Unless you can get really fresh lamb ribs with lovely white fat I wouldn’t bother. Although usually quite inexpensive, these ribs require an excellent butcher and being prepared to pay a little more to get great quality is good advice.
There is a lot of fat to render from the ribs and whilst charcoal always gives the best flavour, if using charcoal you need to be prepared for some flare-ups. Although, I have not tried I suggest that maybe 30 minutes in the oven followed by 30 minutes over low heat charcoal when a good portion of the lamb fat has been rendered.
I have also recently seen a Chinese Muslim recipe for lamb ribs where the ribs are steamed before putting gin the marinade and then basically reheated over charcoal. Stay tuned I will be trying that as it makes a lot of sense. The Chinese also do something interesting with steaming that I have not seen in the European kitchen. They add a good slug of white wine vinegar and sometimes aromatics. This is particularly good when steaming crabs.
AO 29 NOVEMBER 2023
RENDERING THE FAT IS THE SECRET TO PERFECT LAMB RIBS AND COOKING THEM ON A RACK IS THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN ACHIEVE LOVELY CRISPY FAT.
8g cumin seed
8g fennel seed
50g p/w garlic, macerated with a pinch of Maldon sea salt
100g broad bean and chilli paste…refer to images on the right…available from your Chinese grocer
100g hoi sin sauce
50g palm sugar powder
20g Chinese wine vinegar
2 slabs of lamb ribs, cut into single ribs
Dry roast the cumin and fennel. Allow them to cool and then grind them leaving some texture. Weight everything to the line into a large bowl and mix together. Wearing food service gloves roll the ribs through the marinade until they are evenly coated.
Depending on when you want to cook them either vac them [4-6 days] or pack tightly into an airtight container [3-4 days]. They must be marinated for at the very least 24 hours.
Cooking time is about 80 minutes. Take the ribs from the fridge at least two hours before you want to start cooking….this is important.
pre heat oven to 160°C
Cover your roasting pan with foil and stand a rack on top. Please the ribs a little apart on the rack and put them in the oven. Set a timer for 20 minutes. When the timer goes turn the ribs ad cook for a furth 10-20 minutes.
A TIP ABOUT SILICON SPATULAS. YOU WILL NOTICE THAT OFTEN THESE WOODEN HANDLED RED PADDLE SPATULAS APPEAR IN MY IMAGES. I AM VERY CAREFUL AS MANY SILICON SPATULAS ABSORB FLAVOURS, ESPECIALLY GARLIC AND ONION. I ALWAYS SMELL A SPATULA BEFORE I USE IT.
Keep it simple. The Raita was a perfect accompaniment. You could add some plain rice and some crunchy lettuce leaves like iceberg or cos, even an easy tomato and raw onion salad with basil and mint leaves.
for the raita
3 Lebanese cucumbers…approximately 400g
10g Maldon sea salt
350g labeneh [strained firm yoghurt]
white pepper, freshly ground
12g mint leaves, finely shredded
Coarsely grate the cucumber into a bowl. Add the madlon. mix through and set aside for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, put the yoghurt, garlic-ginger and mint into a bowl and mix together.
I know it’s hard when your tea towels don’t go to the laundry, but squeezing out the cucumber in a tea towel is the best way to get maximum moisture out. Add the cucumber to the yoghurt, season with freshly ground white pepper. Refrigerate in an airtight container until you want to serve. Use paper towel to soak up any leak from the raita, garnish with mint.
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