JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Buttered and creamed parsnips

Parsnips are just beginning to appear in the shops (although they'll be sweeter once there's been a frost). Lettice made dinner last night, a very good slow roast of pork (1.8 kg took three hours at 140C). She chose to make her favourite winter vegetable dish, creamed parsnips, and she'd be the first to admit they weren't a great triumph.

It's often best to go back to the beginning when you've had a culinary disaster. So I'm giving the recipes here; they're from Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book, and they appear consecutively. She also gives a John Evelyn recipe for buttered parsnips dating back to 1699, which you serve with a bowl of sugar and cinnamon and a bowl of melted butter. Maybe we'll skip that one.

Buttered parsnips

Scrub, boil and cool the parsnips under the cold tap. Peel off the skin and slice or quarter them as appropriate to their size. Cut away any hard core. Melt a good generous knob of butter in a frying pan and turn the pieces over and over in it, adding plenty of pepper. They should not brown or fry in any proper sense of the word. They just need to absorb butteriness. Add a little extra butter and plenty of chopped parsley, or a mixture of parsley, chives and tarragon, and serve with meat, with cod, or on their own.

Creamed parsnips

Follow the recipe for buttered parsnips, but pour on some whipping or double cream before you add the herbs. Not a great deal, just enough to make a coating sauce, with the pan juices.

I use spices rather than herbs - mainly nutmeg. Next time I'll try using herbs.

And remember: they just need to absorb the butteriness. It's amazing what a treat you can make out of the humble parsnip with a little care.


Magic Cochin said...

Snap! We too had pork and parsnips for supper!

But I added our pork chops and parsnip chunks to the Le Creuset pot along with onions, garlic and chunks of Bramley apple. I flavoured with chopped sage, ground black pepper and four whole Allspice berries (my favourite ingredient for chicken or pork at the moment), topped up with chicken stock. Cook in the oven with jacket potatoes.

Serve with savoy cabbage with a little creme fraiche stirred through it. And little lozenges of crackling scatterd on the top (I cut the rind off the chops and cook separately on a baking tray, until completely crispy and the dripping is rendered out).

Not sure it complies with your dietry rules, but it was YUMMY!!!!


Joanna said...

It's very kind of you to refer to our dietary rules when I've just posted a recipe that includes butter AND cream ... but your chops sound wonderful - I'm going to use allspice next time, something I have but don't use enough. The cabbage sounds yummy ... and the crackling, what temperature do you use? I'm never very successful with crackling, but it's not something I try all that often ;)


Magic Cochin said...

Hi Joanna

All cooked at 200C until the potatoes were done, then turned down the heat a bit and took lid off the Le Creuset to reduce the sauce a bit, until the cabbage was cooked.

The crackling is cut up before cooking and laid fat side down on a metal baking tin. I usually sprinkle with sea salt, but didn't yesterday and I think I preferred it. Put on top shelf in the oven until it's completely crispy - 30 to 40 mins but keep an eye on it as it will burn easily once it's 'done'. Keep it warm (I pop the tin in the top grill/oven with the plates) until the rest of the meal is ready to serve.

I'm tempted to have bread and dripping for lunch - my Grandma's favourite :-)


Joanna said...

Thanks Celia, I'll try that next time there's some pork in the house.

As for your lunch of bread and dripping .... go for it, it's not something you'd eat every day, so why not? Beef dripping used to be my father's favourite, but I don't suppose he's eaten it for years