12 Days of Local Food – Turnip

12 Days of Local Food – Turnip

Turnips are often underrated, but have been making a comeback in recent years – some even say they have achieved “hip” status.  I don’t know about that, but I do know they are reliable throughout the winter and are consistently good.

The following recipe is a good one to prepare ahead.  On the day you need it, simple reheating is all that’s needed.  Who couldn’t use a dish like that over the holidays.

Shepherd’s Pie with Turnip Mash Topping:


2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 lb ground beef or alternative

2 cups of beef stock or alternative

2 tbsp tomato sauce

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp thyme

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb turnips, peeled and chopped

1 large potato, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat oil on high in a large frying pan, then saute the onion, celery, garlic and carrot for 3-4 minutes.

Add ground beef (or alternative) and brown for 3-4 minutes.

Add stock, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated.

In a medium saucepan, cook turnips for 25-30 minutes until tender.  Add potato during the final 15 minutes of cooking time.

Drain, mash with butter and season.

Spoon meat mixture into a 9″ square baking dish.  Top with turnip mash, and sprinkle with extra thyme leaves.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.

Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Tip 1:  Experiment with the amount of turnip and potato used.  Try rutabaga as well.

Tip 2:  Add garlic to the mash mixture.

Tip 3:  Thin the mash mixture with milk if you find it too thick.


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