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Lamb Riblets in Sauce

Thai-Style Lamb Riblets

Chef Ben Spangler.

Lambs ribs are flavorful and fun to eat, but this recipe brings it to another level flavoring the riblets with fish sauce-a traditional Thai seasoning. Lamb or goat ribs are a breeze to cook, just like pork ribs, all you need to know is two words: “low and slow”.  To sweeten the deal, our lamb and goat ribs are 100% grass-fed, just like all the rest of the products from our farm.

After the ribs are cooked, Chef Ben shares another secret to making finger-licking ribs: glazing the ribs by reducing the flavorful braising liquid and tossing the ribs in it at the last minute. Glazing is a great cooking technique we also feature with our grass-fed lamb shanks in our video here.

Serve these savory, glazed ribs with something bright, like a fresh salad to cut through the rich, luxurious taste. Our picture below is a great idea: a Thai flavored salad of fresh lettuce with shiso, basil, parsley, cucumbers and toasted peanuts.

This recipe is by chef Ben Spangler. Hailing from Minnesota, Ben draws from his Midwestern roots to create dishes that are unpretentious and delicious. Ben has competed on national television for the Food Network and appeared on local Minneapolis food networks. He is currently executive chef at Mercy in Minneapolis.

Salad and Riblets

To make a complete meal, serve with a Thai-style salad. Pictured is a build-your-own version with parsley, basil, shiso, cucumbers and toasted peanuts. Photo by Ben Spangler.

Ingredients

Riblet Ingredient Display

Photo by Ben Spangler.

6 lbs Lamb Riblets

1 cup   Sugar
16 oz   Palm sugar (or substitute brown sugar)

Water or stock, as needed to cover the ribs during cooking
2.5 oz  Lemongrass, cut into 3 inch batons
10 ea  Thai chili (or substitute serrano peppers)
5 ea  Garlic cloves, whole
2 oz  Turmeric root, unpeeled, sliced into 1/4 inch coins
8- 16 oz  Fish sauce, such as Red Boat
1 oz   Grapeseed oil, or another flavorless oil

 

 

Lamb Riblets slow cooking

Photo by Ben Spangler.

Method 

  • In a dutch oven heat oil on medium and begin to render/cook the lamb ribs, fat cap side down until the fat cap on each rib has reduced by half, about 20 minutes on low heat. Take your time, and if the pan threatens to dry out, add a little water or stock.
  • Remove ribs and pour off all fat except a few tablespoons.
  • Sweat the onions and garlic on low heat for a few minutes until fragrant, then add the chili’s, and lemongrass.
  • Add fish sauce, tumeric and sugar.
  • Allow sugar to dissolve, stirring occasionally.
  • Place ribs in pot and cover with water until 75% covered.
  • Put lid on container and place on middle rack in oven  at 300°F for 2 hours. When done, the rib bones should be barely able to be removed from the rib meat. You want to be careful not to overcook, as the bones should stay in place when you serve the ribs.
  • Remove the pot from oven and allow to cool to room temperature, covered. When cool, chill completely, then use a large spoon to remove the fat that solidifies on the top, it will break off pieces.

Glazing The Ribs & Serving 

Lamb Riblets in Sauce Ready for Plating

Glazed with their juices and ready to eat. Photo by Ben Spangler.

  • After chilling and removing the fat (can be done up to 2 days ahead of time) place the pot back on stove, covred, and slowly bring to a simmer.
  • When ribs are warmed through remove from pot and set aside. Keep the ribs warm, covered in a warm oven works. Strain the sauce and discard all the aromatic vegetables and chilis, then return the sauce to the pan.
  • Reduce the sauce slowly on medium heat until thick and sticky. Be careful that it does not get tacky or it will burn.
  • When the sauce is to your liking, toss the lamb ribs in the sauce to coat. Serve with a green salad or fresh, lightly cooked or steamed vegetables.

 

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