A St. Patrick’s Day Recipe Special – from Chef Gary

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all our customers, colleagues and followers online. To mark our national celebration we have a special St. Patrick’s Day recipe for you from our resident Chef Blogger, Gary O’Hanlon, Head Chef at Viewmount House in Longford.  Gary is also getting married tomorrow so we would like to wish him and Annette the very best on their special day and the years ahead.

Bluebird Care Chef Blogger, Gary O’Hanlon

“It’s Not All Guinness & Boiled Bacon This Paddy’s Day!”

So I moved to Boston in September ’99. Full of dreams and big plans. This is where I’m gonna rock and roll and kickstart a great career, and I did, but my oh my was I not ready for the Irish sterotyping. “Oh you’ll be handy come Paddy’s day”, “oh great, what’s your recipe for Corned Beef & Cabbage?” Recipe for Corned Beef & Cabbage I say. “Sure Corned Beef comes in a packet sliced up and you lob it on a sandwich and off with ya. “Sure I’ve never cooked corned beef and cabbage!!! “What do you mean you never cooked Corned Beef and Cabbage” came the cries from the eclectic mix of American, Chinese, Columbian, Brazilian, El Savadorian and Peruvian Chefs that were now surrounding me. All these years they’ve had to make this dish of Corned Beef and Cabbage as that was the dish of choice that became a staple in and around St. Patrick’s Day amongst the long settled Irish Americans.

For me of course there is much more to Irish cooking than Boiled Bacon and Cabbage, Corned Beef and Cabbage and Irish Stew, but don’t get me wrong, I love them all and after getting my hands on some Beef Brisket (corned beef) back in March 2000 I wasn’t long adding my own touch of gourmet to it.

It’s beautiful slow cooked in chicken or veal stock, glazed with Lavender, Honey and Grain Mustard then served with some colcannon and Leek White Cream.

This time though i’m gonna give you a wee recipe for Wild Irish Boar. Alternatively you can use some rare breed pig or pork and follow the same recipe.

I’m currently putting together the ‘Bluebird Care Cookery Book for the Soul’ and I’ll be sure to stick in my Corned Beef recipe for those of you that would be interested in trying it. I’ve a cracking wee Chocolate Guiness pot with Sable biscuit and my own little twist on Bacon and Cabbage in the form of a terrine.

You see there is nothing wrong with the old classic Irish or Irish American Adaptation of a recipe provided that people do it justice.

We all want to be represented well as a people and a country  and a big bowl of sludge on a plate is certainly not how I want to be perceived so get cracking on the following recipe and keep an eye out for more from my blog and invite all your American buddies home and show off your home cooking skills.

Oh and tell them to bring the bubbles, we’re celebrating. We can drink Guinness all year round.

Chef Gary.

Wild Irish Boar with Colcannon, Creamed Jerusalem Artichokes, Viewmount Orchard Apple & Irish Whiskey Sauce, Crackling


2 Bone in Wild Boar Rack chops
2 tsp Donegal Rapeseed Oil

For Colcannon
3 large Rooster potatoes
1/4 head of Curly Kale
2 knobs of butter
splash of milk
1 scallion

Apple Sauce
6 Apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 full measure of Irish Whiskey
2 tsp Irish Honey

Wild Boar skin

Creamed Jerusalem Artichokes
3 cups washed and peeled jerusalem artichokes
3 cups of Avonmore cream
1/2 a medium white onion


For Colcannon.
Boil potatoes, strain and mash
add half the butter, dash of milk and a dash of cream but be careful not to have them too wet.
set aside.
melt the remaining butter and add the chopped up Kale.
season and cook until soft then add the scallion.
add to mashed potato, adjust seasoning and consistency then set aside.

Creamed Jerusalem Artichokes.
Add all the ingredients to a pot and boil until soft enough to blend.
Blend to a smooth puree and adjust seasoning.

Apple Sauce.
Add the apple, whiskey and honey to a pot and stew until apples are soft but not too long to cause a colour change.
when soft, blend to a smooth puree.

Wild Boar Chops.
Heat the donegal rapeseed oil in a heavy based pan.
season each side with salt. pan fry until golden brown on both sides and place into a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees C for approx 6-8 minutes.

place strips of pig skin on a non slip mat.
cover with salt.
top with another layer of silicon then place heavy oven proof dishes or pans on top to create a weight and bake in the oven for approx 1 hour at 180 degrees C or until al the fat has rendered and your left with tasty strips of pork fat.


Collect about 5 litres of sea water
Strain through cheese cloth twice or a mesh sieve to remove sand grains etc.
Boil for 3–5 hours depending on the power of your stove or for as long as it takes to boil off all the water.
stir ocassionally as it begins to stick.
dry out in a low oven and use.

To Plate.

Spoon the Colcannon onto the centre of a plate.
Top with 2 Boar Chops.
Drizzle with Creamed Jerusalem Artichokes, a swirl or spoon full of Apple Sauce and two strips of Crackling.

Top Tips.

1) For a healthier option eliminate the creamed artichokes, roast half the amount in a pre heated oven until soft and mix through the colcannon.

2) rest the Boar chops for 1 hour prior to cooking at room temperature and for 2 mins after cooking for optimum tenderness and flavour.

3) Substitute Kale for savoy cabbage or just use scallions and make champ. Equally lovely accompaniment.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day,

Chef Gary.