Turnips are so beautiful, I can’t resist buying them even though I don’t really know what to do with them. They’re so easy to grow and hardy through the winter and early spring… they are available almost year-round at growers’ markets. I bought this huge one from Vida Verde Farm - it just charmed me!
The easiest way to learn to like turnips is to cook them slowly with a juicy piece of meat. New Mexico lamb is available almost year-round too, and the inexpensive neck bones make a flavorful stew. If you’re feeling fancy, go all the way and make a savory pie.
2 pounds lamb neck bones
2 T. all-purpose white flour
2 T. oil
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 large sprigs of rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart chicken stock
1 pound turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 sheets puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Season the meat with salt and pepper, and toss to coat with flour. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed stockpot and brown the meat. Add the onions, and cook on medium heat until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the rosemary and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer, partially covered, about 2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. (You could also do this in a crockpot so that when you come home in the evening all you have to do is bake the pie.) Add the turnips, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until the turnips are cooked and the gravy is thickened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Roll out the pastry a little larger than the pie dish and lay the bottom crust. Pour in the stew and cover with top crust. Cut a slit in the center to let the steam out, and bake 40-45 minutes until golden. Serves 4.