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Fabulous and Simple

I love Irish Pubs. I especially love great Irish food in great Irish Pubs. In my view, there is no place quite like an Irish pub for an authentic, honest and great value dining experience.
Now, in a testing time for the economy, it is even more important that you offer great food. But great food is not something that is beyond your reach, great food is easy as long as it is kept simple, honest and fresh.

Every business is having a challenging time. All the more reason to innovate, rework your menu and lure the cost and value focused customer into your pub. Couple super food with great service, atmosphere and personality and the market will respond. In a tough climate there will be a greater appetite for something new and, once you deliver, you can begin to recruit lots of new customers.

In this article, I have deliberately focused on three simple but beautiful dishes. Again, Pubs should offer great tasting wholesome ‘honest’ food. These are three classics that will keep your customers happy and definitely coming back for more.
Bon Appétit!


Cream of Mushroom with Chervil
Makes 16 portions
You will need;

  • 2 small onions
  • 2 small leeks white part only
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 2 kg of very white button mushrooms
  • 1.5 litre chicken stock
  • 1 litre full fat milk
  • 1 litre of cream
  • Salt /pepper  
  •  Chervil to garnish

Sweat onions and leeks in butter without any colour, dust the flour over the mixture and stir slowly to form a roux , add the sliced mushroom and stir gently. Cover with the chicken stock and bring to the boil, add the milk and cream and bring back to the boil and season. Remove from the heat and puree using a blender or liquidiser, pass the soup through a fine sieve and season.

Shepherd’s Pie

Makes 12 portions
You will need;

  • 100ml olive oil
  • ·         2 small onions ,finely chopped
  • ·         2 kg lean lamb minced
  • ·         300ml water
  • ·         2.4litre lamb stock
  • ·         4 large carrots ,peeled and finely diced


  • 1 bunch of thyme ,leaves only and finely chopped
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1 kg mashed potato (enough to cover 12 pies )

Heat up the olive oil in large roasting tray add onion and sweat until tender add the lamb and fry for few minutes add the water ,and place tray in the oven at 180c.
 Every 10 minutes mix with a whisk ,carry on cooking until the meat is golden brown in colour , then remove from the oven ,drain the fat and grease, after that return to the original tray on the hob add just enough lamb stock to cover and bring to the boil over medium heat
Blanch the carrot until soft ,not mushy
Gently simmer the lamb to bending consistency ,add chopped thyme and carrot ,seasoning

transfer into oven proof dishes . Once cold pipe mash on top then bake on oven 10-15 minutes at 180c 

Steak and Stout Pie

Makes 12 portions
You will need;

  • 2kg of shin of beef ,sinew removed and diced into 2.5 cm cubes
  • 6 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 pints of stout
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 litres of veal stock

In a very hot large pan brown off the meat in olive oil once browned place meat in casserole dish
Then, in the same pan sauté the onion until soft and lightly coloured, add them to the beef, then add the stout and thyme. Cover and cook in the oven at 180c for 3 hours or until meat is very tender
Then, remove meat and onion from casserole place the liquid in a clean pan with the veal stock and reduce by 2/3. Leave to cool down in to formed jelly. Place the meat and onion in oven proof dish and add the cold sauce  Cover with pie crust pastry and bake 15 minutes at 180c.

Fred Cordonnier
Born in France, Fred Cordonnier is one of Ireland’s most distinguished and successful Chefs. Fred was Head Chef at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud and has worked at The Clarence and The Shelbourne Hotel.
Fred is an Associate Director of Conor Kenny & Associates and his three great passions in life are his family, French Rugby and Irish Pubs.
For an informal consultation with Fred about how to make your food better, contact Fred at or call 01- 6633 686

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