Bunratty Castle Pork Ribs

A Taste of History: Bunratty Castle Pork Ribs with Honey-Whiskey Sauce

Have you ever dreamt of stepping back in time and experiencing a medieval feast? Well, at Bunratty Castle in County Clare, Ireland, you can do just that! This historic castle, dating back to the 15th century, offers a truly unique dinner experience: the Bunratty Castle Banquet.

We had the pleasure of attending this iconic event, and it was an evening filled with merriment, delicious food, and a touch of historical charm. The banquet takes place in the castle’s Main Guard room, a space that once housed soldiers and has now been transformed into a grand dining hall. Imagine yourself seated at rustic, candlelit tables, surrounded by stone walls that whisper stories of centuries past.

The festivities begin with a delightful “friendship” bread, a traditional Irish bread meant to stimulate the appetite. This is followed by a warm glass of mead, a sweet alcoholic beverage made with honey, apple juice, and herbs. Did you know that in medieval times, mead was offered to newlyweds to ensure fertility and ward off mischievous fairies? It’s even believed to be the origin of the term “honeymoon”!

But the true star of the show is undoubtedly the four-course meal. While medieval diners might have used daggers to tackle their food, today’s guests are thankfully armed with more familiar utensils. One of the most memorable dishes from the banquet was the Bunratty Castle Pork Ribs with Honey-Whiskey Sauce. These succulent ribs were cooked to tender perfection and bathed in a flavorful sauce that combined the sweetness of honey with the warmth of Irish whiskey.

Inspired by this delightful dish, I decided to recreate it at home, and let me tell you, it was surprisingly easy! So, if you’re looking to bring a taste of Ireland and a touch of medieval history to your dinner table, look no further than this Bunratty Castle Pork Ribs with Honey-Whiskey Sauce recipe.

Bunratty Castle Pork Ribs with Honey-Whiskey Sauce: A Recipe for History Buffs and Foodies Alike


  • For the ribs:
    • 5 pounds pork spareribs
  • For the Honey-Whiskey Sauce:
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1 cup Irish whiskey
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 tablespoons ketchup
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • 1/2 cup demi-glace or concentrated chicken broth


  1. Prep the ribs: In a large pot or Dutch oven, cover the pork spareribs with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat, cover the pot, and simmer for about an hour, or until the ribs are fork-tender. Skim off any foam that accumulates on the surface of the water during cooking.
  2. Preheat the oven: While the ribs are simmering, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Transfer the ribs: Once the ribs are cooked through, carefully transfer them to a large baking pan.
  4. Craft the sauce: In a separate medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and minced garlic, and cook them until softened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Combine the flavors: Now, stir in all the remaining sauce ingredients – honey, Irish whiskey, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, lemon juice, chicken broth, and demi-glace – and bring the mixture to a boil. Let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing it to reduce by half.
  6. Bake and baste: Pour half of the prepared sauce over the ribs in the baking pan. Bake them in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, turning the ribs once during baking to ensure even browning.
  7. Serve and savor! Slice the ribs into individual portions and serve them with the remaining sauce. Enjoy your taste of Bunratty Castle at home!
Bunratty Castle Pork Ribs


  • For extra crispy ribs, broil them for a few minutes after basting with the sauce during the final stage of baking.
  • If you don’t have demi-glace, you can substitute an additional 1/4 cup of chicken broth.
  • This recipe is easily adaptable to other proteins. Try using chicken thighs or pork shoulder for a delicious variation.

So, there you have it! With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can recreate a taste of the Bunratty Castle experience in your own kitchen. Gather your loved ones, dim the lights, light some candles, and prepare yourselves for a flavorful journey through time. As you savor these tender Bunratty Castle Pork Ribs with Honey-Whiskey Sauce, let your imagination transport you to the heart of medieval Ireland, filled with merriment, friendship, and, of course, delicious food.

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Bunratty Castle Pork Ribs with Honey-Whiskey Sauce

Recipe by Jason Hill – CookingSessions.com
Bunratty Castle Pork Ribs with Honey-Whiskey Sauce is one of many Irish specialties you'll find on the Bunratty Castle Banquet menu. And while you won’t be able to duplicate the entertainment, you can play a CD of your favorite Baroque-style music and enjoy it with a mug of warm Bunratty Mead. 
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Servings 6


  • 5 pounds pork spareribs

Honey Whiskey Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion peeled and sliced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup Irish whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 lemon juice of
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup demi-glace or concentrated chicken broth


  • Pork Ribs: Put the ribs in a large pot or Dutch oven and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook until fork tender, about 1 hour, skimming the water occasionally to remove the foam.
  • Transfer ribs to a large baking pan. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Make Sauce

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and cook the onion and garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in all the remaining ingredients except the demi-glace or concentrated chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce reduces by half, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the demi-glace. Pour half the sauce over the ribs and bake, turning once, until the ribs begin to brown, 30-40 minutes.
  • Slice the meat into 4 or more ribs per person and serve with remaining sauce.
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Keyword pork, ribs
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Note: My review was originally published in the Daily Press in 1999.

AboutJason Hill

Hi, I’m Jason Hill, host of YouTube’s “Chef Tips” series. I graduated from culinary school in 1998, and gained my experience working the lines in Southern California. I launched my cooking videos in 2007. I love sharing quick and easy recipes that get people back in the kitchen.

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