This Parsnip Cottage Pie is a great homage to the classic British dish. Instead of being topped with starchy potatoes, we get a similar flavor and texture with parsnips! This is a wonderful comfort food that also keeps very well as leftovers.
This recipe is very versatile, as you can alter the meat type or non-starchy vegetable type in the filling to fit your preferences. You can use beef or lamb for the meat. You can use carrots, like I did in this recipe, or you can use onions, mushrooms, celery, green beans, etc. Or you can leave out the vegetables from the filling.
Most of this comes together in the same skillet, then you just need to layer it into a baking dish, top with cheese, and bake until browned on top. But not too brown, like I ended up letting mine get. OOPS! Personal reminder: don’t get distracted while you have something in the oven on broil!
Parsnip Cottage Pie
Peel and chop the parsnips. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and place the parsnips into the boiling water. Boil for 10-15 minutes until the parsnips are very tender.
Drain the parsnips and place into a bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the parsnips. Gradually add broth in 1/4 cup increments to reach desired texture. Using a hand mixer to whip the mixture improves the texture, if you want to take that extra step. Add 1 tsp salt and mix well. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brown the beef or lamb in a large skillet. Drain any residual fat. Add salt, pepper, dried onion, garlic powder, rosemary, and sage.
Add the diced carrots to the mixture and cook until the carrots begin to get tender. Approximately 10 minutes.
Add about a spoonful of the parsnip mash to the mixture to thicken it up. Stir well.
Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and top with the rest of the mashed parsnip.
Sprinkle the cheese on top before placing into the oven.
Bake for about 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted. You can turn on the broiler if you want to get a nice crispy top, but watch it carefully, as it can burn quickly!