Recipe: Spiced shepherd’s pie

  • Serves 6
  • Easy

The humble parsnip is in season this time of year - try it in this simple recipe for a warming shepherd's pie

Shepherds pie recipe (Photo by: Rimma Bondarenko via Getty Images)

The parsnip is a versatile vegetable, delicious boiled, mashed or roasted as chips. It’s a Christmas dinner necessity, but its roots spread far deeper into Britain’s culinary history.

Shropshire Fidget 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.



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


  • 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