Winter warmers: Avoca's chicken and broccoli crumble and shepherd’s pie

A delicious warm meal can shake the cold shivers from your bones, so why not try Avoca’s chicken and broccoli crumble or their shepherd’s pie this winter

  • AVOCA recipe - chicken and broccoli crumble

  • AVOCA recipes - Shepherd's pie

  • AVOCA recipes - Chicken & broccoli crumble

We can’t deny the change in the weather over the past few weeks, as soon as we step outside the front door we are greeted by a crispy cold nip that hangs in the air. The best thing about the icy weather is being able to indulge in delicious hot food in the cosiness of our homes so why not try one of these delicious recipes by Avoca which are perfect for the winter months.

Avoca Chicken & broccoli crumble


6 chicken breasts

1 Spanish onion, peeled and chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

A few sprigs of parsley

1 bay leaf

A few black peppercorns

300ml/ ½ pint double cream

110g/4oz roux

1 large head of broccoli, divided into florets

15g/ ½ oz butter

50g/2oz strong cheese, grated

110g/4z breadcrumbs

To Make:

1. Place the chicken in a large saucepan with the onions, carrots, celery, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, and enough water to cover. Bring slowly to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked – about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and leave to cool, then dice and set aside.

2. Strain the cooking liquid into a saucepan and boil until reduced to 600ml/1 pint. Add the cream, return to the boil and then whisk in the roux a little at a time to form a thick sauce.

3. Blanch the broccoli in boiling salted water until just tender, then drain and refresh under cold water.

4. Stir the diced chicken and broccoli into the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour this mix into an ovenproof dish.

5. Melt the butter and mix with the cheese and the breadcrumbs. Spread over the chicken mixture and bake in an oven preheated to 180°c/350°F/gas mark 4 for 20 minutes until brown and bubbling.

Avoca shepherd’s pie


1 onion, peeled and chopped

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

900g/2lb minced beef

1 dessertspoon Bovril, dissolved in a little hot water

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 sprigs of thyme

1 teaspoon tomato purée

3 carrots, peeled and diced

400ml/14fl oz. chicken stock

Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

For the topping:

1.3kg/3lb potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

200ml/7fl oz. single cream

110g/ 4oz butter

1 egg yolk

To Make:

1. In a large pan, gently sauté the onions in the vegetable oil for about 10 minutes, until soft but not brown.

2. Add the mince a little at a time and cook until browned. Then add the Bovril water, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, tomato purée, carrots, stock, and some salt and pepper.

3. Cook on a low heat for 50 minutes, then transfer to a pie dish ready for the mashed potato.

4. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender.

5. Drain well, then return to the pan and add the cream, butter, egg yolk and a seasoning of salt and pepper.

6. Mash well, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

7. Cover the mince mixture with the potato and run a fork over the top for decoration. Place in an oven preheated to 180°c/350°F/gas mark four for 20 minutes until the potato is nicely browned.

8. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve. The pie can be prepared in advance and left to cool, reheating later will take about 40 minutes.

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Compiled by Tracey Donaghey

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