Potato, Parsnip & Ale Mash

Pair WIth
Barrel-aged Scotch Ale_icon
Barrel-aged Scotch Ale
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Brown Ale_icon
Brown Ale
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  • Difficulty 3
  • Prep Time 25 min
  • Cook Time 1 hr
  • Serves 4
  • Difficulty 3
  • Prep Time 25 min
  • Cook Time 1 hr
  • Serves 4
A mash is a must with a special roast. Here, potatoes and parsnips get a rich flavour boost from butter, milk, roasted garlic and barrel-aged Scotch ale. The finished dish is a definite step up from plain mashed potatoes — it’s creamy and buttery, with sweet notes of malt and caramelized garlic.


  • 1 head garlic (see tips)
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil
  • 1.125 kg russet potatoes
  • 450 g parsnips
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) + 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt (approx), divided
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) 3.25% milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) salted butter
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) barrel-aged Scotch ale, or another sweet, malty beer
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped chives


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a sharp knife, cut about 1/4 inch off top of garlic head to expose cloves. Drizzle cut top with oil. Wrap loosely in foil and place on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until cloves are light golden and soft, about 35 minutes.
  2. 2. Let garlic cool enough to handle. Discarding skins, squeeze cloves into a small bowl. Using a fork, mash into paste and set aside. (Garlic can be roasted and mashed up to 1 week ahead. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)
  3. 3. Peel and cut potatoes and parsnips into 1-inch pieces. Fill a large saucepan with cold water and sprinkle in 1 tbsp (15 mL) salt. Add potatoes and parsnips, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft and slide easily off tip of a sharp knife when pierced, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and return to pan.
  4. 4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, warm milk, butter and mashed garlic over low heat until butter is melted. Set aside and keep warm.
  5. 5. Using a potato masher, mash potato mixture until few to no lumps remain. Stir Scotch ale into warm milk mixture; pour about two-thirds into potato mixture. Add remaining 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt and pepper. Mash until blended.
  6. 6. If desired, add more of the remaining milk mixture to achieve desired consistency and flavour (switch to a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to keep from overmashing the mixture). Taste and add up to 1/4 tsp (1 mL) more salt, if desired.
  7. 7. Stir in chives and serve.


  • Heating up the whole oven to roast a single head of garlic may seem excessive, so either use a toaster oven (which takes less energy) or roast several extra garlic heads to use later. Leftover roasted garlic is great spread on a toasted baguette, tossed with pasta or veggies, used as a pizza topper or mixed with mayo to make a sandwich spread. (You can refrigerate roasted garlic in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.)
  • When you’re cooking the potatoes and parsnips, be sure to fill the pan with cold water. Starting with hot water will yield inconsistently cooked potatoes, as the outsides will be done faster than the centres.
  • The Scotch ale used in this recipe is aged in barrels, which give the brew a deep caramel flavour. It’s often available in convenient single tallboy cans. If you can’t find it, another sweet, malty ale will work just fine.

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