Winter root mash with buttery crumbs

Winter root mash with buttery crumbs

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(37 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins - 1 hr Cook: 40 mins


Serves 10
A little bit of this winter root mash goes a long way - make it a day ahead and cut the stress on Christmas Day

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving for 10

  • kcal158
  • fat9g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs17g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre5g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.57g
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  • 650g parsnips, cut into even chunks



    The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise – it looks…

  • 650g swede, cut into same size chunks as the parsnips
    Two slices of swede



    A member of the cabbage family, the swede is often confused with the turnip, though they look…

  • 142ml tub soured cream
  • 1 rounded tbsp hot horseradish (English Provender is good)
    Horseradish root on a wooden chopping board


    hors rad-ish

    Horseradish root is larger than an ordinary radish, and has a hot, peppery flavour.


  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • butter, for greasing



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

For the butter topping

  • 50g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 50g fresh white breadcrumbs (from about 4 slices)
  • a small handful thyme leaves, plus extra for scattering


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 25g parmesan, coarsely grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. In a large pan of boiling salted water, cook the parsnips and swede, covered, for about 20 minutes until tender. Drain well, then mash them together using a masher or food processor until reasonably smooth but still with a bit of texture. Stir in the soured cream, horseradish and thyme and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Spoon into a buttered shallow ovenproof dish and put to one side.

  3. Make the topping. Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion for 5-6 minutes, until gorgeously golden. Mix in the breadcrumbs and stir to brown and crisp a little. Season with salt and pepper and add the thyme. Take the pan off the heat. Spoon the mixture casually over the top of the mash. Scatter over the parmesan. (Can be made ahead to this point and kept covered in the fridge for up to a day. Or can be frozen for up to a month.)

  4. Bake with the turkey (190C/gas 5/ fan 170C) for 35-40 minutes if doing from cold, 25-30 minutes if not, or 11⁄2-13⁄4 hours from frozen (put foil on top, and remove it for the last 10 minutes) – until golden and crisp on top. Serve scattered with a few more thyme sprigs and leaves.

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Comments, questions and tips

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26th Dec, 2019
A great and easy recipe but - imo - the flavor is much improved by using a wider mix of root vegetables: parsnip, turnip / swede, sweet potato, carrot and celery root. The latter really brightens the mix, as does sauteed garlic in the butter crumbs.
kitkatwitch's picture
22nd Dec, 2017
I have cooked this for at least the last 8 years at Christmas. Once I changed it and everybody missed it on their lunch. It is delicious. I make the mix but now put it into a few different dishes so I don't cook it all at the same time. I used to take one to my mum but now she wants two as she wants leftovers too! This recipe has made it into my Christmas recipe book, its a keeper.
evil_angelwings's picture
1st Oct, 2015
I used this as an alternative to mash on top of my Shepherd's pie... So good!
27th Dec, 2013
Tasted this last night round a friends house, very tasty. Couldn't wait to find the recipe to make it. Tried this site and eureka , thank you.
carol362636's picture
19th Mar, 2013
Smashing! Do enough to freeze some as is very yummy.
10th Feb, 2013
Really good, went down well with my birthday dinner guests.
19th Dec, 2012
I love this, I make it every christmas.
18th Nov, 2012
delicious! We have this with our sunday roast every week now. Big favourite with everyone!
8th Nov, 2012
I've made this many times over the years, try adding mature grated cheddar to the topping mmmm
8th Nov, 2012
I had vegetables, mostly carrots and swede, left over from a pot roast and used this recipe as a base for using them up. I used 0% greek yoghurt instead of soured cream and mature cheddar instead of parmesan as I happened to have them. It was surprisingly good and made something out of leftovers that would otherwise have gone in the bin.


Chrissie Hillier's picture
Chrissie Hillier
23rd Dec, 2017
I want to make this to take with me to contribute to Xmas dinner at my sister-in-law’s house. My question is it says will keep up to 1 day in the fridge but I need to make it today (23rd Dec) as we’re travelling tomorrow ... will it be ok to do that and cook on 25th? Or should I freeze straight away then let it defrost en-route tomorrow to cook the next day?
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Dec, 2017
Thanks for your question. It shouldn't be a problem to do it 2 days in advance up until the end of step 3. Enjoy!
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