As you know from our posts, we LOVE ribs!
It’s barbecue time and ribs constitute part of the standard stars of the grill: pork spareribs and beef ribs of varying cuts. Still, I would like to suggest something you might not encounter, except perhaps in the most adventurous of BBQ and grilled meat restaurants: lamb riblets. You don’t see them very often or at all in standard supermarket meat counters, and, when you say “lamb riblets,” there are some butchers who don’t even know what you’re talking about.
Bristol Farms used to carry them from time to time, but the one in Pasadena now only orders them frozen when asked to do so. Lately, however, I’ve had good luck with my local Stater Brothers market. The meat folk there either carry them fresh and whole in their backroom refrigerator, or can get them for you within two days upon request … again, always fresh. If you like, the butcher will cut the lamb breast into the individual ribs, or, as I do, you can cut them up yourself when you’re ready to make them.
So, fire up the BBQ to high, brush each rib with olive oil, and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Grill them on high so they have a crusty exterior and are slightly pink on the inside. If you’re in the habit of using a spice rub on lamb (e.g. cumin, coriander, and the like), go right ahead, but I think that the delicate flavor of lamb deserves a tad less intrusion. My wife and I happen to like the KC Masterpiece “Original” BBQ sauce with the lamb, but if you cook some of those spicier rubs, the two won’t go together as well.
I’ve just returned from an excursion to the local Super King market and noticed some very large fresh lamb breasts just waiting to be cut into ribs … really sizeable … more like ram than lamb, I suppose, and they’d take a little longer to cook … but I’m up for it, just for the gnawing pleasure of it all.
I used to teach at the University of Kansas long ago … beef country, for sure, and proud of it. Not surprisingly, then, my Kansas-bred students tended to regard lamb as a kind of odious specialty item, say like tripe or testicles. If you’re of that same persuasion, I apologize for taking up your time, but I do love those sheep on the grill.