Cottage Pie with Potato and Parsnip Mash Topping

Tuesday 5 January 2010

At work I mostly cook fancy food. There always has to be a sauce with everything and they would never dream of eating anything like sausage and mash . . . seriously.

They don't do carbs as a rule, and they don't do leftovers. So I have to be really careful when I do my planning and shopping so that I cook only enough the first time around, and there's no waste.

Here at home I like to cook simple and wholesome food and sometimes the leftovers are the best part of a meal! I have always found that some foods taste even better the second and third time around. It's like they have a chance to ripen or something . . . and the flavours have time to develop more fully.

Perhaps it goes back to my pioneer heritage where my ancestors used every part of the animal that they could use, and nothing went to waste. Not even so much as a vegetable peel. It all got used up.

I hate waste.

We had some roast and vegetables leftover from our New Years Eve dinner, and they needed to be used today. I thought about making a Beef Pot Pie, which we do both really like a lot, but then . . . I decided to make Todd a delicious cottage pie, which I knew he would absolutely love . . . him being a meat and potato's man after all. I went a tiny step further though, and made a potato and parsnip mash for on the top instead of a plain old mash.

It was a hit if I don't say so myself. (Hard to photograph though!!) Just perfect for this C-O-L-D winter day we are having. This be plain and simple comfort food . . . the best kind!

*Cottage Pie with Potato and Parsnip Mash Topping*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This is a delicious way of using up some of the leftovers from your Sunday Lunch. You can make this with fresh ground beef of course, but we love it made with chopped leftover roast beef. I also like to use any leftover cooked vegetables in the filling as well. Usually it's just peas and carrots, but sometimes there is some swede as well. Just make sure you chop your cooked carrots and or swede into roughly the same size as the peas. French beans chopped are also nice. You can use leftover gravy if you wish, but I normally don't have any leftover so have made my own sauce.

2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 large parsnips, peeled and cut into coins
1 spring of thyme
a knob of butter and a splash of milk
salt and pepper to taste
For the filling:
2 cups chopped leftover cooked roast beef
1 cup leftover cooked vegetables, chopped into small bits
2 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 TBS plain flour
4 cups boiling water
3 to 4 beef bouillion cubes
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 heaped dessert spoon of tomato ketchup
1 TBS horseradish sauce
Salt and black pepper to taste

Place the potatoes, parsnips and thyme into a saucepan of slightly salted water. Bring to the boil. Cook until the potatoes are soft, then drain well, discarding the stem from the thyme. Mash well, adding a knob of butter and some milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Place the leftover roast and onions in a large skillet, with any beef drippings that you may have. If not you may need to use a bit of oil. Cook and stir until the onions are softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute or so until fragrant. Sprinkle with the flour and stir it in. Stir in the boiling water until the sauce thickens. Crumble the bouillion cubes in, stirring until they are completely melted. You may need the full 4 depending on how much of a beefy flavour you want. Stir in the worcestershire sauce, ketchup and horseradish sauce. Mix all in well. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Pour this mixture into a shallow baking dish.

Spoon the parsnip mash over top in a rustic manner.

Bang into a pre-heated 200*C/400*F oven and bake until the filling is bubbling and the mash is beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes or so before serving. Delicious!


  1. Okay Marie...That would be at the top of my list for comfort food!
    Anything with potatoes...Great shots too.
    Here's to another year of great recipes and blogging, xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  2. Looks like perfection to me, Marie! My favorite kind of dish!

    Do your employers ever tell you what they'd like for meals, or do you just have to come up with everything? Such an interesting and challenging job! They're so lucky to have you!

    Thanks for always serving up such comfort food for us to enjoy--I love every bit of it! Lots of California love sent your way on this chilly day!

  3. Looks like your pie turned out really well, Marie.

  4. mmmmm looks so yummy! next time i make a roast i will make extra so i can try your recipe. i can just imagine its delicious aroma filling the kitchen :)

  5. Leftovers are often much nicer than the original meal, I think, although I'm not always sure why, and anything involving mashed potato has to be heavenly!

  6. Happy New Year, Marie! It's great to be back in your Kitchen post holidays... so many good recipe to catch up on. This one is perfect today... It's so cold and snowy here...bbbrrr... LOVE YA ((BIG HUGS))

  7. That looks like just what the doctor ordered!

  8. I would say that most of my successful meals come from leftovers. I think your employers are crazy!! The pie looks delicious.

  9. Marie You've done it again!

    I've just been given an award for my blog and am now passing it on to you as one of my favourite blogs. To collect the award go to my blog ;0)

  10. Late comment - sorry! Your Big House people really don't know what they're missing. Would they actually know they were getting leftovers? I heard many years ago that one of Princess Anne's favourite meals at school was Cottage Pie. Just thought you might like to know!

    love, Angie, xx


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