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Lamb ribs. HELP!

Today at the farmer's market I bought lamb spareribs. I've never cooked them before and was thinking of a braise but am not sure what to do. Any Chowhounds have a clue? When I searched this site, and when I Googled, I found tons of restaurant reviews referring to lamb ribs, even braised lamb ribs: but no recipes.

Anybody out there have a tried-and-true recipe? Or tips or advice? I'll be making them tomorrow.


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  1. I’ve never cooked them before but I can’t imagine they’d be much different than baby back ribs. I’d just rub them with garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper; put them in a foil covered baking pan and cook them for 2 to 3 hours at 225 degrees. If they don’t have as much fat on them as pork ribs, you might want to rub them first with a little olive oil. I’d then brown them under the broiler or weather permitting, sear them quickly on very hot grill.

    Let us know how they turned out.

    1. The lamb riblets that I've cooked have been quite fatty so I learned to do it in two steps. Braise first, pour off fat, then brown.
      If the ribs are all in a single piece, you can cook them that way or separate into individual riblets. Cut away visible fat. You can do an initial browning or not. Pour a small amount of liquid (wine, water, etc) into a roasting pan w/ cover and cook ribs in a low oven for a couple of hours. Pour off fat. Paint ribs w/ Dijon mustard mixed w/ soy, lemon & smidge of olive oil (to emulsify). Roll in breadcrumbs and broil until crusty.

      Another thought would be to do the initial browning (pour off accumulated fat) and braise with white beans, stirring in parsley & lemon zest at the end.

      I've just now read TomDel's rec for rosemary & garlic - those would be great flavor additions.

      1. We bake them in a fairly low oven after giving them a spice rub. They cook faster than pork ribs but only by a 1/3. They throw off more fat than you would expect so I prefer dry heat to braising.

        1. Lamb ribs can be disgusting because they are so full of fat. On the other hand, if the fat is cooked down enough or evenly possibly removed somewhat, the ribs can be a delight. Lamb tastes great *boiled*. I like making a Scotch Broth with lamb ribs. I try removing as much fat as possible both before and after cooking so as to remove any taste of lamb fat.

          If you can get your lamb ribs to look like the image below ... go ahead and grill them.

          1. If you're interested in trying something interesting, and have a source of smoke, you might try Kentucky lamb barbecue.

            For woodchips, I suggest applewood. The rub is a standard wet barbecue rub, heavy on the allspice and garlic, with Worcestershire as the liquid to hold it on. I deviate from the "traditional" recipe by adding a few tablespoons of a mild-to-moderate heat chili powder and a few raisins.

            -- ACS

            1. I had the same interesting and tasty delimma a couple of months ago...I used this recipe from gourmet and absolutely fell in love with lamb ribs, my new favourite cut.

              tex-mex roasted lamb ribs
              Gourmet | March 2007

              For ribs
              1/4 cup vegetable oil
              2 garlic cloves, minced
              2 tablespoons pure chile powder (preferably ancho)
              2 teaspoons ground cumin
              1 teaspoon black pepper
              1 teaspoon cayenne
              2 1/2 teaspoons salt
              3 to 3 1/4 lb Denver ribs (lamb breast spareribs; 2 racks)
              1/2 cup orange marmalade (not bitter)
              1/2 cup red-wine vinegar

              Marinate and cook ribs:
              Stir together oil, garlic, chile powder, cumin, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, and 2 teaspoons salt in a small bowl. Pat lamb dry and rub all over with spice mixture. Transfer lamb to a large sealable plastic bag and seal bag, pressing out excess air. Marinate lamb, chilled, at least 8 hours. (i used a vac. sealer and marinated for only 1 hr.)

              Bring lamb to room temperature, about 1 hour.

              Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
              Transfer lamb to a 17- by 12-inch heavy shallow baking pan and cover pan tightly with foil, then bake 1 1/4 hours.

              Meanwhile, stir together marmalade, vinegar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a 1-quart heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

              Discard foil from lamb and carefully pour off and discard fat from pan. Brush lamb with some of marmalade glaze and roast, basting every 10 minutes (use all of glaze) and turning racks over every 20 minutes, until browned and tender, about 1 hour. Cut racks into individual ribs.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sixelagogo

                Sounds delish...even if 5 years later. I'll be making these for the week-end!

              2. Try Deviling and Grilling(stovetop works too, or broil)

                Grilled Deviled Lamb Ribs with Scallion and Pepper Butter (inspired by Chef Louis Osteen, Charleston, SC)

                makes 6 servings

                the rib bones from 2 racks of lamb
                1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
                3 large cloves garlic, crushed
                3 branches fresh rosemary
                4 sprigs (or a handful) fresh marjoram
                2 large sprigs fresh lavender (I hope you can find some)
                1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
                2 cups freshly made bread crumbs (from French or Italian bread)
                2 large cloves garlic
                needles from 2 branches fresh rosemary
                leaves from 6 large sprigs marjoram
                leaves from 3 large sprigs lavender
                1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

                1. Separate rib bones and marinate for 2 hours to overnight.
                2. Preheat grill or broiler. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, chop the garlic. Push down, add the bread in pieces and make the crumbs. Add the herbs and salt and process until the mixture looks like green gravel.
                3. Put the “Deviling” into a pie plate or shallow bowl. Remove the ribs from marinade and blot excess oil on paper towels. Dredge in the crumbs and grill for about 6 minutes on each side.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ChefJune

                  I have had and loved Louis Osteens lamb ribs, not this rendition but I guess we should refer to him as the lamb rib guru!

                2. We usually put lamb riblets on the grill. Just be careful; they are fatty and flame up easily but get done quickly.

                  1. if this is an entire breast of lamb, then place it in a roasting pan, rub with plenty of salt and pepper and some dried or fresh thyme or oregano. pour one cup dry white wine on the bottom of the pan and cover tightly with foil. bake in oven at 350F for about 2 hours or so. remove from oven, uncover and let cool to room temperature. cut ribs into individual pieces and squeeze some lemon juice all over them. grill slowly until crispy and squeeze some more lemon juice over the top. if you cannot grill, the broiler works well. just go slow as the fat will flame up on the grill or the broiler. serve with tzatziki. ENJOY !