Whiskey Pork & Colcannon for St. Patrick’s Day

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whiskey pork for st. patricks day

What’s Up, Hungry People

I’ve always wanted to explore the rolling hills of Ireland. Unfortunately, as I’m stuck here in Ohio, Saint Patrick’s Day is about the closest I’ll get to experiencing anything close to authentic Irish cuisine.

While I may have never tasted the real deal, I’d like to think this whiskey pork and colcannon recipe is close enough to at least be convincing. Let’s embark on a culinary adventure right from our kitchens, shall we?

Colcannon, a traditional Irish potato and cabbage dish, offers a comforting blend of flavors that can be served either chunky or smooth. While some recipes advocate for pureeing the colcannon until smooth, I’m all in for a more rustic and homestyle approach. This method keeps the heartiness of the dish intact, letting each ingredient shine in its natural glory.

After indulging in this dish, don’t be surprised if you find yourself doing a jig and singing “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” It’s that good. Trust me, it’s the perfect way to bring a slice of Ireland into your home, especially if you’re like me, dreaming of the Emerald Isle from afar.

colcannon and pork

Here’s What You Need

  • bone-in pork butt / shoulder: The star of the show, it becomes tender and flavorful when slow-cooked.
  • Irish whiskey: Adds a rich, deep flavor to the pork and sauce.
  • olive oil: Used for searing the pork, adding a subtle flavor and preventing sticking.
  • butter: Adds richness and helps caramelize the veggies for more flavor.
  • onion: A base flavor for both the pork and colcannon, adding sweetness and depth.
  • carrots: Adds sweetness and color to the sauce, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  • garlic: Offers a pungent kick, enhancing the savory notes of the dish.
  • thyme: Adds earthy, floral notes to the pork, complementing the whiskey.
  • dry mustard: Provides a tangy depth to the pork’s seasoning.
  • chicken broth: Creates a flavorful cooking liquid for the pork, adding moisture and depth.
  • bay leaves: Impart a subtle, herbal flavor to the sauce, enhancing complexity.
  • nutmeg: Adds warmth and spiciness to both the pork and colcannon.
  • brown sugar: Balances the whiskey’s sharpness with a hint of sweetness.
  • russet potatoes: The base of the colcannon, offering a fluffy texture.
  • heavy cream: Adds creaminess and richness to the colcannon.
  • shredded cabbage: Adds a slight crunch and a hint of bitterness to the colcannon.

Let’s Cook

Prepping the Pork

Alright, Hungry People, let’s start with the pork. Grab a large, oven-safe skillet or a Dutch oven and heat up that olive oil and butter. Once it’s all melted and friendly, introduce your pork shoulder to the skillet. We’re not just warming it up; we’re giving it a good sear on both sides until it’s beautifully browned. This isn’t just for looks; it’s to lock in those flavors.

Veggie Time

Once your pork is looking like it’s ready for its close-up, take it out and let it chill on the side. Now, throw in your chopped onions and carrots into that skillet. We’re looking for a bit of a glow-up here, so sauté them until they’re caramelized. Toss in the garlic, thyme, and dry mustard next, and wait until that garlic is making your kitchen smell like heaven.

Whiskey Business

Here comes the fun part – pour in that Irish whiskey. Let it get cozy with the veggies and let some of that alcohol cook off, leaving us with all the flavor and none of the burn. Then, add your chicken broth, bay leaves, nutmeg, and brown sugar into the mix. We want all of those to get to know each other really well, so bring it to a boil and then put the pork back in. Into the oven it goes, and we wait for the magic to happen.

Colcannon Creation

While the pork is getting tender, let’s multitask and get our colcannon ready. Boil those chopped potatoes until they’re tender, then mash them up with butter and heavy cream. For a bit of a twist, we’ll sauté some more onions and cabbage, then fold them into our potato mix.

Finishing Touches

Once the pork is done, we’re not just plopping it on a plate. We’re going to reduce that sauce it was cooking in until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Serve the pork over a generous helping of colcannon and drizzle that whiskey sauce over the top.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

As we simmer down from our kitchen adventure, it’s clear that cooking up this whiskey pork with a side of creamy colcannon is more than just preparing a meal; it’s about crafting an experience that brings a bit of joy and a lot of flavor to the table.

Whether you’re a wizard in the kitchen or just starting to sprinkle some culinary magic into your dishes, this recipe proves that with the right ingredients and a splash of whiskey, anything is possible. So, here’s to making dishes that warm the heart and tickle the taste buds—without breaking the bank or your spirit. Hungry People, I hope you relish every bite and every moment spent in the kitchen. Until our next culinary adventure, keep those flavors bold and your plates full. Enjoy!

pinterest pork

Whiskey Pork & Colcannon | Irish Recipes

The Starving Chef
Tender whiskey-infused pork served over a bed of buttery colcannon for a comforting and hearty meal.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dinner, St. Patrick’s Day
Cuisine Irish, St. Patrick’s Day
Servings 4



  • 64 oz bone-in pork butt / shoulder
  • 1 ½ cups Irish whisky
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  • ¼ cup carrots chopped
  • 3 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 1 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar


  • 2 russet potatoes chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup onion chopped
  • ½ cup shredded cabbage


  • In a large, oven-safe skillet (or Dutch oven), heat the olive oil and butter until melted. Place the pork shoulder in the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Sear on both sides for 3-4 minutes, until browned.
  • Remove the pork shoulder from the skillet and set aside, keeping the juices in the skillet. Add the onions and carrots to the skillet and sauté until caramelized, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, thyme, and dry mustard to the onions and carrots. Sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the whiskey into the skillet. Bring to a simmer and allow some of the liquid to evaporate, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the bay leaves, then pour in the chicken broth. Season with nutmeg and brown sugar. Stir and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Return the seared pork shoulder to the skillet, immersing it in the liquid. Carefully transfer the skillet to the oven and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to one hour, until the pork is tender and separating from the bone.
  • While the pork cooks, boil a large pot of water. Add the chopped potatoes and boil for 20-30 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain the potatoes.
  • In a large bowl, mash the potatoes with three tablespoons of butter and the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  • Melt one tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over high heat. Add the remaining chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the cabbage and cook until bright green and crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold into the mashed potatoes. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
  • Carefully remove the pork from the oven. Transfer the pork shoulder to a plate and place the skillet back over high heat. Allow the remaining liquid to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until reduced by more than half (a spoon should leave a trail through the liquid).
  • Serve the pork shoulder on a pile of colcannon and top with the reduced whiskey sauce. Serve with a glass of whiskey, like a true Irishman. Enjoy!


Keyword cabbage, pork, potatoes
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