Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lamb ribs

I can usually count on one of my French or Mexican cookbooks to have recipes for kinds and cuts of meats that even some of the more adventurous American standards like the Joy of Cooking or Gourmet eschew.  I found a whole bunch of goat recipes in Cocinero Mexicano, a 19th century Mexican cookbook that was reprinted a few years ago, and I felt totally connected to traditions of the Americas and ancient wisdom as I read up on how the meat of a goat that's nursed only from its mother is more tender while that of a goat that's nursed from the whole herd is more flavorful.  I love imagining a world where I'd know, and anyonw who bought a cookbook would know, who the goat I'm eating nursed from--not in a macabre or self-flagellating way, but in a totally connected to the cycle of life kind of way.  Not one of my adventurous or well-grounded books, however, even suggest a recipe for lamb ribs.  But lambs have ribs.  And since I bought a half a lamb last month, I have a half rack of lamb ribs.  I looked at beef rib recipes and didn't have time or energy to braise first and then broil.  I looked at pork rib recipes and thought they looked pretty easy.  Apparently, lucky for me, lam ribs cook like pork ribs!  These were delicious.  Tender and deeply flavorful with a lovely little crunch on the outside.  A great hit with my son partly because he likes the flavor of "meat" (ie, red) and mostly because he loves to eat anything "on the bone" Tom and Jerry style. 

Lamb Ribs
serves 2-3

1/2 rack of lamb ribs (about 1.5 lbs)
1 large clove garlic, minced
2-3 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 sprig rosemary, minced
1 tsp. coarsly ground pepper
1 T olive oil

Blend together all of the ingredients and rub all over the ribs.  Let sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.  Heat oven to 350.  Place ribs on a roasting pan boney side up and roast 45 minutes.  Turn meaty side up and roast another 30-45 minutes.