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Parsnip-Topped Spiced Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is usually a simple mixture of ground lamb, vegetables and a creamy potato topping, but this recipe takes the basic concept and adds some tweaks. Although the ingredients might sound like an unusual combination, this is a really tasty recipe for the whole family, and you can even make double the amount and freeze the cooked pie in individual portions. The potato and parsnip topping is flavoured with turmeric, chilli, cilantro (fresh coriander), lemon juice, and butter. This goes on top of the lamb mixture, although of course you can use ground beef rather than lamb if you prefer.

The meat sauce is flavoured with curry powder, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and chickpeas. You can swap the chickpeas for frozen green peas if you prefer. Indian food is really popular in the UK, and in fact there are more curry houses in London than India! We have taken inspiration from the British love for Indian cuisine, adding some spice to this classic English dish for an unusual, delicious result, although you can reduce the amount of spice if you prefer.

You do not need to serve a side dish with this, since you have meat, vegetables and potatoes in the one dish, but if you want to, consider broccoli, asparagus or another green vegetable. You can either make one large shepherd’s pie or else make six individual ones if you have six ovenproof ramekins. If you love shepherd’s pie recipes but are in the mood for something a little more exotic, try this recipe.

Unusual Shepherd's Pie with Indian Spices
Summary: This special, lightly curried shepherd's pie offers a brand new flavour experience for you. The parsnip and potato topping covers an aromatic meaty sauce for a fantastic meal.
Cuisine: British
Recipe type: Main Course
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
For the Parsnip Topping
  • 1⅓ lbs (600g) peeled, chopped parsnips
  • 1 peeled, chopped large potato
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 deseeded, chopped green chilli pepper
  • 1 chopped bunch coriander (cilantro)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1¾ oz (50g) butter
  • 4 oz (120g) grated cheddar cheese (optional)
For the Meat Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive, canola or sunflower oil
  • 1 chopped large yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 lb 2 oz (500g) ground lamb
  • 14 oz (400g) canned chopped tomatoes
  • 3½ oz (100g) canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  1. Put the parsnip and potato in a pot and cover with boiling water.
  2. Simmer for 15 minutes or until tender, then drain and season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Mix in the turmeric, chilli, cilantro, lemon juice and butter.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan, then add the onion.
  5. Sauté until soft, then add the curry powder, ginger and garlic, and cook until aromatic.
  6. Turn the heat up to high and add the lamb.
  7. Sauté until browned, then add the tomatoes and simmer for 18 minutes.
  8. Add the chickpeas and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  9. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  10. Either put all the meat mixture in one large ovenproof dish or divide it between 6 individual ones.
  11. Top with the parsnip and potato mixture and hit the top all over with a fork to make a pattern.
  12. Grind over a little salt and black pepper.
  13. You can sprinkle some cheese on top too, if liked.
  14. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and piping hot.
Freeze the cooked pie in separate portions for an excellent weeknight dinner which you can thaw out the night before.

Photo Description:

This shepherd’s pie is really good. We are using Indian spices to add unusual flavour, and making the topping with parsnips as well as potato. We like to use lamb but you can use beef instead if you prefer. Indian food is really popular in the UK and this recipe brings an authentic British recipe and a taste of India together, and the result is something that is rich, filling and sure to impress everyone around the dinner table. This shepherd’s pie freezes well so you might like to make extra and freeze portions, so you can thaw them for easy weeknight dinners.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, my name is Christine and I would like to welcome you to TeaTime Recipes. Tea has always been a favourite of mine and I adore the tradition of serving this wonderful beverage with all kinds of little snacks both sweet and savoury. Read More