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Braised Lamb Shank with Cumin Scented Mash, Sweet Roasted Parsnip and Braising Sauce
Submitted by: Barbiel
2 lamb shanks
1 onion
1 carrot
1/2 leek
2 stalks of celery
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs of thyme
2 large parsnips
1 tablespoon tomato puree
800g mashing potatoes
90g butter
cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Peel all the vegetables except for the parsnips. Cut them up roughly and add them to a deep saucepan with a splash of vegetable oil and fry gently for at least 10 minutes until they are nicely coloured. Season your lamb shanks and fry them in a frying pan until golden all round. Add the tomato puree to the vegetables, mix and fry for a further few minutes. Be careful, tomato puree burns easily. Now add the shanks and enough water to cover them. You may either leave this pot on the stove to cook, or cover with tin foil and put it in the oven at 160C for 2 1/2 hours, checking after 2 hours. If you cook it on the stove, be sure to reduce the heat and always top up the liquid if needed. This will take around the same amount of time. Peel and cut the parsnips into quarters. Place them on a baking tray and drizzle with oil, season and dust with a pinch of ground cumin. Place in the oven at 180C - 200C and roast until nice and golden. Peel the potatoes and place in a saucepan of boiling water with a pinch of salt. Simmer until the potatoes are tender and soft, then drain and  mash with butter. Add butter to taste. Season well and add a teaspoon of cumin. Stir it through. Taste it. Add more if you desire. You will know when the lamb shanks are cooked - they will be very tender and almost falling off the bone. Remove them from the liquid and strain the vegetables. Now cook the liquid until it has reduced by 2/3. This is your sauce. If the shanks are being prepared in advance, allow the sauce to cool. Now place the shanks in a container and cover with the cooled sauce. Cover with cling film and store in the fridge. The sauce will set; this is natural. Place a mound of mash in the centre of a plate, then the shank on top and then the parsnips. Cover with sauce and garnish with chopped parsley.

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