These nachos are made with crispy potato slices and doused in a Guinness cheese sauce. The ultimate indulgent finger food!
Alright, first things first. Why are potato nachos called Irish nachos? Honestly, it’s essentially just that. The fact you’re using potato instead of chips. Although many Irish folk will be waving their fists in the air over this post, the pubs have Christened this dish as such, and as a British pub enthusiast I have no choice but to conform. Some Irish nacho recipes use waffle fries, some top with corned beef, but today I’ll show you exactly how I like mine. Follow me…
Best potato to use?
I recommend a baking potato like a Russet (US) or Maris Piper (UK). I don’t recommend using a waxy variety of potato because they retain too much moisture and won’t go as crispy. In all cases you want to keep the SKIN ON for extra flavour.
How thin to slice the potato?
A lot of recipes tend to slice the potato quite thin, but honestly by the time you’ve cooked and drenched them in cheese, the thinner they are the more likely they’ll go soggy. As such I recommend just over 1/4″ thick.
Soaking in cold water
I recommend soaking the slices in cold water to help remove starch. Starch is what makes potatoes go gloopy when they cook, so removing it will help the potatoes crisp up & go fluffy in the centre. Essential to thoroughly dry the potatoes after soaking though, just to remove as much moisture as possible.
Process shots: place potato on chopping board (photo 1), slice of ends (photo 2), slice into rounds (photo 3), soak in cold water (photo 4), drain and place on tea towel (photo 5), thoroughly dry (photo 6).
How to cook Irish Nachos
When it comes to cooking the potatoes you’ve got a few different options:
- Deep Frying – The most faff as it uses a lot of oil, but the potatoes do crisp up nicely. I usually only do this method if I’ve got leftover oil from something I’ve deep fried recently.
- Shallow Frying – A happy medium between deep frying and baking. Still uses a fair bit of oil though.
- Baking – This is great if you’ve got a giant sheet pan to cook all the slices at once and of course uses less oil.
In all cases you’ll want to season with a hefty pinch of salt and pepper. If frying you’ll do this after they’re cooked, if baking you do it before. I tend to not add any other herbs etc because I find it distracting. They’re about to be smothered in cheese sauce anyway 😛
Guinness Cheese Sauce
Now you could grate cheese over the nachos and bake, but this just adds time. I also find that baking the potatoes even longer just turns them soft because they’re all piled on top of each other. As such, I recommend whipping up a quick cheese sauce.
Now, I’m personally not fan of drinking Guinness, but in this context it’s delightful. Adding Guinness to the cheese sauce not only injects some ‘Irish’ into the dish, but it also offers a really gorgeous deep flavour to the sauce. You can definitely taste it, but it’s not overpowering in any way.
What Cheese to use?
A classic nacho cheese sauce would use processed American cheese, but here I use cheddar because it goes best with the Guinness. Monterey Jack also works well!
Process shots: melt butter (photo 1), whisk in flour (photo 2), whisk in Guinness (photo 3), whisk in milk (photo 4), add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and s& p (photo 5), stir in cheese (photo 6).
Serving Irish Nachos
Feel free to go wild with your favourite nacho toppings! Here’s what I use:
Irish Nacho Toppings
- Crispy Bacon
- Red Onion
For more similar recipes check out these beauties:
Fun Nacho Recipes
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these Irish potato nachos shall we?!
How to make Irish Nachos (Full Recipe & Video)
Irish Potato Nachos
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Large Bowl (for soaking)
- Deep Pot, Ladle & Kitchen Thermometer (for deep frying)
- Large Pan & Tongs (for shallow frying)
- Large Baking Tray (for baking)
- Medium Pan or Pot & Whisk (for sauce)
- Large Plate (for serving)
- Wire Rack
- Cheese Grater
Ingredients (check list):
- 2lb / 1kg Maris Pipers or Russets, sliced into 1/4" rounds
- 3-4 cups / 750ml-1litre Vegetable Oil (for deep frying)
- 1 cup / 250ml Vegetable Oil (for shallow frying)
- 2 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil (for baking)
- Salt & Black Pepper, as needed
Guinness Cheese Sauce (makes big batch!)
- 3-4 cups / 300-400g Cheese, see notes
- 1 1/2 cups / 375ml Milk, at room temp
- 1/2 cup / 125ml Guinness
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 3 tbsp Flour
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- few drops of Hot Sauce (optional)
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Crispy Bacon, chopped
- Red Onion, diced
- Tomato, diced
- Jalapeños, diced
- Soak potato slices in a large bowl of cold water for as long as you have time for (20mins minimum). This is important to remove starch, which will result in the fries having a fluffier centre. Drain water away and thoroughly dry with a tea towel. This is really important to remove as much moisture as possible to help them crisp up.
Guinness Cheese Sauce
- Whilst the spuds are soaking, in a medium sized pot or pan over medium heat melt 3 tbsp butter. Whisk in 3 tbsp flour until a paste forms then slowly add in 1/2 cup Guinness, whisking as you go to ensure no lumps form. Gradually pour in milk, again whisking as you go to ensure no lumps form. Once the sauce has thickened add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce (optional) and salt & pepper to taste. Turn heat to low and start stirring in your cheese until thick and gloopy/cheesy. 4cups/400g will not only make the sauce more cheesy, but will make it slightly thicker. The sauce will thicken considerably as it rests.
Deep Fry (option 1)
- Add 3-4cups oil in a suitably sized pot or deep pan and heat to 180C/350F. Fry the potatoes in batches until deep golden on the outside and soft through the inside, around 10-15mins. Rest on wire rack to drain off oil. Sprinkle both sides with a good pinch of salt and pepper as they rest. Try to keep the oil at a steady temp throughout and bring it back to 180C/350F between batches.
Shallow Fry (option 2)
- Heat enough oil to coat the base of a large frying pan until sizzling, but not smoking (again, around 180C/350F works great). Place in potatoes and fry until deep golden on the outside and soft through the inside, turning once. Rest on wire rack to drain off oil. Sprinkle both sides with a good pinch of salt and pepper as they rest.
Bake (option 3)
- Pre heat the oven to 200C/390F with the baking tray in there so it gets nice and hot. Coat potato slices in 2.5 tbsp olive oil and a hefty pinch of salt and pepper. Carefully space out the disks on the hot tray (try not to overlap, this will cause them to steam. They need direct contact with the pan) and place in the oven 30-40mins, or until golden and crunchy. I recommend taking out half way and flipping each potato. If they start charring at all before 20mins turn down the heat. Timings will depend on type and thickness of potatoes - just be vigilant.
- Spread potato slices out on a large serving plate then drizzle with cheese sauce. Top with your favourite nacho toppings, then tuck in and enjoy!
Quick 1 min demo!
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