Lamb RibletsNov 29th, 2012 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Featured, Garlic, Greek, Greek Grill, Greek Wine, Herbs, Honey, Lamb, Lemon, Meze, Olive Oil, Spices
The first time I ate lamb riblets were at Kellari Taverna in Manhattan back in ’08 and I’ve also heard about the fantastic riblets served up at Kokkari in San Francisco. This cut of lamb is not something you’ll find at the supermarket and you’ll likely have to ask your butcher to prepare them for you.
Lamb riblets are the end bones from the animal’s rib cage that are sawed off in order to make the more popular and coveted lamb shops. They are every bit as tender as lamb chops but you’ll need more of these as there is also more bone but that means more bone-suckin’ goodness!
My approach to lamb riblets is similar to my method for pork ribs…most of the cooking is done in the oven, tented with foil then finished uncovered until deep brown or, you may finish them on the grill. These take about 1 1/4 hours slow roasting time then bout 15 minutes to brown before being able to enjoy. This is Greek cooking here and “fall off the bone” is where it’s at.
The lamb riblets are finished with an olive oil/honey-mustard glaze that offers some sweetness and tang to complement these savory morsels. A tzatziki would also complement the meat very well.
approx. 1 kg. or 2 lbs. of lamb riblets
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 tsp. minced garlic
zest of 2 lemons
fine sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground allspice
2 tsp. of fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. of fresh rosemary leaves
For the Glaze
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. Dijon style mustard
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. dried Greek oregano
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
- Trim excess fat that may lay on top of the ribs and remove the silver skin underneath each rib bone (use a knife to loosen skin then tear away and discard). Rub the olive oil, minced garlic and lemon zest all over the meat then season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the paprika, cumin, allspice, thyme and rosemary evenly on all the ribs. Place in the fridge for 2 hours (covered).
- Before cooking, remove the riblets from the fridge and allow to return to room temperature. Transfer to rack that sits on baking tray and pre-heat your oven to 375F. Pour about a cup of water in the pan and cover the riblets well with aluminum foil. Place in the oven (middle rack) for approx. 1 1/4 hours or until you see the ribs almost come off the bone.
- Remove the foil and bake the ribs for another 15 minutes or finish off on your gas or charcoal grill over medium heat. Mix all the glaze ingredients in a bowl and brush on the riblets when done.
- Serve with thick cut fries and pair with an Estate Hatzimichalis Cabernet Sauvignon.
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