Pork, Whiskey and White Bean Casserole

Work rather gets in the way of messing around in the kitchen. Hence the prolonged delay in actually posting anything. The bread saga continues but will be thrown up at another time. The recipe below is something for when I’m missing home – it’s a little too warming for the heat of the tropics, but a blast of environment stripping aircon can put paid to that. Get the room down to around 20C and it’s like I’m home. Kind of.

Soft, melting meat and starchy beans combine with smokey blended whiskey to create a rich and warming supper. I used pork collar to make this as it is a quite fatty and has bags of flavour. Traditionally Thai cooking uses this cut to make Moo Yang (grilled pork) served with lashings of a hot northern dipping sauce. I’ll give that a go at some point soon. Promise.


500g pork collar
1 carrot
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 stick of celery
400g tin of cannellini beans
button mushrroms
a good glug of blended whiskey
ham or chicken stock

First make sure the pork is cut into cubes, around 1.5 cm a side. Make sure you have a solid and sharp knife to do this or you’l be sawing away for a while. Brown the meat in a pan (ideally a heavy casserole), making sure that the meat is seared all around. Do it in batches to keep the heat high in the pan. Remove the meat from the pan and drain off most of the fat – there will be too much otherwise.

Deglaze the pan with a small amount of the whiskey, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon as you go. Add the deglazed goodness to the meat.

Now chop the carrot, onion, celery and garlic into a medium size and fry in the pan. This should be a gentle process without trying to burn the veggies. Once soft, add the meat back into the pan, bring the heat up and chuck in a whack of the whiskey. You are looking to cook off the alcohol and reduce the volume until it is a glossy liquid. If you drag your spoon through the bottom of the pan and it takes a sec for the liquid to come back together you’re pretty much there.

Now add the stock, herbs, seasoning and beans. You are looking to just cover the solid ingredients with the stock.

Let the casserole simmer for an hour and a half to two hours, periodically skimming off any excess fat or scum from the surface of the stock. About 30 mins before you want to serve throw in the button mushrooms.


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