A Little Lamb

August 20, 2018

At the Great Barrington farmers market the other day, I stopped to talk to the people from Mayflower Farm.  Then I noticed they had lamb riblets for sale, and I was intrigued.  I’ve been seeing them on menus quite a lot lately (probably because they’re an inexpensive cut), so I thought I’d take a chance.

But what to do with them?  I decided, for a first outing, to try an Asian-inspired recipe.  The results were so delicious I wished I’d made twice as many; we devoured them in a matter of seconds.

Asian Lamb Riblets

Mix 2 tablespoons of coconut or brown sugar with 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and a tablespoon of neutral vegetable oil.  Stir in a tablespoon of Gochujang or Sriracha (any kind of hot Chile sauce will do). Add the juice of half a lime, some freshly grated ginger, and a couple of teaspoons of ground coriander seed.  Mince a clove of garlic and a couple of small shallots, and add those as well.   

Pour the marinade into a large ziplock bag and add a pound of lamb riblets. Massage the bag so the lamb is well covered with the marinade. Allow them to soak up all this flavor, in the refrigerator, for at least 8 hours.  (24 would be better.)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.  Put the ribs, well separated, onto the baking sheet and roast them for an hour and a half,  until most of the fat has cooked away. Baste with leftover marinade every half hour or so.

Remove from the oven, crank the heat up to broil and broil the ribs, 6 inches from the heat, for a minute on each side, until they’re lightly charred.

Serve with this dipping sauce.

Mix a tablespoon each of fish sauce, lime juice and rice vinegar with 2 teaspoons of sugar.  Add a couple teaspoons of soy sauce, and a small clove of minced garlic.  Add a tablespoon or so of chopped cilantro.

This makes an irresistible appetizer for four people.

I suspect that lamb riblets – so inexpensive at the moment – will catch on and the price will soar.  So get them now while you can still afford them.

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  • Greg says:

    Can’t wait to try these – that’s satisfying, comfort food. Thanks.

  • Irma says:

    Introduced my kids to lamb with riblets. (They are now in their 50’s).
    Roasted with garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary. Then they disappeared from the markets. For years. Coincidentally, had them last Monday at a Ubekistan restaurant. So, they’re back! Will definitely try your recipe, if/ when I find them! Thank you!

  • Claire says:

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen lamb riblets. Are they always sold by that name? I am wondering if I asked a butcher about them if he/she would know what I was talking about.