Archive for March 9th, 2012

Lamb ribs can be purchased as a rack of 7 or 8 ribs, or cut into individual ribs, called riblets. Either way they are a great and delicious alternative to pork ribs. Their one drawback is a tendency to be very fatty; soaking them in buttermilk and spices helps to counteract the fat and soothe their strong flavors. These ribs are served with a refreshing cucumber salad, tossed in some of the same buttermilk marinade.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes (plus 5 minutes for marinade)
Marinate: 6 to 12 hours
Grill: 30 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs.

THE GRILL
Gas: Indirect heat, medium-high (350° to 400°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on middle setting.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
3 pounds lamb riblets, cut into individual riblets
2 cups Garlic-Buttermilk Marinade
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
Oil for coating grill grate.

DIRECTIONS
1. Put the riblets in a gallon-size zipper-lock bag with the marinade, half of the lemon zest, and half of the lemon juice. Seal the zipper, leaving about an inch open; push on the bag to release any trapped air through the opening, and close the zipper completely. Massage the liquid gently into the meat and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
2. Heat the grill as directed.
3. Toss the diced cucumber and salt in a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes. Put the cucumber in a flat-woven dish towel. Wrap the towel around the cucumber and wring until most of the juice from the cucumber has drained through the towel. Toss the cucumber in a small serving bowl with the red pepper flakes, garlic, and remaining lemon zest and juice. Set aside.
4. Remove the riblets from the marinade; discard the marinade.
5. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the riblets on the grill away from the heat, cover the grill, and cook until an instantread thermometer inserted into the thickest rib registers about 145°F, about 30 minutes. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 375°F.
6. Serve the riblets with the cucumber relish.

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