The online magazine
dedicated to the
discussion & revival
of British foodways.


Parsnips baked with sausage & cheese.

This homely dish was created from whole cloth by Jane Grigson “one winter’s night as away of stretching an inadequate supply of sausages round the family.” They found it so good that it became a staple in her household. Six servings.

  • Cheddar-Cheese.jpg6 or so peeled, sliced and if necessary cored medium parsnips
  • about 1 lb sausage, uncased and crumbled
  • pepper
  • about a teaspoon dried thyme or heaped ½ teaspoon rubbed sage
  • about 1½ cups white sauce (see the Notes)
  • about 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
  • scant cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter


Preheat the oven to 375˚.

  1. Boil the parsnips until tender while mixing the pepper and herb of choice into the sausage.
  2. Drop half of the parsnips into a pudding basin or deep oven pot.
  3. Cover the parsnips with the sausage and top it with the remaining parsnips.
  4. Heat but do not boil the white sauce and pour it into the basin or pot.
  5. Mix the cheese and breadcrumbs, spread the mixture over the top and drizzle the butter over the topping.
  6. Bake the dish until hot, browned and bubbly, usually in about 45 minutes to an hour.



-Instructions for making white sauce appear in our recipes. The addition of parsley would not be bad.

-Mrs. Grigson makes allowances for the oven temperature: The dish may be baked “at a lower or higher temperature if convenient” and may be browned under the broiler if it has not yet darkened when otherwise done.

-The quality of your sausage is paramount to the success of the dish.

-The original recipe calls for gruyere, but for a similar preparation of parsnip with mushroom instead of sausage, Mrs. Grigson notes that Cheddar may replace the gruyere, so we have gone on to further anglicize the dish.

-A salad with Sidney Smith’s poetic dressing would be a welcome companion.