Baked Honey, Whiskey & Mustard Ham Hocks with Champ & Buttery Savoy Cabbage | DonalSkehan.com

Baked Honey, Whiskey & Mustard Ham Hocks with Champ & Buttery Savoy Cabbage

January 16

For a slightly more modern twist on bacon and cabbage – you’ll need to ask your butcher for ham hocks, look for ones on the smaller size but it’s well worth searching them out – they’re like individual Christmas hams that you can have at any time of the year! Any leftovers are great in sandwiches the next day too.

  • serves Serves 4
  • time 4 hours


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/320°F/Gas Mark 3.
  2. 2. In a small bowl, mix together the oil, mustard powder and allspice with some salt and pepper and rub this into the ham hocks. Put them into a deep sided roasting tin and pour in the dry cider and orange juice. Add the bay leaves and garlic halves then cover the tin with foil and transfer to the oven to roast for 3 hours.
  3. 3. After 3 hours, remove the tin from the oven and increase the heat to 180°C/160°C fan/340°F/Gas Mark 4. Unwrap the tin and strain off the liquid into a saucepan.
  4. 4. Mix the Irish Whiskey, Dijon mustard, honey and sugar together in a bowl and brush half of this mix all over the hocks. Return to the oven for 20 - 25 minutes, turning and brushing with the remaining mix every 5 mins until the hocks are golden and sticky.
  5. 5. For the sauce, heat the reserved cooking liquor with the double cream and wholegrain mustard. Set aside until ready to serve.
  6. 6. For the champ, add the potato chunks to a pot of cold, salted water, cover, place over a high heat and bring to the boil, before reducing the heat and simmering until the potatoes are tender. When cooked, drain the potatoes and allow them to steam for 10 minutes.
  7. 7. Whilst the potatoes steam, add the butter, milk and double cream to a pot and allow the butter to melt over a low heat. Using a potato ricer, rice the potatoes in on top of the milk mixture - if you don’t have a ricer simply use a potato masher - and stir to combine.
  8. 8. Add in the spring onions and season to taste with sea salt and ground white pepper, stirring again to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.
  9. 9. Whilst the ham hocks are roasting in the oven, prepare the cabbage. Place a large, ovenproof frying pan over a medium high heat and add the groundnut oil. Fry the cabbage quarters for 1-2 minutes on each cut side - or until golden brown - you may need to do this in batches depending upon the size of your frying pan.
  10. 10. When all the cabbage is fried, nestle each quarter back into the frying pan and season with salt and pepper. Place the whole frying pan into the oven for 15 minutes.
  11. 11. Remove the pan from the oven and place back over a medium high heat. Add the stock, garlic and butter and begin to swirl the pan around - remembering the pan has been in the oven and the handle will be hot! - until the butter has mixed into the stock. Baste the cabbage with this sauce, cooking until the liquid has reduced by half.
  12. 12. Place the cabbage into a serving dish and pour the remaining buttery sauce over the cabbage. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to finish.
  13. 13. Reheat the champ mash and cider sauce.
  14. 14. Serve the cabbage with the mash, the hot golden ham hocks and finish with the creamy cider sauce.


4 ham hocks, smoked or unsmoked, skin removed
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tsp mustard powder
½ tsp allspice
200ml dry cider
2 oranges, juice of
2 bay leaves
1 head garlic, sliced in half
3 tbsp Irish Whiskey
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp honey
6 tbsp light brown sugar
100ml double cream
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

For the champ mash:
800g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
75g butter
50ml milk
100ml double cream
6 spring onions, finely sliced
Ground white pepper

For the buttery savoy cabbage:
1 head savoy cabbage,quartered
2 tbsp groundnut oil
200ml chicken stock
2 large cloves garlic – thinly sliced
3 tbsp unsalted butter
Juice of ½ a lemon