The humble parsnip is in season this time of year - try it in this simple recipe for a warming shepherd's pie. Before the arrival of cane sugar in Europe, parsnips were a vital source of starch and sweetness, used in breads, jams and cakes. The arrival of the potato in the 16th century saw its popularity fall, but the parsnip is still held in high regard.


  • 2tbsp Sunflower oil
  • 1 Large onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • Fresh ginger, small piece, peeled and grated
  • 2tbsp Medium curry powder
  • 500g Minced beef, or lamb. Vegetarians can use mixed beans or meat-free mince
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 100g Frozen peas
  • 600g Parsnips, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • 1 Large potato, cut into chunks
  • 1 Green chilli, deseeded- unless you prefer extra spice!
  • A large bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 2tsp Turmeric
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 50g Butter


  • STEP 1

    For the sauce, heat the oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook until soft, then add the garlic, ginger and curry powder. Cook until aromatic, then turn up the heat and add the mince. Fry until browned, then add the can of tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes until thickened, adding the peas at the end.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, tip the parsnips and potato into a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, then cook for 10 mins. Drain, season and mash with the rest of the ingredients.

  • STEP 3

    Heat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 8. Assemble the pies in individual dishes (or one large one) by placing some meat sauce on the bottom and topping with mash. Ruffle up the tops with a fork, then bake for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Recipe courtesy of BBC Good Food