A very special but fuss-free way to cook root veg for Christmas dinner. The root veg can either be mixed together, or kept on separate sides of the dish if (as in my family) your diners don't all like both veg.
The quantities given are generous for four people.
4 medium carrots, sliced into rounds or thick chips, parboiled
4 medium parsnips, also sliced into rounds or thick chips, parboiled
1/2 cup of well-flavoured (eg, ham) stock
1/2 cup of double cream
salt & pepper to taste
8 tabs of fresh bread crumbs
4 tabs grated strong hard cheese
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The root veg can be prepared the day before - put them into a pan with an inch of cold water; bring to the boil for no more than a minute. Turn off and leave for 5 minutes and then pour the water away. Tip the veg into your gratin dish.
Season the veg, taking into account the saltiness of your stock.
Cover the veg with the bread crumbs & cheese mixed together.
Mix the cream & stock together and pour all over the dish, getting the bread crumbs wet to delay burning.
Put into a hot oven (200C or higher) for about 30 minutes, watching to ensure the top browns but does not burn.