Irish Bennies With Potato Farls
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6 to 8 Servings
For the Farls:
  • 6 medium-sized white-fleshed potatoes (like Russet)
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ to ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • Oil, for frying
For the Hollandaise:
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 cup butter, clarified (just do it in the microwave; it separates naturally once melted)
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh herbs (chives, tarragon, dill and flat leaf parsley, or whatever you like)
  • Salt, to taste
For the Rest:
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, ends removed
  • 8 to 12 eggs, to poach (two per person)
  • 2 to 4 fillets hot-smoked salmon, flaked
  1. Make the Farls: Peel and cut potatoes into even-sized chunks. Simmer in salted water until fork tender, then drain and return to the pot. Cover the pot and allow the potatoes to steam for an additional ten minutes. Add the butter, salt and pepper. Mash until completely smooth. Add ½ cup of flour and mix. The mixture should be sticky but pliable. If it’s too sticky, add an additional ¼ cup of flour and mix.
  2. Turn the potato mixture onto a well-floured surface while heating a non-stick pan on medium heat. Knead the potato mixture for 1 minute to work the dough (add more flour to the surface if it’s too sticky) and then divide the dough into 12 even-sized portions.
  3. Add oil to the non-stick pan to heat. Flatten each portion of potato with your hands (to about ¼ inch thickness) and fry on both sides until golden brown. You want to work with the potato mixture while it’s still warm – it’s easier to handle this way. The farls will keep up to three days if wrapped in cling film and kept refrigerated.
  4. On Christmas Eve: Blanch the asparagus for two minutes in boiling salted water, then shock in ice water. Drain well and refrigerate. Flake the salmon (you will want ½ fillet of salmon per person) and refrigerate.
  5. On Christmas morning: Gently heat the potato farls, covered in foil, in a 350˚ oven. Bring a large pot filled halfway with water to a simmer. Add 1 tbsp of vinegar to the simmering water. To make the hollandaise, make sure your herbs are chopped and your butter is clarified and in a pourable dish (like a measuring cup). Add the egg yolks and lemon juice to a stainless-steel bowl, then place the bowl over the pot of simmering water and start whisking. Whisk the egg yolk mixture until pale and slightly thick, about two minutes, then start adding the clarified butter to the mixture in a very slow, thin stream (whisking constantly). Keep adding the butter until the mixture thickens (you may not use the entire cup). You want the hollandaise to be pale yellow and thick but pourable.
  6. Add the fresh herbs to the hollandaise and season to taste. Add the eggs to the simmering water and poach for about three minutes. Reheat the asparagus in a hot frying pan.
  7. Assemble the dish: Place two hot potato farls on the plate, then top each with hot-smoked salmon. Place a poached egg on top of the salmon, then add a generous tablespoon of hollandaise over the whole thing. Allow for two per person. Serve right away (preferably with brunchy cocktails!).
Recipe by Food Bloggers of Canada at