with these Mashed Potatoes on Simply Recipes.
Add enough oil to a large nonstick frying pan to cover the bottom and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add 4 of the pancakes into the pan and cook, undisturbed until the bottoms are golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Gently flip the cakes and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer to the paper towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture.
If desired, return pan to medium heat and fry eggs in the remaining oil until desired doneness. To serve, top each potato pancake with a spoonful of the cheese sauce (rewarmed over low heat as needed so it's pourable), an egg, some bacon, and additional chives.
Food photography and styling by Aida Mollenkamp