Having the holiday’s off this summer for the first time in years and being invited to barbeques means I get to get into the wonderful world of grilling! Grilling something that I wish I was able to do more often, there is nothing like the taste of food, whether it be veggies or succulent juice dripping meat coming off the fire, the smell of grilling meat sets my primordial saliva flowing.
I went to the butcher not knowing exactly what I was going to buy, since it largely depended on what was available. I parked my cart and began to browse the counter. As a carnivore I have to say that the glutton in me often rears it’s ugly head at the sight of so many possibilities, all laid out, shiny pinks, reds, and different hues of maroon. I glance over at the beef section and I don’t see anything that inspires me. Buffalo is out of my price range for the amount that I need, the baby backs are gone which is too bad, the St. Louis cut ribs aren’t making my mouth water, and then I saw them! They were sitting in between the pork ribs and the boneless legs of lamb. Locally grown Lamb Riblets! Not only that, they were $2.99 a pound. The internal hand clapping started there. I looked for my butcher, I began to sweat fearing that someone else was going to grab the last two racks they had out, I started to glare at the other patrons willing them to buy anything else. Thankfully, no one else had noticed this fantastic prize. I got my riblets, put them in my bike bag and pedaled my way home to look up recipes on how to cook them. I am in utter agreement with grill masters that say when grilling, less is more. Meat doesn’t need a lot of fancy stuff on it when it’s getting so much flavor from the cooking process itself. After reading lots of recipes in which most recommended oven baking and then finishing the ribs on the grill, which I thought was unnecessary as well as redundant. I decided to trust my instincts. A couple of the recipes that I looked at on cooksrecipes.com called for a honey balsamic glaze, so I decided to start with those flavors and add a few things that I know go well with lamb.
Grilled Lamb Ribs with an Orange Honey Balsamic Glaze
4-5 pounds of lamb ribs/riblets, 2 racks
1 large orange fully zested, and then juiced.
6 cloves of garlic finely sliced.
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped Rosemary
1 cup balsamic vinegar (dark)
½ cup olive oil
½ cup honey
salt and pepper.
1 large freezer bag, or a plastic grocery bag (which is what I used)
Wash the ribs and pat them dry. Season the racks with salt and pepper. Whisk ½ cup balsamic and ½ cup olive oil together in a bowl. Add 6 cloves of thinly sliced garlic, 3 tablespoons rosemary and the orange zest to the balsamic and olive oil. Whisk to blend. Rub the ribs thoroughly down with the mixture. Place the ribs in whatever plastic bag you choose and pour the rest of the marinade over the ribs. Marinate the ribs for 6-24 hours. Turn the bag over in the fridge halfway through the marinating process, to evenly coat ribs. In a separate bowl whisk together, ½ cup Honey, ½ cup Balsamic and the juice from the large orange that should be between ¼ to ½ cup of juice.
Place the ribs on a medium/hot grill spot. I cooked mine on a shelf the shelf that was built into the grill and it was perfect. The ribs will take about 35-45 minutes, turn the ribs often (every 10 minutes or so) and baste with a brush on every turn. Once cooked, remove, cut and serve. Enjoy!