Monday, 7 December 2015

Carrot and Parsnip Mash

This dish has it's origins - or should I say 'root's' - in Ireland. It's a simple and classic side dish which works perfectly with winter meals be it a hot pot or a full Sunday roast. In Ireland it's often referred to as a plate of 'Gold' or 'Sunshine' and as you can see from the colour it's well named. With it sweet flavours it makes a perfect alternative to mashed swede or potatoes.

I like to make this dish around Christmas time to serve with cold cuts and leftovers. It's easy to prepare and offers a simple, warming, dish that's not to rich and spicy - a perfect relief after all the rich foods on offer at this time.

Whenever I make this dish I get a flash back my stepson telling me - he was about 8 at the time - that he really, really, liked the carrot mash when having peas because it 'sticks the peas to the knife making them easier to lick off!' I then spent the next few minutes explaining that you eat off the fork not 'lick' the knife......

I have altered the basic recipe a bit over the years, adding a little creme fraiche and spices to the mix to make it even better......

Recipe - serves 6 - as a rule of thumb I allow 1 carrot and 1 parsnip per person

6 carrots
6 parsnips
1 large onion
1 tablespoon creme fraiche
a few all spice berries - crushed
nutmeg - grated
salt and pepper

Butter to finish - I used a slice of herb butter I'd made previously with dill and chives

First peel you carrots and parsnips and chop to roughly the same size.

The carrots will take longer to cook than the parsnips so pop them in to boiling water first to start cooking. When the carrots are nearly done add your parsnips and then continue to cook until the parsnips are cooked but not soggy - both the carrots and the parsnip should be firm but cooked through allowing a knife to slide through.

Drain and then place back over the pan and cover with a clean cloth. This allows the vegetables to dry in the steam and keeps the mash from becoming soggy and sloppy.

Whilst the carrots and parsnips are cooking you can prepare your onion. Finely dice it and then saute in a pan with a little olive oil or butter until the edges start to golden.

Place the carrots and parsnips in a bowl and mash with a fork - leaving some texture this is not a puree but a mash so some lumps are ok.

Once your happy with the texture add your creme fraiche, onions, spices (just a little grated nutmeg) along with the salt and pepper. Combine it all and then place in a warm serving dish with the butter nestled on the top.

If your not going to serve it straight away leave the butter off until just before taking it to the table. You can cover the mash with foil and pop in a warm oven to keep hot or even make it the day before and reheat in the microwave for a couple of minutes just before serving.

A few alternative additions that work well are leeks instead of the onion, a spoonful of whole grain mustard, a pinch of chilli flakes or a little grated Parmesan.

Have a great start to your week
Love Lizx

 Carrot Mash