Parsnip and Leek Mash

This mash is just the thing to team with the lamb shanks. The leek balances the sweetness of parsnip without being intrusive, and the dry roasted cumin seed is appealing visually and taste wise. Serves 6. Not suitable to freeze; kumara may be used instead of the parsnip.


  • 4 large parsnips (about 800g)

  • 1 c thinly sliced leek (white part)

  • 3 tbsp butter

  • 3 tbsp cream plus 2 tsp extra

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds, dry roasted


  1. Peel the parsnips and trim. You should have about 650-700g weight at this stage. Chop into quarters lengthwise, then into 2-3 cm chunks.
  2. Trim the leek(s) and slice into thin rounds, using mainly the white part.
  3. Bring water to the boil in a large saucepan and cook the parsnips and leek until tender.
  4. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a processor and puree with the butter, the 3 tbsp cream, salt & pepper. Add a little more cream if the mixture is still stiff.
  5. Transfer the creamed mixture to an oven-to-table dish. Set aside at this stage if you are working ahead.
  6. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan over a medium heat, taking care not to burn them. Toss regularly.
  7. Preheat the oven to 190oC.
  8. Sprinkle cumin seeds over the top of the mash, then drizzle the remaining 2 tsp of cream over the top.
  9. Bake uncovered, for 20-25 minutes if the mash is still hot, or 45-50 minutes if it has cooled.
  10. The mixture will puff a little and turn lightly golden. Serve immediately.