Osso Buko

Cooked Osso Buko.

So it’s the first week and I’m immediately out of my comfort zone. I’ve read what I can and now it’s time to learn on my feet.

Ingredients for Osso Buko.


Lamb Shanks (x2)
Carrots (1 Bunch)
Canned whole tomatoes (1 Can)
Dry white wine – shout out to my wine expert Alicia for the wine suggestion, check out her blog for all things wine-related.
Garlic Powder (3-finger pinch)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) (2T)
Salt & Pepper (To taste)

I read over the recipe one last time to make sure I was ready.

The prep was easy and straight forward.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Scrub the carrots, break them in half and layer the base of your cooking dish (the recipe calls for a Dutch Oven, I used a casserole dish with no issue).
  3. Place lamb shanks on top of carrots.
  4. Crush canned tomatoes over the shanks and add the rest of the can. Pro Tip: Use your thumb to break open the tomatoes while holding them to avoid excessive splatter. My counter looked like Dexter was in there when I was done.
  5. Fill dish with wine until the shanks are 1/2 – 3/4 of the way covered.
  6. Add 2T of EVOO.
  7. Sprinkle on that garlic powder (3-finger pinch), salt and pepper (to taste).
  8. Cook in the oven for 2 hours at 350°F.
  9. Wait and finish the wine.
Osso Buko before it’s put in the oven.

Immediately after putting the Osso Buko in the oven I was worried I had put too much garlic in the recipe (the result of growing up in a Ukrainian household). While the dish cooked though, all I could smell was the wine and tomatoes. So, I borrowed my fantasy football motto, “Set it and forget it.”

Two hours later it was judgement time. On the panel were two lifelong cooks that aren’t easy to impress, my mom and Oma. My first impression was that it looked edible, but the sauce was runny. Fortunately, the meat turned out well and the carrots were soft and full of wine (eating your veggies is much easier as an adult).

I plated my first dinner cooked from scratch and presented it to the panel. The verbal answer was lack-luster, “It’s good. Really good.” But the true tell of my guests’ satisfaction was that there was not much conversation. Everyone was too focused on their plates.

Plated to impress the judges.

So, after week one I have my first win in the kitchen. I managed to impress my mom and Oma, and introduced them to a new dish. My mom said she was going to use the leftover sauce for rice tomorrow, which is a good idea for a side dish also. If you try this dish yourself, let me know how it turns out!

Also, a big thanks to my friend Alicia for the wine suggestion. I’m without a paddle when it comes to the world of wine. If you’re in my position and need a crash course on wine culture, you should check out her blog, https://unwinedwithalicia.wordpress.com/


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