Wednesday, 13 November 2013

shepherds pie with spiced parsnip mash

It's coming to that time of year, when the weather is getting a little chilly and wet, that we start to crave a little comfort food. Shepherd's pie is great for a cold night and is very filling. I always make more than I need as it freezes so well.

I always feel cosy, warm and full after I have eaten a dish of this. Although, I can always make room for dessert!

This shepherd's pie topping has a very nice slightly spicy twist. If you fancy a change from the norm, give this a go.

-For the topping
900g/2lbs large parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 onions, slliced
large pinch ground cumin
1 tablespoon garam masala
1tablespoon freshly ground coriander seeds
50g/2oz butter
salt and freshly ground black peppper

-For the filling
2 leeks, chopped (can use onions)
1 carrot diced
3 tablespoons dripping or butter
4 brown mushrooms, sliced
450g/1lb lamb or beef mince
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon tomato puree
250ml/9oz chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 spring thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  1. Boil the parsnips in salted water for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, fry the leeks in the butter until soft and translucent. Add the spices and stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Drain the parsnips and mash them together with the butter, salt and pepper. Put to one side.
  4. Cook the chopped leeks and the diced carrot with the butter until they are soft and golden.
  5. Add the sliced mushrooms, cook for five more minutes and then stir in the mince. let the mince cook and brown for five minutes, breaking it up as needed.
  6. Add the flour and the tomato puree and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for three to four minutes.
  7. Add the hot stock, the bay leaf and the thyme, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.
  9. Season the filling with salt, Worcestershire sauce and plenty of black pepper.
  10. Put the mixture in a large baking dish and dollop the mashed parsnip on top. Bake for about 25  minutes until the top is golden brown.

This recipe can be found on Nigel Slater's A Taste of My Life.



  1. Can't beat a Shepherd's Pie, I made one last week and had enough to freeze some too. I like the idea of a parsnip topping. Winter food at its best! xxx

    1. I think I will make a batch this weekend and freeze some too. The parsnip topping makes a change and I love the bit of spiciness in it! xxx

  2. I love Shepherd's pie, especially on cold winter days!
    ~Anne xx

    1. So comforting and warm, isn't it Anne! :-)xx

  3. I like the sound of this. We currently have loads of parsnips to use up too.

    X x

    1. The parsnip topping is lovely. I'm sure you will love it. Thank you so much for the follow. So lovely of you :-) xx

  4. Yum! looks delish! I love the idea of the parsnip topping.

    1. It is delicious Deidre! Perfect for winter :-)

  5. I just pinned this... my husband LOVED Shepherd's Pie, and I've never seen it with parsnip before but it sounds delish!

    Sarah @ Life As Always

    1. The parsnip topping makes a change from the norm! I love this spicy version. Hope you enjoy it :-) xx

  6. Oh yum! My mouth is watering!

  7. oh my does this sound tasty or what! and the best part is i basically have all the ingredients at home already, i cant wait to try it!

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

    1. Hope you enjoy eating it! I love it! :-)

  8. That looks lovely, love the idea of using parsnip :)

    1. I think I will keep using parsnip now instead of potato! It tastes so good! :-)

  9. I love comfort food and this looks inviting and yummy. I will try it,hope mine comes out this good.

    1. I'm sure you will love it and the parsnip topping is delicious! :-)

  10. I love the idea of parsnip mash! It looks so good! Ax

    1. The parsnip mash is so yummy! I will be cooking this a lot over the next few weeks :-)

  11. OMG! just like you said, is that time of the year to eat all these delicious food...

    1. That's one of the good things about the cold weather. All this yummy comfort food :-) xx

  12. I like the sweetness of parsnips and a touch of spice is a great variation to a favourite dish! Thanks for the recipe.

    1. You will love it with the spices! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :-)

  13. This looks delicious, love these kind of posts too. :)

    1. My favourite time to eat it has to be when it's really cold outside; proper comfort food :-)