This is not your traditional Osso Buco (an Italian dish made with veal shank containing marrowbone, stewed in wine with vegetables and seasonings). In fact, it was simplified by Tim Ferriss in 4 Hours Chef and then hacked further by me to make the dish more economical.
How to make
I can tell you this dish seems too easy to make to be this delicious. All you really need to do it put all the ingredients in a dutch oven, pop it in the oven for 2 hours and it’ll be ready to serve.
The traditional Osso Buco requires you to brown the meat and use veal shank. To make cooking easier and cheaper, Tim Ferriss skip both these steps.
More cooking hacks (JewelPie-style!)
Hack# 1: Using lamb shoulder to replace lamb shank
Don’t worry if you think lamb shank is too expensive (a piece of lamb shank cost a whooping RM 27.60!). A little research shows that lamb shoulder is a more affordable cut. I bought lamb shoulder chop for RM 6.40 from Happy Fresh. It’s four times the saving!
Cost: Veal shank > lamb shank > lamb shoulder
Hack# 2: Using trays to replace a dutch oven
You’ll need a dutch oven to make this. It’s a cooking pot with lid which can be put into the oven. As most of Asian household won’t have it (so do mine at the moment), I’ve used a deep baking dish and for the ‘pot’ and use another baking tray as a ‘lid’ to cover it. It worked very well!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Lamb shoulder, thawed x 4
Carrots x 4
Caned whole tomatoes x 1 can (400 g)
Extra virgin olive oil/ olive oil x 3/4 cup
Garlic cloves x 2 tbsp
White wine x 1 cup
Dutch oven or two baking trays
- Thaw frozen lamb shoulder at least an hour before cooking it.
- Scrub the carrot, chop off the ends and break by hand into halves.
- Peel garlic.
- Get ready all the ingredients and tools in one place
PUTTING INGREDIENTS TOGETHER:
- Preheat oven to 180 °C
- Place carrots on deep baking tray as a base.
- Top it with lamb shoulders.
- Pour in whole tomatoes from the can.
- Put 5 cloves of garlic.
- Drizzle in 2 tbsp of olive oil. It doesn’t have to be precise.
- Add white wine. It should be enough to cover 1/2 of the meat. Don’t cover it completely.
- Grind black pepper into it. Add more than you think you need.
- Add 3 finger pinch of salt by sprinkling at the height of 30 cm. This is to create an even spread.
- Cover the tray
- Cover the deep baking tray with another tray (Don’t worry about ruining your trays. It can be scrubbed off easily)
- Pop it into the oven and come back 2 hours later.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Here’s a rough estimation of how much the meal cost:
Lamb shoulder = RM 25.60
Carrots = RM 3
Caned whole tomatoes = RM 4.20
White wine = RM 16
Others = RM 1
Total = RM 49.80 (~ RM 12.50 each)
Granted, RM 12.50 is not that super affordable if you were to compare to economic rice.But if you compare it to a meal from a fancy restaurant and make on special occasions. I think RM 12.50 is a steal! It’ll probably cost at least 4 times more if you eat out.
I bought the ingredients from Happy Fresh Bangsar where quality reigns over price. I believe that you can cut down the cost further if you know how to look for bargain. As a start, you can use tomato puree instead of whole tomato; canned tomato from a house brand cost about half the price (RM 2).
I love finding shortcuts in cooking and this one is one of the dishes I’ve tried that’s takes the least time to make and one of the most delicious one (The meat is so tender and the gravy so appetising!) If you’ve never cooked in your life but would like to try something impressive, look no further than this dish. It’s hard to get it wrong.
Now, go order some groceries (we’ve got a RM 25 voucher for you) and make this delicious dish!