This lamb ribs recipe was inspired by a visit to Melbourne many years ago. Trying to find somewhere to eat late in the evening, my wife and I stumbled across a little salumi bar called Ombra which had just opened.
I’d never tried lamb ribs before, but they had these flash fried in a share plate with an incredible house-made chilli jam that was the most iridescent red colour I had ever seen (to the point we convinced the chef to part with some more and left with a jar of it).
This variant adds an extra layer of flavour to it – smoke. This is essentially a reverse-sear on the lamb ribs, bringing them to temp in the smoker and then a quick fry in a skillet. You won’t need any fancy rub for these either – salt and pepper will do the trick, or you can use rosemary salt.
A note on the ribs – they can be quite fatty depending on which ones you get, so trim if necessary but leave a little of the fat on in any case.
The chilli jam will keep for a week in the fridge.
LAMB RIBS RECIPE
- Rack of lamb ribs
- Rosemary salt (optional)
- Cherry wood
- Sunflower oil
- Prepare your smoker to cook at 225F, add a chunk of cherry wood
- Remove the membrane from the back of the lamb ribs and trim any excess fat. Leave a small amount of fat on as this will add to the flavour.
- Season with salt and pepper (alternatively use rosemary salt)
- Add ribs to smoker and cook until 165F internal temperature
- Remove from the smoker, wrap and rest.
- When ready to serve, cut rack into individual ribs
- Add enough sunflower oil to a skillet or frypan to be 5-10ml deep. Heat oil over a medium-high heat until a piece of bread browns quickly, and then add lamb ribs to the oil, frying on all sides for 30-40 seconds.
- Remove from pan onto paper towel
CHILLI JAM RECIPE
- 5-6 long red chilli
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small brown onion
- 2 cups sugar (white)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 TBS lime juice
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- Roughly chop the chili, garlic and onion and blitz in food processor or blender with the water until finely chopped and forming a loose paste
- Add to a saucepan over a low heat with sugar, vinegar, fish sauce and lime juice until the sugar dissolves. Make sure to keep stirring.
- Bring to the boil, skim any scum off the top and reduce to a simmer for 30-45 minutes.
- It will be done when it reduced and comes to a jammy consistency
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool
- Store leftover in the fridge in a sealed container or sterilised jar
To serve, pile finished lamb ribs into a bowl or on a board, and serve with the chilli jam in a small bowl where people can dip or spoon onto their ribs.