Talk Takeaway: Cooking with Tim Ferriss

Posted on Jan 25, 2013 10:45am

In today's Talk Takeaway, Tim Ferriss showed us how to make his simple take on Osso Buco called Osso "Buko" and Union Square Zucchini from his new book, "The 4-Hour Chef." Here are the recipes from today's show.

Osso "Buko"
Serves 4

4 (12oz/ 340g each) Lamb Shanks
I bunch of carrots
1 can (15oz/ 425g) canned whole San Marzano tomatoes
3-finger pinch of Garlic powder or 4 garlic cloves pushed through a garlic press
2 tablespoon of Extra virgin olive oil
About 1/3 a bottle of White wine
To taste, add salt and pepper


  1. At least 1 hour prior to cook time, thaw the frozen lamb shanks.  I put the plastic-bagged shanks in a large mixing bowl full of the hottest tap water I can muster, and I weigh them down with an upside-down plate or bowl.
  2. Scrub the carrots with a vegetable brush or coarse sponge (I peel as few things as possible), and chop off the ends.  Roughly break by hand into halves.
  3. Get your meez ready – that is, get everything you will use in one place.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).  Place a PanSaver, if using, in the Dutch oven.
  2. Place the carrots in the pot to create a bed for the meat to rest on.
  3. Add the 4 lamb shanks.
  4. Open the tomato can and squish the tomatoes with one hand (beware of squirting juice – poke a thumb through first) as you drop them into the Dutch oven, along with their juice.
  5. Sprinkle in the 3-finger pinch of garlic power or 5 cloves of raw garlic.
  6. Drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil.  Don't sweat the precision.  A decent "glug" is approximately 2 tablespoons.
  7. Add enough white wine to cover ½-¾ of the meat.  Don't cover it completely.
  8. Grind 10 hard turns of pepper onto your shanks (add more than you think you need), and add two 3 finger-pinches of kosher salt, sprinkling from a height 12" (30 cm.)  This will create an even spread and prevent clumps of salt.
  9. Cover the pot, put it in the oven, and come back 2 hours later.
  10. Serve on VerTerra pressed-leaf disposable plates, or whatever you have.  Gracefully accept lavish praise from guests.
  11. If you've used PanSaver, here's the great part; just bunch up the edges so you have leftovers in a bag, and put it in the fridge in a pan or dispose of it.  No cleaning other than your silverware!  One Michelin three-star chef believes braised meats taste best 3 days after cooking.

Union Square Zucchini

Serves 4


4 small (6oz/180g) Zucchini, no wider than the star peeler blade (1 per person, and buy 1 extra)
1 tablespoon of Extra virgin olive oil or macadamia nut oil
1 clove of Garlic, peeled but left whole
2-finger pinches of Chile flakes (or red pepper flakes)
1 teaspoon of Ghee
½ lemon of Lemon juice
To taste, add salt and pepper


  1. Cut just one end off each zucchini, one allotted per person.

 That peeler? It's not just a peeler, padawan – it's an all-purpose slicing machine.  Most don't exploit its full potential and use it only in the standard position.  We are going to move the zucchini instead of the slicer.  Viola, a make-shift mandolin!

Brush the zucchini downward on top of the peeling blade, holding the end that hasn't been cut. (Don't worry about the last nub – it's not worth risking losing your fingertips.)

Do this for each zucchini you'll be using.

        2.  Pat down the zucchini slices with a paper towel for 1–2 minutes to remove as much water as possible, but don't stress over every drop.


  1. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. When a drop of water sizzles as it hits the pan, pour in a 4" (10-cm) diameter circle of oil (approximately 1 tablespoon).
  3. Spear the clove of garlic sideways on the end of the fork.
  4. Sprinkle the Chile flakes on top of the oil and wait 30 seconds.  Use the garlic clove on the fork to spread them around. (This awesomely simple technique is borrowed from Chef Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen.)
  5. Add half of the zucchini slices, doing your best to spread them out no more than 3-4 slices deep.  But don't get stressed if they clump together.
  6. Add the 1 teaspoon of ghee (eyeballing is fine) and squeeze in the lemon juice (too much of either won't hurt you).
  7. Move the zucchini around using the fork with the clove of garlic for about 2 minutes.
  8. Push the cooked zucchini in the side of the skillet and add the remaining zucchini.
  9. Let sit for 2 minutes, then mix everything together and remove from the skillet.
  10. Try a bite, then season with salt and pepper if needed.  Heat more if you like.  Enjoy!

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