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Roast potatoes, parsnips and shallots with pancetta and bay leaves

16 November 2015

This recipe is quick to prepare but looks and tastes stunning - a perfect way to liven up the roast potatoes in your Christmas dinner.

Roast potatoes, parsnips and pancetta
Roast potatoes, parsnips and pancetta

Preparation time

10 minutes

Cooking time

1 1/2 hours




  • 1.5kg potatoes, medium sized, peeled
  • 900g parsnips, medium sized, peeled
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped, plus a few sprigs
  • 6-8 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 12 shallots, peeled
  • 200g pancetta, roughly chopped
  • 6 whole bay leaves
  • Sea salt and black pepper


Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas 6

Cut any large potatoes in half and all of the parsnips in half lengthways.

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 8 minutes or until par-boiled. Meanwhile, cook the parsnips in the same way in another pan for 4 minutes.

Drain the potatoes well then return to the pan and cover, shake the pan to roughen the edges of the potatoes.

Drain the parsnips and toss them in the flour, chopped thyme and seasoning.

Pour the rapeseed oil into a large roasting tin and heat in the oven; you need around 1cm of oil in the tin. Add the potatoes and turn them over in the oil using a slotted spoon. Roast uncovered for 15-20 minutes, remove the tin from the oven and turn the potatoes, add the parsnips and shallots and turn them in the oil too. Roast for a further 35-40 minutes then turn all of the vegetables again, add the pancetta.

Increase the heat to 220°C/Gas 7 for a further 15-20 minutes, adding the thyme sprigs and bay leaves for the final 10 minutes. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and black pepper and serve immediately.

Our thanks to for providing this recipe.

For more delicious festive ideas, see our collection of Christmas recipes.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.