A traditional English dish, eaten on Hallowe’en, called so because it has nine ingredients, most of them root vegetables. The original recipe calls for them to be boiled within an inch of their lives, so we’ve adapted it slightly. A ring was also hidden in the mash, which was served to unmarried members of a household – whoever finds it would be married within the year.
450g potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 small turnip, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 parsnip, peeled and sliced
2 leeks, thinly sliced
100g frozen peas
A few tbsp single cream
150g Cheddar cheese
A ring, covered with silver foil (if using)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4.
Boil the potatoes, turnip, carrots and parsnip together until cooked thoroughly. Mash them all together.
Meanwhile, fry the leeks in a little oil until lightly browned, then add the frozen peas and cook for a minute. Add the leeks and peas to the mash, and stir in with a little single cream to give a thick consistency. Season to taste. Stir in the cheese, reserving a little for the top. Place the mash in a greased ovenproof dish and push in the ring. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the mash, then cook for about 30 to 45 mins.
Serve, remembering to tell your guests to look out for the ring – and their teeth…
You can adapt this recipe to use what you’ve got in your cupboard: try swede or pumpkin instead of turnip, or add a little fresh horseradish for a grown-up dinner and serve with pan-fried calves’ liver or steak.