I was thinking about highly underrated/under the radar party foods the other day and lamb ribs came to mind. They’re like the edgier, slightly strung out but wearing a really nice APC leather jacket cousin of the individually frenched out lamb chop hors d’oeuvres you get during the cocktail hour at suburban country club communion parties or OTT long island persian weddings.
I would say they’re the perfect item to serve during a small gathering amongst close friends.
I specify close friends because your hands will be sticky and you’ll probably get some shmutz on your face but they’re really tasty/great with drinking, you can get them pre-individually cut from your butcher, and once they’re cooked they can all be piled high on a plate at the beginning of a party for the taking, no further thinking necessary.
Lamb riblets for a small gathering amongst close friends
- 12ea lamb riblets
- 1c water
- 1c lamb or veal stock
- Lamb Spice
- 1T kosher salt
- 1t ground coriander
- 1/2t ground cumin
- 1/2t crushed chili flake
- 1/2t fresh ground black pepper
- Lamb Glaze
- 1/2c red wine vinegar
- 1/4c honey
- 1/4c pomegranate molasses
- 1T butter
- 1T orange zest
- Mix all lamb spice ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Season the lamb ribs on all sides with the lamb spice. Wrap the ribs tightly in plastic wrap and marinate at least 3 hours or overnight in the fridge.
- Remove the ribs from the fridge and preheat the oven to 300F. Unwrap the ribs and place in a roasting pan with stock and water, adding more water if necessary to the ribs are almost covered but not quite. Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven for 45 min. to 1 hour.
- To make the glaze, combine all glaze ingredients except for the butter and zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and let the mixture reduce by half. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter and zest.
- Remove ribs from the pan and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Turn up the oven temp to 425F. With a brush or baster, cover the ribs with some of the glaze. Place in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove, brush the ribs with the glaze, and return to the oven. Repeat the process another 3 to 4 times until the ribs are cooked and sticky.
- I like to serve these ribs with a simple Greek yogurt dipping sauce I make with whatever I have in house/want to use up. A good template to use is for every little cup of whole milk Greek yogurt, you can stir in:
- salt & pepper to taste (obviously),
- juice of 1/2 lemon,
- 1/2 grated clove of garlic,
- 1-2T chopped herbs (a little parsley/mint never hurt anyone),
- 1/2-1t some spice of your choosing (sumac, za’atar or similar spices from the lamb spice come to mind),
- 1/2t-1T sweetness of your choosing (lil bit of honey or pom molasses encore perhaps?)
(/also feel free to garnish these ribbies with some crushed spices/fresh chopped herbage. We were pretty hungry once these were finally cooked so I neglected to include that addition in the pics…sorry not sorry.)