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How to Cook Parsnips and Some Delicious Recipes

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

Roast Chicken Leg Portions, Parsnips and Assorted Root Vegetables (recipe included below)

Roast Chicken Leg Portions, Parsnips and Assorted Root Vegetables (recipe included below)

Parsnips are not only delicious to eat, they are extremely versatile in the different ways in which they can be cooked and served. Although parsnips can be simply peeled or scraped and poached in boiling, salted water until soft, a little experimentation will pay huge dividends in terms of flavour and the enjoyment which can be had from this sweet and delicious root vegetable. This article will look at a number of different ways to cook parsnips, as well as providing options for serving the parsnips in each instance. Read on to find recipes for parsnip mash, roasted parsnips with chicken, parsnips in a Winter beef stew—and even parsnips roasted in Scotch whisky marmalade...

Fresh parsnips

Fresh parsnips

Potato and Parsnip Mash Recipe with Steak and Kidney Pie

Pie and mash is spiced up a little by the addition of parsnip to the mashed potato

Pie and mash is spiced up a little by the addition of parsnip to the mashed potato

Potato and parsnip of similar sizes are used per serving

Potato and parsnip of similar sizes are used per serving

Potato and parsnip are peeled, chopped and added to cold, salted water

Potato and parsnip are peeled, chopped and added to cold, salted water

Potato and parsnip are mashed with butter and white pepper

Potato and parsnip are mashed with butter and white pepper

The potato and parsnip mash is spooned on to the plate beside the meat pie and some boiled carrots

The potato and parsnip mash is spooned on to the plate beside the meat pie and some boiled carrots

Pie and mash is a concept which knows its popular origins in 19th century London. In those days, the pies were usually made with eels from the River Thames but in modern times—although eel pies with mash are still to be found in some of the remaining pie and mash shops—beef is probably the more common filling for the pies. This recipe focuses on the mash, which is made to include parsnip along with the potato for a little extra flavour. The pie is that other traditional British favourite, steak and kidney.

The nature of this dish means that the recipe should be simple and straightforward. Allow one medium to large potato and a similar sized parsnip per person. Peel both and chop them to approximately one inch cubes. Add them to a large pot of cold, slightly salted water and place the pot on a high heat until the water reaches a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until they are just softened.

Drain the vegetables through a colander and return them to the empty pot. Add about an ounce of butter and season with white (not black) pepper. It is important when making authentic mash to use a traditional, hand masher. Using a food processor or blender makes for puree rather than mash and the final effect is all wrong. Mash the potato and parsnip just enough to eliminate any lumps.

The individual steak and kidney pie in this recipe was bought from the butcher's already cooked. It required only to be heated in the oven—preheated to 400F/200C—for 20 minutes. The carrot was scraped, sliced in to quarter inch thick discs and poached in salted water for 10 minutes.

Plate the pie, spoon the mash alongside in a rustic pile and drain and add the carrots last of all.

Pie and mash with a big difference - the mash is carrot and parsnip

Pie and mash with a big difference - the mash is carrot and parsnip

The parsnip and carrot should be mashed before the parsley is added

The parsnip and carrot should be mashed before the parsley is added

Read More From Delishably

The mash is plated alongside the pie and the peas are added to the plate

The mash is plated alongside the pie and the peas are added to the plate

Parsnip and Carrot Mash With Chopped Parsley

This is just a slight variation on the pie and mash recipe above, to make it a little bit more colourful and perhaps more appealing to many tastes. The potato is eliminated and it is one medium carrot and one medium parsnip per person which are used to prepare the mash.

Peel both the carrot and parsnip and again add them to salted cold water which should be brought to a boil. Fifteen to twenty minutes will be enough to soften them, after which they should be drained and mashed with butter and white pepper. A little bit of chopped, flat leafed parsley is stirred through after mashing. Be sure only to add the parsley at the end, or it will become stuck in the tines of the masher.

The pie is heated exactly as before and as the carrot is now incorporated in the mash, peas are served as the final accompaniment. These are frozen peas, which were simply heated in simmering water for three minutes before being drained and plated.

