This week, we are preparing braised lamb shanks that we are serving with roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

Lamb shanks

8 medium size lamb shanks

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrot

2 cups chopped tomato

4 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

2 cups red wine

2 cups beef broth

Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic mashed potatoes

8 cups diced potatoes

1 cup garlic cloves

1 cup melted butter

1⁄2 cup olive oil

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Starting with the lamb shanks, in a very large pan on medium heat, add the lamb shanks a few at the time and cook until golden on all sides. Repeat procedure until done browning all shanks.

Remove the last shank from the pan, add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook until beginning to brown, add the tomato and tomato paste and cook for about three minutes.

At this point add the shanks back in the pan and the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Finish the braising in a 350-degree oven for about two hours. Once the shanks are about done and in a large pot on high heat, add the potatoes and cover them with water — they should cook for about half an hour.

While the potatoes cook in a small pot, add the garlic and the olive oil and cook for about 10 minutes on low heat, add the butter and cook for about 10 more minutes. At this point the garlic should be soft.

Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil and set aside. Once the potatoes are soft, drain all the water and put them back into the same pot they got cooked in and add the garlic cream and smashed the potatoes until there are no more chunks. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Check the shanks in the oven and as soon as they are tender, remove them from the pan and smash the vegetables in the pan to make a sauce. If you prefer, you can blend the remains in the pan. Adjust seasoning and consistency of the sauce to your own liking and set aside. Once everything is done, simply add a nice helping of the mashed potatoes in the middle of a plate, add a shank on top and top it all with some of the pan sauce and enjoy.

Antonio Villagomez is head chef and owner of Cilantro’s restaurant and catering in Yuba City.

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