The whisky marmalade roast parsnips are served with a portion of cottage pie and blanched green beans

The whisky marmalade roast parsnips are served with a portion of cottage pie and blanched green beans

Whisky Marmalade Roasted Parsnips With Spicy Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie has gone through many changes and developments since its first recorded appearance in the late 18th century. It was originally a basic meat, potato and root vegetable dish, enjoyed by the poor as a means of using up what foodstuffs they had available. Parsnips are a very popular addition to a cottage pie and this recipe includes them both in the pie, as well as oven roasted in a homemade whisky marmalade as a pie accompaniment.

The beef is firstly browned in a dry pot

The beef is firstly browned in a dry pot

Vegetable ingredients of the cottage pie

Vegetable ingredients of the cottage pie

Carrot and parsnip are peeled and chopped to a medium dice

Carrot and parsnip are peeled and chopped to a medium dice

How to Make Cottage Pie

This cottage pie will—perhaps surprisingly—provide three to four decent portions from a mere half pound of minced/ground beef.

Ingredients

  • 1/2lb minced/ground beef
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 1 large carrot
  • ½ large white onion
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • Boiling water
  • 3 large baking potatoes
  • 1 oz butter
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Salt and white pepper

Method

  1. Peel and chop the potatoes in to one inch chunks. Place them in to a pot and add enough cold water to comfortably cover them, seasoning lightly with salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for twenty minutes.
  2. When the potatoes are on, put the beef in to a large pot and season. Gently brown and seal on a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the finely sliced onion and chilli flakes (if desired) and stir around for another few minutes until the onion turns translucent. The parsnip and carrot should be peeled and chopped and added to the pot with enough boiling water to just cover the mixture and no more. Simmer for ten minutes.
  3. The vegetables should be just slightly softened at this stage. It is important not to overcook them as they are still to be baked in the oven. Switch the heat off, put the lid on the pot and leave to cool.
  4. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot with the butter and milk. Season with salt and white pepper. Mash, cover and again leave to cool.

Assembling and Cooking the Cottage Pie

When the meat mixture and mashed potato is cooled (an hour should be sufficient) put your oven on to preheat to 400F/200C.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef and vegetables to a large casserole dish. Add a few tablespoons of the gravy only. Spoon the mash on top with a teaspoon in small clumps, rather than trying to spread it on straight from the pot. Take a blunt knife and dip it in boiling water. This will allow you to smooth the mash without forcing it down in to the meat and vegetables. A fork dipped in boiling water can be used to trace a pattern on top of the mash. Place the dish in to the oven for thirty minutes. Remove from the oven and place under an overhead grill to brown and crisp the top of the potato, providing an attractive finish.

Set the cottage pie aside to rest and cool slightly while you attend to your parsnips.

The chopped parsnip is firstly fried in butter until just softened

The chopped parsnip is firstly fried in butter until just softened

The whisky marmalade is added to the pan and melted

The whisky marmalade is added to the pan and melted

The parsnips are laid on a roasting tray

The parsnips are laid on a roasting tray

Whisky Marmalade Roasted Parsnips

Whisky marmalade is something which is normally spread on buttered toast and eaten for breakfast. It seems a shame, however, to limit the use of such a delicious and appealing product in such a way. Using whisky marmalade instead of honey to roast parsnips is just one idea for getting that little bit more out of this tasty preparation.

Allow one large parsnip per person. Scrape or peel the parsnip and chop in to large chunks as seen in the picture. Melt two ounces of butter in a non-stick frying pan and add the parsnip. Keep the heat at low to medium and season with salt and white pepper. Stir the parsnips around to ensure even coating in the butter and cook for six or seven minutes until soft. Add two teaspoons of whisky marmalade and continue to heat until the marmalade is fully melted.

Transfer the parsnips to a baking tray and be sure to pour as much of the marmalade and butter mix as possible over the top. Bake in the oven at 180C/350F for around ten minutes until the parsnips are beautifully glazed and burnished gold in colour.

The recipe is completed with some green beans which have been blanched in boiling, salted water for three or four minutes while the parsnips are in the oven.

The roasted chicken leg portions are laid on top of the vegetables on a serving plate

The roasted chicken leg portions are laid on top of the vegetables on a serving plate

Vegetables to be roasted with the chicken

Vegetables to be roasted with the chicken

Vegetables are roughly chopped, oiled and seasoned

Vegetables are roughly chopped, oiled and seasoned

Chicken leg portions are laid on top of the vegetables

Chicken leg portions are laid on top of the vegetables

Chicken legs are cooked until the skin is crisp and golden

Chicken legs are cooked until the skin is crisp and golden

The vegetables are laid in a serving dish with the chicken legs on top

The vegetables are laid in a serving dish with the chicken legs on top

Chicken Leg Portions Roasted on Root Vegetables

This is a really simple but delicious, all in one dish which sees the unmistakable flavour of the chicken captured in the cooked vegetables. These quantities should make for two decent portions. The vegetables which are used can of course be mixed and matched but be careful of mixing vegetables which have drastically different cooking times.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken leg portions (leg and thigh)
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium red onion
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Method

  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 400F/200C.
  2. Peel all of the vegetables and chop them in to large, fairly uniform pieces. Lay them on the base of a large roasting tray and season well with salt, freshly ground black pepper and the dried thyme. Drizzle fairly generously with olive oil before mixing them carefully around with a wooden spoon to ensure even seasoning and coating in the oil.
  3. Lay the chicken leg portions as shown on top of the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Place the tray in to the oven for forty minutes.
  4. Remove the tray from the oven and check whether the chicken portions are cooked by sticking a skewer in to the thickest part of each thigh and ensuring the juices run clear. Assuming they are cooked, transfer them to a heated plate and cover with aluminium foil to rest for fifteen minutes.
  5. It is very likely that the vegetables will still be a little hard and undercooked. If so, stir them carefully but well and put them back in to the oven for a further fifteen minutes while the chicken legs are resting.
  6. Remove the vegetables from the oven and lay them in the base of a serving dish. Place the chicken legs on top and scatter with freshly chopped parsley before immediate service.
Parsnip forms a prominent part of this one pot beef and root vegetable stew

Parsnip forms a prominent part of this one pot beef and root vegetable stew

Wholesome Winter Warmer: Beef and Root Vegetable Stew

A one pot meat and vegetable stew is a satisfying meal on a cold Winter's night, designed to warm the heart and soul as well as the body. There are no complicated cooking techniques required nor lengthy hands on preparation times. The ingredients are merely added to the pot and left to cook while you attend to other matters. Parsnips make an excellent addition to Winter stews and this really is a deliciously tasty way of cooking fresh parsnips.

The beef is firstly browned and sealed in a little olive oil

The beef is firstly browned and sealed in a little olive oil

The onion is sliced and the potato is chopped before both are added to the beef and stock

The onion is sliced and the potato is chopped before both are added to the beef and stock

The chopped parsnip and carrot are the last ingredients to be added to the beef and root vegetable stew

The chopped parsnip and carrot are the last ingredients to be added to the beef and root vegetable stew

Ingredients for Two People

  • 1 lb diced stewing beef
  • 3 pints fresh beef stock
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 large starchy potato
  • ½ large white onion
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 1 large carrot
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly chopped parsley to garnish

Method

  1. Bring a teaspoon or so of olive oil up to a medium heat in a large stew pot and add the beef. Stir over a high heat to brown and seal. This will take about three or four minutes. Finely slice the onion and add it to the pot to cook down for two or three minutes, along with the thyme and seasoning.
  2. Add the beef stock to the pot and turn up the heat to bring it to a simmer. It may seem like a lot of beef stock at this stage but you are going to simmer the stew for around two and a half hours so it will reduce considerably. While the stock is heating, peel and dice the potato and add it to the simmering stock. The potato is essentially being used as a thickening agent in this recipe but you could add it later instead, along with the carrot and parsnip, if you prefer.
  3. The parsnip and carrot should be peeled, cut in to chunks and added to the pot after two hours' simmering. By this time, the beef should be deliciously tender and the potato and onion should have broken down to thicken the stock. You may have to add a little extra liquid at this stage - boiling water is fine but don't add too much. Cook for a further twenty to thirty minutes until the parsnip and carrot are soft before plating up, garnishing with the chopped parsley and serving immediately with fresh, crusty bread.

Do You Have a Passion for Parsnips?

Hopefully, at least one of the parsnip recipes on this page will have caught your imagination and appealed enough that you will be prepared to give it a try.

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